6 Signs That It Is Time To Have Your Hardwood Floor Refinished
The beauty and durability of hardwood make it a popular flooring choice. From accentuating the interior décor adding to the warmth of the space and increasing the home’s resale value, there is plenty of benefit for having this installation in the property. However, to maintain its functionality and longevity, proper maintenance is required. This includes having the refinishing done in time to protect the floor. Here are signs that you should look out for:
- Excessively scratched surface
Scratches are normal, so you don’t need to go into panic mode each time your pet leaves a mark on your floor. It’s also impossible to completely prevent scratches from occurring. Some pet owners also choose to cover up affected sections with area rugs. The trouble comes in when there are too many scratches on the floor to ignore. If you have a case of multiple scratches that have got through the wood stain to the underlying wood, then that’s a sure sign that the finish is worn out, and needs to be redone. You also need to determine whether the scratches are over the expansive floor area, or localised in one spot, such as the pet’s sleeping area. This will enable you to gauge whether you will need to schedule a refinishing, or give the current finish coats more time. However, the general rule of the thumb is that if there are deep scratches which have gone through the stain such that the bare wood is visible, then a refinishing is required.
Note that the wood finishes protect your floor from issues like water damage. The deep scratches are a problem because they provide entry points for water from drink spills, snow tracked into the building, and even moisture from under the pet’s paws to get into the flooring. Simply reapplying more wood stain or lacquer onto the affected spot doesn’t solve the problem, since the bonding with the structure will be weaker, and it will also lead to colour variations with the rest of the flooring. A complete floor sanding and refinishing will enable you to get uniform results and optimal protection.
- Staining caused by spills and water damage
The occasional spill is bound to happen, and it’s recommended that you clean it up as soon as possible. As the years go by, there are bound to be stains that remain on the floor After all, you won’t be in a position to get them all each time they occur. Leaks from the air conditioner, spillage from broken water heaters, pet urine accidents that come with their assortment of trouble for the residents, ink stains and beverage spills that aren’t got to in time – they all have varying effects on the floor. The patches developing on the surface become unsightly and ruin the appeal of the floor. Fortunately, with floor sanding and refinishing, it will revitalise the surface and restore the elegance to your installation.
When selecting the finish coats to apply after the sanding, it is recommended that you go for formulations that have stain-resistance attributes. While this does not mean that you will allow spills to dwell on the surface, these kinds of finishes buy you more time to attend to the spot, reducing the risks of permanent staining.
- Discoloured floorboards
Here, the floorboards begin to turn grey. This is usually mistakenly assumed to be a sign that the floor is ageing. On the contrary, it’s actually an indication of damage. How? Well, over the usage of the floor, coupled with the barrage of abuse meted out onto it, the polyurethane coats that had been applied gradually wear off. This causes the floorboards to absorb moisture in increasing quantities, even from the cleaning products used on it. The wood starts oxidising, resulting in the great colouration. This should be addressed as soon as possible, before the wood ends up becoming all black – at which point the boards themselves will need to be replaced.
Here, the main cause is usually solar radiation. You’ll notice that the most affected boards are those that are close to the windows or the patio doors. If the finishing becoming dull is the only issue that is affecting your floor, then a light sanding will suffice, where the floor is simply screened and recoated – which is fast and less invasive. However, if there are also scratches getting through the finish, then the complete floor sanding will be required, removing the finish completely and applying fresh new coats to yield a uniform result.
The splintering of floorboards, coupled with worn-out edges, are not just décor problems, but also hazards for the household members. They are caused by issues ranging from high foot traffic, ageing of the wood, pets, and the occasional mischievous kids who intentionally damage the wood. Not only are the splinters unsightly, but they also provide means for water to get directly absorbed into the wood. The splinters can be dealt with during the floor sanding as long as they are not severe. You should scrutinise the doorways, hallways, and other high traffic areas for splinters, and also take a look at the area under the dining table, which usually comes under lots of friction due to the chairs being moved.
Sometimes you may just want to change things up. The floor can be in good condition, but you feel the urge to switch to a new style with the colour and gloss. This purely comes down to personal preference, especially those who want to alter the décor of the space to meet their changing tastes. One of the pros of having wood floors is that you can achieve a whole new look without removing the floorboards. Simply have it refinished using a different wood stain. This will give it a different colour, and there are lots of options to choose from. You may also simply want to make the natural colouration of the wood more prominent, and there are wood finishes that have been specifically designed for this.