Here are the top 10 signs that your hardwood floors need to be refinished:
- Dull appearance. Over time, hardwood floors lose their shine and gloss as the finish wears down from foot traffic and other factors. If your floors have lost their luster and now look dull and tired, it’s a clear sign the finish is worn out and needs to be refinished to restore the shine and beauty.
- Visible scratches and scuffs. Heavy use over the years will inevitably lead to scratches, scuffs, and dents appearing on the floor’s surface. While minor scratches can sometimes be repaired, if the scratches and damage are numerous and wide-spread, it’s best to refinish the entire floor to remove scratches and restore a unified appearance.
- Dings and dents. In addition to scratches, hardwood floors can develop deeper dings and indentations from furniture legs, dropped objects, pet claws, and more. Refinishing is often needed to fully remove dings and fill in any low spots in the wood.
- Stains and discoloration. Spills, moisture, and other sources can cause localized stains and discolored spots that won’t come clean. Refinishing is required to completely remove ingrained stains by stripping off the damaged finish.
- Floor doesn’t “feel” smooth. Over time, foot traffic can cause the hardwood finish to develop a roughened, sandpapery feel that detracts from the smoothness. Refinishing restores a smooth satin or glossy feel underfoot.
- Edges and corners look worn. High-traffic areas like edges and corners tend to show wear first as the finish breaks down from shoes scuffing against the floor. Refinishing restores integrity to worn edges and corners.
- Finish is peeling or flaking. Exposure to excess moisture or other factors can degrade the finish to the point it begins peeling up or flaking off in places. Refinishing is required to replace the compromised finish.
- Visible wear rings. Furniture patterns like table or chair “wear rings” become visible as the finish breaks down in heavily used spaces. These ring marks necessitate refinishing the entire floor.
- Floor feels uneven. Over many years, heavy traffic patterns may cause the flooring to cup, crown, or develop dips and hollows from compacting. Refinishing can substantially level out uneven wear.
- Floor just looks “old” and tired. Even if no other noticeable signs of wear are evident, if a hardwood floor simply has an overall dull, aged look after 10-20 years, refinishing will dramatically renew and revive its appearance.
If your hardwood floors show several of these common signs of finish degradation and wear, it’s highly recommended to have them professionally refinished. Refinishing restores floors to “like-new” condition and can add 10-20 more years of beauty and lifespan to your investment in hardwood.