When are hardwood floors beyond repair?

When are hardwood floors beyond repair?

When you invest in hardwood floors, you want them to last. With proper care, hardwood floors can stay beautiful for decades. But sometimes, there is damage beyond repair. Knowing when to repair and when to replace is a common question that we hear from many of our clients as a hardwood flooring company.

If you are starting to notice any signs of normal wear and tear, like dents from dropped items, scratches from your furry friends’ nails, stains from spilled food, or water damage from houseplants, you may be unsure what kind of services your floors need to look brand new. Just like any other material, hardwood floors will eventually wear out. For continued longevity and a beautiful finish, it’s important to stay on top of their maintenance needs.

So, when are hardwood floors beyond repair? The answer is when there is serious damage, like deep gouges, major warping, or wood rot. Other simpler damages, like stains, scratches, and dents, can often be refinished instead.

Nonetheless, it can still be challenging to decipher between a floor that can look new with a refinish versus one that should be replaced entirely. Our flooring experts are here to help. These are some factors to consider when assessing the needs of your hardwood floors.

Should You Repair Hardwood Floors or Replace the Wood?

The first thing to consider is the type of damage present. This will guide you down one of two paths: repair vs. replacement. The type of damage on hardwood floors is the most important piece to consider because of the different processes involved in fixing your floors.

The most common types of damage that plague hardwood floor owners are water damage, stains, scratches, and gouges. These typically only require a simple refinish to correct. However, more substantial damages, like splitting, cracking, gapping boards, buckling, and warping, are probably going to take a lot more effort to fix. In some extreme cases, even the replacement of sections in your flooring may be required.

Here’s When to Repair Your Hardwood Floors

Luckily, most damages can be repaired with a proper refinish. As a good rule of thumb, here is what to look out for when it comes to damage that requires simple repairs.

Gaps Between the Planks

Wood naturally changes with moisture levels, but over time this can lead to gapping between the boards and unevenness. Because weather and humidity cause wood to shrink and expand, gaps can form between each of the planks. Additionally, issues with the foundation of the home can also cause gaps. It is best to identify the reason behind the gapping before jumping into repairs.

Cracks or Split Wood

As the wood gets older, it can lose the natural barriers that keep it healthy looking. If left too long and enough time passes, this loss of moisture and oil can result in boards cracking. The good news is that unless a board is cracked all the way down the length, it can be repaired. Even if a plank is cracked up the whole middle, it’s possible to replace a single board.

Buckling of Planks

This occurs when planks pull up from the subfloor and warp. In cases of buckling, it is best first to find the problem that is causing the condition and then have that repaired. It could be an installation issue, for example. The fix for this is straightforward once the root cause is found. Repairs involve making sure the boards are securely attached to the subfloor. 

Cupped Flooring

Just like other parts of your house, flooring also experiences changes due to factors like moisture. Cupping is when the edges of a plank rise up, leaving the center turned down, creating a sort of cup shape. This is usually due to an imbalance of moisture under the planks. Before repairing your hardwood, the moisture issue in the home needs to be addressed to avoid future cupping issues.

Signs It’s Time to Replace Your Hardwood Floors

When you own hardwood floors, you’re going to have a ton of questions. Questions like: What is the cost of hardwood floor replacement? Does my entire flooring need to be replaced? Questions like these can be answered once you establish how bad the damage is.

As we talked about above, most damage is no cause for replacement. But sometimes, there is no other option. Replacement is only required in dire circumstances when the hardwood is too far gone. Usually, this is when the hardwood is damaged to a point where it is no longer functional or practical to keep.

Signs That You Should Replace Your Hardwood Floors

Depending on the severity, it could be wise to replace all of your flooring or just a portion. But if you notice signs such as warping, termite damage, and rotting, then an entire replacement is most likely necessary. These conditions can’t be reversed with refinishing or repair techniques.

Warping of Floors

There are situations when boards can warp and be repaired. However, if the warp is permanent, then you need to replace the wood entirely. Permanent warping is caused by situations like flooding or extreme temperatures. Once a board is warped, it cannot be returned to a functional form, it must be replaced.

Sagging Floors

Look at your floors straight-on; do they look even? If you notice that your floor is sagging in certain spots, it means the subfloor has been damaged or has weakened. This happens in cases of structural damage and water damage specifically. Replacing a few boards will not fix the problem, so it is best to replace the whole floor.

Termites (Enough Said)

Many homeowners dread the word termites because it signals high costs. Hardwood flooring is a playground for termites to cause damage to your home. If they get to your floors, that means there is an infestation. 

Only after the infestation is dealt with is it safe to replace the floors. You will have to replace most, if not all, of the flooring due to the massive amount of structural damage that termites do as they consume wood.

Rotting Boards

This is rare to find in most households, as people with hardwood flooring tend to take care of it. That is not to say that it does not happen, however. Rot means that the wood has been wet consistently for a long amount of time; think flooding, still water, or a persistent leak. 

With the wood being unprotected from the water for so long, it loses structure, integrity, and functionality. These situations absolutely require full replacement to guarantee that the subflooring underneath the wood is safe and that it can be replaced at all.

Is Replacing Hardwood Floors Worth It?

It’s no cheap task to replace your hardwood floors. If you’re on the fence about replacing the flooring, do know that it is well worth the investment. 

Hardwood floors are long-lasting and can add resale value to your home. They also create a great environment for any room in the house, making it look stylish and timeless. And with proper maintenance, hardwood floors can look good for decades.

That being said, when hardwood flooring is beyond repair, it’s essential to replace it right away. Not only will you save yourself from headaches in the future, but you’ll also protect your family by creating a safe living environment

Your Repair, Replace, and Refinish Hardwood Flooring Specialists

Is your hardwood floor aging? Showing damage? If your wood floors have seen better days, you can bring them back to life with repair or replacement services. Keep your home beautiful and safe by investing in your flooring.

If you’re in Colorado Springs, look no further for a hardwood flooring contractor! Our craftsmen specialize in repair, replacement, and refinishing services. At G3 Hardwood Flooring, we understand that hardwood flooring repairs and replacements can be a tricky process. That’s why our team of professionals will make sure that you get the perfect results. Get a free estimate from Colorado Springs’ best hardwood flooring company — contact us today!