How Often Should You Refinish Hardwood Floors?

Hardwood floors are durable and attractive flooring options for nearly every room in your home.

Type of Finish

Refinishing hardwood can preserve your floors for years to come.Refinishing hardwood can preserve your floors for years to come.
Because real hardwood flooring is so versatile in style and installation, it can coordinate with any design motif. If properly maintained, hardwood floorings can last for generations. Regular sanding and refinishing keep your hardwood floor looking great for years.

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.

Additional Protection

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.

About the Author

Liza Hollis has been writing for print and online publications since 2003. Her work has appeared on various digital properties, including USAToday.com. Hollis earned a degree in English Literature from the University of Florida.