Homeowners with hardwood floors will often consider having them refinished after a lengthy of period of time living in the home. But the thing about knowing when to have the job done is that it may not always be so easy to determine if it’s truly necessary.
That’s because hardwood is supposed to age and the older it gets, the better it looks. But there is a tipping point and before too long the flooring appears faded and worn out. So refinishing is a smart step to take but you just have to be careful about when you pull the trigger.
Some handy homeowners will attempt to perform the work themselves while those less adept at the whole DIY thing will prefer to hire a professional to do it instead. Either way, you need to be aware that such an undertaking can be a huge upheaval of your home. That means clearing out furniture and appliances, re-routing foot traffic in the house around the affected room and there will be dust and debris to clean up. Not to mention things like sealers, polyurethane, stains and other chemicals that can create a distinct odor.
Therefore, anyone even considering having their hardwood floors refinished should really contemplate if that time has come or it’s better to wait until later down the line.
To Refinish or Not?
Sure you’re going to have to re-arrange everything in the home to do the job, but hold up a second. You need to know what refinishing can do to the wood in your floor because you could actually be causing damage instead of renovating the boards.
Refinishing requires sanding away the surface of the wood and you may be destroying the grain that has emerged over the years. That aesthetic factor is what gives hardwood flooring its distinct and appealing appearance. If you eliminate that, you could be ruining that particular detailing.
But then how can you tell? Well, just take a close look at the floor and assess its current condition. If you detect scratches on the surface and the finish has faded considerably then you probably don’t need to mount a full refinishing job, a screening is likely all you need to do.
Screening a hardwood floor is a when you rough over the finish that is still on the floor and then apply a secondary finish over that to restore the luster of your wood. This method is far less invasive and it can even cost a lot less than the alternative. Clean the boards. Fill in the minor scratches and your floor will look good as new.
The Right Time
Okay, you performed that visual analysis of the floor and it’s a lot worse than some fading and minor surface scratches. Yes, you need to have the wood completely refinished. So when is the right time to have the work done? You’ve got a few options based on your particular situation. ‘
The easiest of all these options is the instance where you’re buying a home and there needs to be some repair work done prior to moving in. If the floors are part of that work, then all the better. Getting the floors refinished while the house is empty lets you avoid having to deal with the mess, the odor, and the upheaval that homeowners experience when they refinish when living in the home.
This can also cut down on the expense of the job as moving all that furniture around is going to be a component of your labor costs. If you’re looking for the ideal time to refinish the floors in your home, it’s before you move in.
Go on Vacation
If you’re going to refinish your floors, but don’t want to be around all the commotion that comes with it, get out of the house for a while. Take a vacation, a business trip, or just stay with a friend or move into a hotel for the time being. Most of these jobs take as little as four and as many as seven days to complete.
The best bet for refinishing while you’re living in the house is to leave it while the workers do their job.
Selling Your Home
A very good time to refinish the floors is when you’re planning to put the house on the market. New buyers will see the poor condition of the hardwood and they may stay away because it’s another expense that they won’t want to take on. It might even lower the purchase price.
So think about whether or not the floors are in dire need of refinishing and then get the job done before you put the house up for sale. It’ll attract more interest from potential buyers and you can increase the value on a future sale.
For more information about refinishing and the work that goes into it, click here.