5 Signs That It's Time To Have Your Hardwood Flooring Refinished

Posted on: 6 February 2020

While hardwood flooring is very durable, it does require proper maintenance. One of the maintenance tasks you'll need to perform on your hardwood flooring is periodic refinishing. This process sands down your hardwood floor in order to remove the current finish along with a small amount of wood. After that, multiple layers of finish are applied to the floor in order to protect it from water and scratches.

Letting your hardwood floor finish wear down opens it up to water damage and deep gouges, so it's important to refinish your floor periodically. Below are five ways you can know that it's time to refinish your flooring.

1. Your Floor Is Turning Too Amber

Most oil-based hardwood floor finishes will turn amber over time as the oil reacts with ultraviolet light. Some water-based finishes are designed to yellow, as well.

For darker hardwoods, this is typically a desirable feature — it produces a deep amber color that adds visual richness to the flooring. Lighter hardwoods, on the other hand, can start to resemble a bowling alley or a high school gym as the yellow color deepens.

If you're not happy with your floors becoming yellow, the only way to reverse this process is to have your hardwood floor refinished with one that doesn't turn yellow with time.

2. Your Floor Is Turning Gray

When your current finish is wearing off in places, moisture begins to creep inside the wood. The moisture causes the wood to oxidize and turn gray. This is not only visually unattractive, but it can damage your hardwood floor as well.

Excess moisture causes wood to swell, and the boards in your hardwood floor don't have much space to expand in. This causes them to turn upwards at the edges as the wood tries to find a direction to expand towards. Refinishing your hardwood floor to restore its water protection will remove the gray color and stop it from being damaged.

3. Your Floor Is Becoming Discolored by Sunlight

When hardwood is exposed to sunlight, it typically becomes lighter in color. This can lead to large areas of discoloration in areas next to windows — the sunlit boards will be much lighter than the adjacent boards.

When you refinish your hardwood floor, the sanding process will remove the topmost layer of wood. This exposes the hardwood underneath that hasn't been discolored by sunlight, which makes the colors in your hardwood floor even again.

4. Your Floor Has Numerous Scratches

One of the most common reasons why people refinish their hardwood floors is to remove scratches. Hardwood floors can have scratches in the finish as well as the wood itself. The thorough sanding process during hardwood refinishing will eliminate both by exposing a brand-new layer of wood and applying a new finish to it.

When you have deep scratches in your hardwood floor, it's better to replace the individual boards that are damaged before you begin the refinishing process. Refinishing only removes a very small amount of wood, which is why you can have a hardwood floor refinished numerous times over its lifespan. Refinishing your floor after replacing the boards makes sure that they're all the same color afterwards and have an even layer of finish.

5. Your Floor Longer Repels Water

One of the most important features of hardwood floor finish is that it protects the wood from moisture and water that is spilled on it. If you've spilled some water on your hardwood floor accidentally and notice that it immediately creates a darkened water spot, it's time to have it refinished. The current layer of finish is no longer protecting the wood underneath from water damage.

Regardless of the reason you choose to have your hardwood floor refinished, it's important to have it done by a professional hardwood refinishing service. If a hardwood floor isn't sanded correctly or if you don't wait long enough for a layer of finish to dry before applying the next one, you'll end up with permanent discolorations. A professional hardwood refinishing company has the expertise necessary to rapidly restore your floor to an unblemished condition without risking damage.