To refinish or to replace, that is the question encountered by every homeowner. Hardwood floors become dull and are disposed to wear over the time. However, they can be sanded out and refinished up to 7 times and if treated in an appropriate manner their age can go over 20 years. Although it is a matter of the personal preference, some factors paly roll in choosing between polishing and aged hardwood floor or changing it with a new one. So, to make your mind about refinishing or replacing hardwood floors, please read on our points.


When it comes to the making decision between finishing and replacement of the floor, undoubtedly the most important factor is the cost. To tell the truth, refinishing a hardwood floor is always much cheaper than buying and installing a fresh one. Not only the hardwood floors are rather expensive floorings and though you have to invest a lot of money at the beginning (Don’t worry. It is an investment that always pays off over the time) but you have to afford the supplementary costs such as the cost of ripping up and hauling away the current hardwood floor and reinstalling the new one. You can offset the installation price by Doing Your Self (DIY). Nevertheless, it is a difficult task and demands specialised knowledge, experience, and tools. After all, it is up to you to invest a considerable amount of money on the hardwood floor or have it polished with much less budget.

Time and Mess

Refinishing a hardwood floor is a time-consuming and messy task. The most important is the time needed to complete the floor refinishing, at least 4-5 days. Because it makes a lot of dust in the room, during the sanding and varnishing process the room should be empty, all furniture and foods have to move out and it is necessary to cover and seal all holes and passages to the other rooms. As the floor is refinished no one allowed to walk on the floor, no animal is going to sniff over the wood or no children can play on it. If your family already live in the house, you have to refinish the rooms one by one, making the things more strenuous. In contrary, if it is done by an expert, floor replacement with a prefinished hardwood takes considerably less time and effort. Furthermore, it makes less mess and dust and your family can occupy the house while the process goes on. Alternately, if you are going to move to a new house and you have enough time, refinishing a lackluster hardwood floor is the more convenient yet less costly option for you. For that, you can hire a professional or Do It Yourself (DIY).


Nowadays, fashions are everywhere. But, as it is said,” Fashions come and go, but style goes on forever”. The hardwood floors are no exceptions. You may want to change the style, color or species of a hardwood floor. The best solution, in this case, is to replace the entire floor. For example, utilizing wider planks in the floor is more stylish and endows the room a larger and more modern look.

In addition, because the eyes follow the longest length in the room, laying the hardwood planks on the diagonal direction makes the room seem more spacious. The parquet tiles are no more in the fashion for the time being and make the room look smaller. Changing to hardwood floors with wide and long stipes is the wise option which results in improving the overall look of the room. The other reason that might persuade you to replace the hardwood floor is changing the wood species. It is possible to change the old oak hardwood floor with a Brazilian Cherry, clear maple or a more modern alternative, bamboo. Even, you can go further and involve your imagination. For instance, one can implement an artistic wood pattern with a creative herringbone border. Last but not the least point, the color of hardwood floors are easily changeable. Therefore, if you don’t like the floor color, you have the opportunity to refinish and stain the floor with a low budget and without much effort rather than having it to be replaced.

Condition and Age

Refinishing a weary and teary hardwood floor is not an option. You have to examine the condition of the floor. If the majority of the floor is damaged, it time to replace the floor. Some examples of such damage are chipped or wrapped woods, deep cracks, and tongues where the boards fit together. Since refinishing a moving floor makes its condition worth rather than restoring it, squeaky and unstable floors are good candidates for replacement.

Besides, some termite damages and animal stains cannot be polished even by deep sanding the floor. In that case, the quick fix is buying and installing a new hardwood floor. As a rule of thumb, if more than one-third of the floor is influenced, consider replacement of the floor. On the other hand, when only a limited number of planks on the floor is out of order, you can change them without having to change the whole floor. Of course, style, color, and grains of new woods should agree with the present floor. Moreover, refinishing a very old hardwood floor is not a preferable choice most of the times. Whenever you can see board nails exposed, it indicates that the floor has been already refinished many times and so there is no adequate thickness to finish it again. The good news is that once you installed a new hardwood floor, you have to rarely replace it.

Furthermore, too many termite damaged, insect-infested or chipped boards imply an out of repair hardwood floor. In almost all cases refinishing a hardwood floor is a more economical choice compared to replacing it. Indeed, the cost of floor replacement is five times that of refinishing. However, sanding and finishing a hardwood floor requires a lot of time and skill as well as it is an extremely dusty and odorous work. Besides, the room has to be left unoccupied during the process. If most floor planks are impaired or the floor is too thin to sand out, replacing the floor is your only option. Following the trends in flooring is another reason for some people to replace the current hardwood floor with a more elegant and modern option. Although it is not cheap, it will give your room a face-lift and beyond, an incredible look.

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