Hardwood can last a long time, but it doesn’t always last forever. Like any natural product, wood wears out and there are other factors such as improper installation, high traffic, poor conditions and pets that may allow you to replace your floors early.
A hole in the ground is a sign that something is going on, so you need to fix it.
But many homeowners may be wondering when is the right time to replace their floors?
You’re Starting To See Nails
If you have an older home, those floors may have suffered decades of wear and abuse. In high traffic areas it is common to see nail heads poking above the surface. The general rule of thumb for repair versus replacement with this problem is this, if you see exposed nails on more than 30 percent of the floors in your home it’s time to replace them.
Your Floorboards Are Moving
The ground beneath your feet is not supposed to move. If your hardwood floor sways, bends, shifts, or buckles under your weight, it’s time to tear up the floors, or that section, at least, and replace them. Some ground movements tend to be more subtle. It is recommended to use a leveler or marble to test for floating or sinking floors. The root cause of these problems could be something as major as water damage or cracks in the foundation. In any case, a contractor could fix the underlying problem without touching the floors. In other cases, he will probably need to remove the wood, repair the problem, replace the subfloor, and replace the floor with new wood.
Squeaky boards are not as big a problem as they may seem to people. It’s annoying. Most squeaks come from boards rubbing against each other or the subfloor, rather than a serious structural problem. A flooring professional should be able to diagnose and repair squeaky floors easily.
You Want A New Look
If you’re looking for a dream look for your home, you’ll need to replace the wood with new flooring. If you are looking for something a little lighter, a little warmer or a little darker, you can achieve this effect by sanding the existing floors and staining them. Paint is a good option and is accurate for many homes.
The only barrier to the sand and refinish option is how many times your floors have been sanded and refinished before. Most solid wood floors can withstand several rounds before it’s time to replace them.
If you have engineered wood floors that you want to refinish, you can sand and refinish those surfaces as well. The face of hardwood is actually a wear layer, unlike solid wood, there is still room for a round of sanding and finishing or a finish update.