You've probably heard that refinishing your hardwood floors is a great deal cheaper than replacing them. Usually, that's true. But there are a few situations you need to look out for that will let you know that refinishing simply isn't an option.

Your Floorboards are Far Too Old

If your grandparent's parents danced across those same floorboards you're currently walking on, then they're far too old. Hardwood of all types can and will hold up for absurdly long periods of time. Unfortunately, they too must succumb to the ravages of time.

  • Does the floor feel soft and springy?
  • Are the boards thin and worn?
  • Are the floorboards showing you some tongue?
  • Are the boards loose and moving?

These are all signs the floorboards may be too old. Your best bet is to replace them. Chances are they've already seen their share of refinishing over the years. They're ready to go.

Your Floorboards Literally Look Hurt

If there's a lot of obvious damage to a large chunk of your floorboards, then it's probably not worth it to refinish. This goes for all types of damage like natural wood warp or termites having a meal. You can replaces such boards one at a time, but if over a quarter of your floorboards have such damage, then the effort isn't really worth it. Too many refinishing jobs will also leave the floorboards looking worn and weak.

Your Floorboards are Just…Nasty

There's a lot of things that can happen on, in, and under your floorboards. Insects can take up residence and start nesting. Permanent stains from a thousand years ago could be adding the wrong kind of character to your floors. Old water damage could have created a moldy mess that's festering just below the planks. Sometimes your floor isn't worth saving. Sometimes, you have to save your floor from itself.

Of course, many of these issues aren't on the surface. The stains are apparent, but you can cover those up with a rug if you want. But if there are things causing structural damage, then there's no way around it; you have to get rid of the floorboards.

You will need to install new hardwood (through professionals such as National Carpet Mill Outlet) once that damage is assessed and dealt with. Stuff like water damage and insects eating through your floors can cause far larger problems than having to deal with an old and ugly floor. The only reason you would have to save hardwood in any of these conditions is if the floor holds deeply sentimental value to you. Of course, that sentimentality is going to cost you.