When Is It Time to Have Your Hardwood Floors Repaired?


Are your hardwood floors showing their age? While hardwood flooring is probably the most durable, longest-lasting, and best-looking flooring option, every 20 years or so it will begin to look dull, lifeless, or just too damaged to be a positive feature in your home.

Refinishing your hardwood floors or getting hardwood flooring repair is a great way to extend the life of your floors—but how do you know if it is a good idea to do so or if it is even possible? The following outlines some signs that it may be time to repair your hardwood floors or do a total replacement. For more information, speak with our hardwood flooring professionals at Emperial Hardwood Floors.

Signs Your Hardwood Floors Need Help

If properly cared for, your hardwood floors can last decades. Every once in a while, though, repairs or refinishing is needed. We want you to protect your investment and keep it looking amazing, so we have outlined a few signs that point to the fact that it is time to have your hardwood floors repaired:

  • Your floor is 20 years old or more—Hardwood flooring can easily last a century if it is taken care of properly, and a good rule of thumb when it comes to keeping the floors looking great is to have it refinished every 20 years. Refinishing involves sanding and stripping to remove the old finish, any stains that have set in over the years, and any surface scratches. Before a floor can be refinished, they need to be at least 3/4 of an inch thick, so make sure you check this out before beginning the project.

  • Your floor has surface damage—A simple refinish job will get rid of surface damage such as scratches from furniture and pets as well as stains that have set in over the years.

  • Your floor is noisy—Over time, your hardwood floors may start to squeak and groan when walked upon, and this is a major sign that repairs are needed. In most instances, the floorboards are becoming loose, which indicates disrepair. A professional can tighten your squeaky hardwood floors with a lubricant or by nailing the boards closer together. Noisy floors are typically not good candidates for refinishing until repairs have been made.

  • Your floor is sucking in water—The finish placed on your hardwood floors protects it from a multitude of harmful substances, including water. Over time, your finish will wear away and, along with it, the ability to protect your flooring from moisture, scratching, and stains. To check the permeability of your hardwood floors, pour a small amount of water onto a high-traffic area. If droplets form on the surface of the wood, then the finish is still in good condition. If the water immediately seeps into the floors, it is time to refinish them.

  • Your floor has warped, bent, or damaged boards—Just because your hardwood floors have serious damage such as warped or bent boards it doesn't mean that you need a total floor replacement, so long as the damage is limited to a few boards. In many instances the wood can be salvaged, and in other instances a professional can take boards from a closet or hidden area and repair the area accordingly. Refinishing and repairing hardwood flooring is much cheaper than a total replacement, so exhaust all other options before settling for a completely new floor.

  • Your floor has structural problems: If your hardwood is damaged or looks uneven due to structural issues with the home, the subfloor will likely need to be repaired and all hardwood flooring pulled up.