We will start our first blog post with a topic that we constantly come across with our clients. As an industry leader in hardwood installation for three decades, we have come across it all when it comes to customers and their floors. The main question seems to be “is it worth keeping old hardwood and giving it an update?” vs. “should we start fresh and install new hardwood?”
We are here to explain why hardwood is so unique and how to go about deciding between new and old. We will start by saying wood is the cream of the crop! It is a gorgeous, natural, hypoallergenic and long-lasting sign of quality in a home. When old hardwood is present, it adds a great sense of charm, class and history. However, it also comes with signs of aging like noisy boards, imperfections, sun spots.
Starting with fresh, new hardwood is a good option in a few scenarios besides wanting a change aesthetically. Things to consider: if there has been major damage- floors with a lot of movement between boards are not good for refinishing because the movement will affect the sanding and finish. If there has been significant structural damage- those that require the flooring to be removed so the subfloor can be fixed. Floors that have been sanded too many times may not have enough wood left to sand. Problems that exist like this pre-sanding will only magnify the problems post-sanding.
That all said, wood is built to last and a properly cared for wood floor is even better for its longevity. The key thing is the expectation in a customer. A customer should know not to expect that a sand and refinish will make their floor look brand new. It will refresh the aesthetics, preserve the wood, smooth things down and perhaps change the stain/color/tone, but it will likely not make the floor look brand new.
So at the end of the day, it is safe to say most hardwood floors can be preserved and salvaged (assuming no major structural damage)- boards can be sanded, holes can be plugged, floors can be patched, similar or matching boards can be replaced going generally unnoticed. After evaluating all of the above, the customer will have a much better base to go off of to make a smart decision.
It is important for customers to contact a reputable company to come for an in-home consultation to discuss any desires or concerns, and so that a professional can assess and detect any problems areas as well as take down measurements. From there, the customer and the flooring company can work together to come up with the best possible flooring scenario.