Got Hardwood Floors? 3 Nasty Predicaments That Might Just Ruin Your Refinishing Plans

The 1970s were a tumultuous time for hardwood floors. Not only were builders turning to other, more popular floor types, such as carpet and vinyl, to please homeowners who had fallen out of love with wood, but new technological advances were on the horizon that would change the wood flooring industry forever. In 1977, the first laminate floors were developed, but they weren't marketed in the United States until approximately 1994.

If you're lucky enough to have gorgeous hardwood floors that were laid before other wood options became available, such as laminate and engineered hardwood, you're in luck. Unlike other flooring options, hardwood floors can be repaired, cleaned and refinished to restore their luster and beauty 95 percent of the time. But what about the other 5 percent? Following are three nasty floor predicaments that might just ruin your refinishing plans.

Pest Damage

When working on an older home, it's quite possible that you will encounter some sort of pest damage. Grooves hollowed out by termites, urine and feces stains and chewed wood are all types of damage caused by pests. In many cases, you can replace the damaged portion of wood and carry on with your plans. However, if the damage is extensive, you might have to replace all your wood floors. 

Moisture Issues

Excess moisture found in hardwood flooring and the subfloor can make your lovely hardwoods appear cupped or crowned, which can make refinishing impossible. Additionally, moisture may also lead to a great deal of movement and shifting, which will make sanding and refinishing impossible. What's more, structural issues caused by water damage may require that you pull out all the floors and start over with a new subfloor. If you have moisture damage, your refinishing dreams might just go down the drain. 

Too Much Wear

Most hardwood floors can be refinished up to six or seven times before having to be replaced. However, if you have to sand off too much wood to remove pet stains, discoloration and grime, you might not have enough wood left after sanding to refinish your floors. If you notice that sanding reveals a great deal of nails, or that the floors are falling apart at the tongue-and-groove joints, you might have to put down new floors. While you can patch trouble areas, you will want to replace the entire floor if large portions need to be removed and replaced.

Most hardwood floors can be cleaned, sanded and refinished. However, there are a few scenarios that are not so easily fixed, including extensive pest damage, water damage and excessive wear. If your floor has issues that cannot be fixed easily, it's in your best interest to put down new wood before finishing your floors. To learn more, speak with someone like J Maintenance Co.