Hardwood floor

It’s easy to tell when your hardwood floors need some attention. But deciding what to do next isn’t as simple. Here’s a quick guide to help you decide between a quick refinish or repair of the wood floor versus a total replacement.

Define the problem.

Before you jump into a project, diagnose your flooring’s problems. Pinpointing your issues will help you find the perfect solution, while keeping you from going over budget or making expensive mistakes.


Address splotches, scratches or stains with a refinish. Refinishes are cheaper than a replacement and will give your floor a brand new look. Updating your flooring with a new finish is extensive, dirty and invasive work. Be sure to set aside plenty of time to complete the job. Before you start your project, it’s important to remove all of your furniture from the work area. Also, after your floors are finished, allow your home a few days to air out — especially if you have pets or children.

Recommended for: Scratches, stains, burns, chips, dull finishes

Pros: Affordable, improved aesthetics, DIY-able

Cons: Labor intensive, invasive


If your floors are too thin to refinish, or if they’re severely warped or damaged, consider a replacement. A hardwood replacement will address any floor-related issues and give your home’s interior a fresh start. Flooring replacements are quicker than refinishes, but they come with higher cost.

Don’t feel the need for a total replacement if your damage is limited to one area. A well-trained pro can install a flooring patch and match it to your older hardwood. Flooring patches will limit the amount of money and time you spend on your replacement.

Recommended for: Severe warping, termite damage, shifting foundations, subfloor issues

Pros: Long lasting investment, improved aesthetics

Cons: Expensive

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