Type of Finish
Before you finish your floor, determine the type of finish your floor has. If your home was built before the 1960s and your wood flooring is original to the home, it probably has a shellac or varnish finish. If your floor is more recent, it probably has a polyurethane finish. When refinishing any wood floor, it is important to sand the wood thoroughly to remove any previous sealant.
Type of Wood
The type of wood also can determine how often you should refinish your floor. Some woods are more durable and therefore need to be refinished less often. For example, hardwood oak flooring is extremely durable and can go years without needing to be refinished. Maple floors are difficult to refinish on your own and need regular professional care.
Signs of Wear
Visible wear and tear is a good indicator that you should refinish your hardwood floors. You usually can remove light scuffs with mineral oil or a wood floor cleaner, but you need to refinish if you have significant damage. If sanding and finishing your floors is not enough, you might need to remove some planks and replaced them with new ones. In this case, you should sand and refinish the whole floor to ensure that the stain color matches.
Refinishing your hardwood floors is essential to preserving them for generations. But in addition to refinishing, protect high-traffic areas with area rugs that can absorb scuffs, trap dirt that can damage wood finishes, and hide minor scratches and discoloration.