You may have purchased a home with hardwood floors that are in less than perfect condition or yours may be showing their age many years after installation. Should you replace the hardwood flooring or simply refinish your floors and how do you know when it should be done? Most quality hardwood flooring can be sanded down and refinished six or seven times before it would ever need replacing, but there are several factors to help you decide what your floor needs!
Replace your Floors If:
1.Flooring Seems Bouncy or Unstable
If your flooring seems weak in anyway or that the wood is less stable, it is definitely time to replace your flooring. Pine flooring has been a popular choice in the past,but this wood is softer than other hardwoods and may be leading to weakness. There could also be damage beneath the hardwood in the subfloor that may need to be fixed.
2. You Want Less Mess
Replacing your hardwood flooring is actually less messy and time-consuming than refinishing your flooring in most cases. Hardwood flooring is prefinished, with the work done outside of your home. Refinishing your flooring can easily last four to five days, with the mess and process happening inside your house that you are already living in. Furniture has to be moved and children and pets have to be kept away from the area being replaced. Refinishing your floors also produces a strong odor, while flooring that is being installed is usually pre-finished.
3. You Want a Different Hardwood
While you can stain your floors a different tone, the look you are going for may be hard to achieve depending on how dark or light the natural wood of your floors are.
4. Your Flooring is Damaged
Floor boards can chip, warp, or suffer other damage from water or termites. Sanding down the wood to refinish it will only make it worse, not better. You may be able to replace individual boards, but if more than 30% of the floor boards are showing signs of damage it is better to replace the entire floor. A large percentage of damaged flooring can indicate an underlying problem that requires attention in the sub-flooring
Refinish Your Floors
1.To Stay Within a Tighter Budget
Refinishing is five times less expensive than replacing your hardwood floor. If the hardwood is in good condition, choose a stain you like and work with a flooring professional to get your floors back into shape!
2. Areas of Damage are Small
Older hardwood flooring is rarely perfect, but small areas of damage can easily be fixed. Floor boards can be ripped up, replaced, and the whole floor will be stained to match.
3.You Can Handle the Mess
Refinishing your floors is dusty, messy, and has a strong smell. That said, a reputable company should work with you to minimize the inconvenience and potential for dust to enter the rest of the house.
Dustless sanding is a popular option for homeowners looking to improve the appearance of their hardwood floors. Dustless sanding and regular sanding are very similar but dustless sanding preserves the indoor air quality! It is also much more efficient than regular floor sanding processes.
Dustless sanding creates much less dust than standard floor sanding. It isn’t completely dust-free, but a proper dust control system will take care of a majority of the dust created during the sanding process. Overall, dustless sanding will create 99% less dust than the average standard sanding process. The dust is captured and contained in a way that makes it very easy to clean up.
How Does It Work?
While dustless sanding isn’t completely dust-free, it does take care of most of the dust created. Equipment varies, but generally a specialized machine attached to the sander will have a vacuum suction tube that will take the dust straight into a dust containment system, rather than releasing it into the air.
Advantages of Dustless Sanding
Dustless sanding is an excellent choice for people with asthma, respiratory difficulties, or dust allergies. It is a great choice if the sanding is being done in a home with sensitive populations like infants and children or pets, or when sanding must be done in a hospital, nursing home, daycare, or school.
An additional advantage of dustless sanding is that it prevents issues with the finish of the hardwood floor. Many issues can be caused with the finish of the hardwoods if the dust created by sanding isn’t properly removed before installation continues.
Dustless sanding is also much quicker than regular sanding because clean-up is taken care of for you! There is no need for extensive cleaning or hiring a clean-up service to finish the job for you!
The one choice to make with dustless sanding is whether you will be doing this yourself or hiring a company to do it for you. Both are viable options and depend on your budget and level of comfort with do it yourself home renovation projects!
Recommended Products to Do It Yourself
Oneida Dust Deputy
This product is a popular option that can be hooked up to a vacuum cleaner. The dust deputy will capture up to 99% of the dust created by your sander. This product is very efficient and well-reviewed by individuals refinishing their hardwood flooring.
This product is a very high end option which does not require a separate vacuum. The Lagler Trio has integrated dust control and functions as an all-in-one product.
Bona Sanding Machines
This product is one you may encounter if you hire a professional company to sand your floors. These machines give you professional, high quality sanding while also containing all of the dust that may otherwise enter your room.
Interested in refinishing your hardwood flooring? Contact us today to speak with one of our flooring specialists!
At Kruper Flooring, we want you to have the best experience possible. We want you to love your floors, and to love them for a very long time. We do understand however, that not everyone wants to have us be their exclusive flooring dealer. In saying that, it’s important to select the right installation company. Cutting corners may be ok in some cases, but when it comes to the floors you and your family walk on on a daily basis, you have to be diligent in your selection process.
- Improper Sanding
Maybe it’s not new floors you want, but refinishing of the floors you already have. If you’ve ever walked into a house and seen floors with waves in them, or dips, maybe even odd scratches or dents, you know what kind of damage a bad refinish can leave behind. An improper sanding will also leave piles of dust everywhere that can not only land in every nook and cranny of your home, it can also get into the finish. Once that flooring has been sealed, those dust particles will be sealed inside as well leaving a very undesirable grittiness and look to your finished floors.
- Toxic Mixing
Established companies such as ourselves know full well what the law is in mixing chemicals for stains. There is a standard protocol which is more than just a design for guidelines (meaning there’s more to it than just following the rules). Volatile Organic Compound Laws ban the mixing of certain chemicals used in stains due to their toxicity levels. Flooring professionals that prefer to cut corners, and not follow the law will use paint thinner or kerosene to thin out stains. Once the floors are finished, you’re still breathing those fumes (and your children and pets) for a long time afterwards. Hiring a company that is a member of the National Wood Flooring Association (NWFA) will avoid this dangerous possibility. So, why thin out stains? Stain comes in a condensed form, and must be thinned out for a uniform finish. Aside from toxic side-effects, you could end up with discoloration on your floor where the stain wasn’t thinned out properly.
- Installing at the Wrong Time
Hardwood floors are wood after all, and are no different than any other non-plastic material you use to install in and outside of your home. Timing is everything. Wood needs to be installed when the moisture levels outside are balanced. Otherwise, you could end up with floors that buckle, cup, or crown. We recognize when it’s just not a good day to install your floors (even if you took the day off). There should be a balance in moisture content and that kind of detail can only come from a reputable flooring company.
Like we said, we want you to love your floors for a very long time. Take some of that time to really do your research and select the flooring company that cares about you as much as you care about your home.