Hardwood floors take a lot of abuse. Here in Calgary over time, they can become chipped, warped, stained or just dull. Eventually, you’ll be faced with the choice to refinish it and restore it to its original condition, or tear it up and completely replace it. This is an extremely tough decision that you should really think about before committing to one or the other.

In almost every case, it’s preferable to refinish rather than replace hardwood floors. Refinishing is much cheaper. Too many people over-react to their wearing hardwood and instantly opt to replace it. This is a major problem because a quality hardwood floor can be refinished at least 6 times before needing replacement. Often, all your beat up hardwood floor needs is a revamp. Squeaky floors can be tightened, holes can be plugged and damaged sections can be patched. A few fixes and you’ll have your broken floor looking like new.

Lots of people want to replace their old wooden floor simply because they don’t like the look of it. If your goal is to brighten the shade, consider refinishing. Obviously, if you want a completely different look and style, you’ll need to invest in a full replacement. Don’t make a rash decision to replace your wood floor before it has a chance to be rejuvenated. Of course, there are times where replacement is the only realistic option. If your hardwood floor has a structural problem that requires the subfloor to be fixed, or if you have extreme movement between boards, your floor isn’t a good candidate for refinishing. These floors should be completely replaced.

There are some drawbacks to refinishing at least in the near-term. It can take a lot of time. All furniture needs to be removed, wood needs to be sanded bare, repairs made and re-stained and re-coated. All the while, your home is not usable. On the other hand, replacement can be done in only a couple of days. Additionally, it’s messy. Dust is everywhere and the smell is horrible. You get the idea. Often these reasons alone are enough for a homeowner to prefer having the old floor ripped out and replaced rather than refinishing.

When it comes down to it, whether you refinish or replace your hardwood floors depends on personal circumstances. There are definite positives and negatives to both options. Just remember that replacing them will cost as much as 3-5 times more than refinishing them so don’t be in a rush to give up on your old wood floor just yet.