Should You Refinish Or Replace Your Hardwood Floor?
When the wood floor gets all dull and dilapidated, you can find yourself in a position deliberating whether you should refinish the boards, or have them replaced. Let’s look at what you should consider when making the decision.
Refinishing vs. Replacing Hardwood Floors
What is the condition of the floor? If it’s a case of a dull finish, the surface getting covered in scratches, or permanent stains that have bonded with the upper layer of the wood tissue, then sanding and refinishing it will give it a new lease of life. There are also those who want to change the colour and feel of the floor by applying a new wood stain. For this, the current finish coats will need to be removed. If the existing planks can be salvaged, then definitely refinishing will end up being the less costly alternative. However, for the floors that have excessive water damage, signs of rot, and even fungal infestations that have spread through the installation, then it’s recommended to replace the damaged boards.
Wear Layer Factor
For floor refinishing, the process basically involves sanding down to the bare wood, removing the scratches, chips and other imperfections that are on the surface. It is then treated with new products, from the wood stain to the lacquer coats, depending on the aesthetics and the level of durability needed. However, you don’t get to have endless “new beginnings”. The number of times that the flooring can be refinished will depend on the thickness of the wear layer.
For solid hardwood floors, the refinishing can be done up to 7 times. However, for engineered wood flooring, this is usually done up to 2-3 times. One of the common mistakes made during the DIY floor sanding, or when one hires a rookie company for the task, is sanding too much into the wood. Taking much wood tissue off the floor means that there will be far fewer chances to carry out the refinishing in future, reducing the lifespan of your installation. You end up being forced to replace the floorboards much sooner than had been anticipated. This is also why it is insisted that one hires professionals for the task, in order to ensure that only the necessary amount of wood is sanded off to prepare the surface for the new treatments that are to be applied.
Factors To Consider When Hiring Floor Sanding Services
The first step in getting a quality job done is ensuring that you pick the right team for the task. Here are factors that you should be keen on:
As a bare minimum, you should engage with a company that has been licensed by the relevant bodies in your jurisdiction. It’s vital to deal with a legitimate company that has satisfied the regulations that have been set by the authorities to operate, and not just a fly-by-night firm whose offices and owners cannot be traced.
- Track record
How long has the company been in the floor sanding business? What kind of certification and accreditation do its personnel have? A company that has been operating for years will certainly give you more confidence as opposed to one that is just a week old. This is not to say that start-ups don’t have their impact. They do, and it’s just an issue about the amount of risk you’re willing to take on. Sure, you can give the project to a company that doesn’t have a solid history of successful projects, and they may actually get the job done to quality standards – but how sure are you? The longer that a company has been in operation, the more resources have gone into investing in the skilled staff and high-capacity machinery, putting them in a better position to handle the project. But even for the established firms, you want to avoid those that seem to have reached a point where they are now arrogant to their clientele, especially those that they consider to be “small clients”. Professionalism should be maintained across the board, whether you’re having just one room sanded and refinished, or an entire office complex.
- Past experience
What do other clients who have hired the floor sanding and refinishing company say about the services they received? Are they pleased with the offing, or are the social media pages of the company filled with complaints from dissatisfied customers? The feedback from people who have already engaged with the firm will enable you gauge the level of professionalism that you can expect when you hire them. Look through the review sections on their social media platforms and business directory listings that have this feature. You can also ask for testimonials, as a company that has been good in its job will certainly have clients who are ready to vouch for it.
- Insurance policies
Accidents can happen, even when you’re dealing with the most experienced and well-resourced floor sanding company. Sure, they should put in place safety measures to reduce the chances of the accidents happening in the first place. However, liability insurance policies are still important to provide coverage for any damages that may occur while the task is being carried out. There should also be workers’ compensation insurance in case any of the floor sanding crew get injured while on your property. When you hire a company that is not insured and an accident does occur, you will find yourself footing costly repairs and even medical bills.
How much will the floor sanding and restoration cost you? Different companies have different rates, based on aspects such as the size of the area being covered, and the current condition of the floor. A site visit is recommended to assess the floor and give you an accurate quotation – which should be in writing. Compare different quotations for the local floor restoration companies. Remember that cheap isn’t necessarily better, as you may end up paying for it down the road. Actually, companies that are offering services at a rate that is way below that of their competitors is a red flag, as it means that there has been a compromise made along the way.