Quality wood flooring can last for centuries, and its longevity gives it unmatched character. But like any natural material, it still degrades over time. This process can be sped up by environmental conditions like heavy foot traffic, pets, incorrect installation, improper cleaning methods, and more. And while wood flooring can be refinished to maintain its look and help sustain its strength, there are some issues that can't be solved by refinishing.
There are several signs that your wood flooring needs to be replaced, and it's important to understand them so that you don't replace it too early, or too late. Here are some of the top things to look for.
You've Refinished it Multiple Times
A huge plus to real wood flooring is that you can often give it a second (and third) life by refinishing it more than once. This is done by sanding the finish down and adding a new stain or sealant. It's a great way to remove scratches and other wear and tear. However, too much or improper refinishing can eventually leave the floorboards thinner than desired, causing structural issues. After refinishing a few times, it's probably time to consider fully replacing them.
Chips or Gouges in the Wood
Minor scratches are nothing to worry about, but larger ones (especially deep ones) can be cause for concern. If a chip or gouge has permeated beyond the stain or sealant, it can leave your wood floors vulnerable to water damage should a large spill occur. If you have several of these weak points in your flooring, you may want to be proactive and replace your wood floors.
Particularly if you live in an older home, you may start to notice nail heads sticking out above the surface of your wood floor. These can easily create hazards, especially for those walking barefoot around the house. A few nails here and there may not be an issue, but if you're starting to see these on more than 30 percent of your wood floors, it's probably time to replace them.
If you notice cupping or swelling of your wood floorboards, you may have water damage. Water damage can occur from spills on the wood, leaks in your home, or even moisture imbalances in the air. Other signs can include cracking in the floor, the boards separating, or the wood becoming weak and soft. Discoloration of the wood can also signal water damage. When this happens, it's important to fix or replace the wood flooring as soon as possible. Depending on how severe and widespread the damage is, it may be time to replace your wood floors entirely.
You Want a Different Look
Sometimes there's nothing structurally wrong with your wood floors – you just want something different. And why go through the effort of refinishing and maintaining your floors if you're hoping to switch up your look soon anyway. After all, your wood flooring can have a significant impact on the overall look and feel of your home.
If it's time to replace your wood floors, consider refreshing your look with circle sawn Douglas Fir flooring from Marks Lumber. Our made-in-Montana flooring can help you achieve various styles from rustic and farmhouse, to contemporary or industrial. Contact us today to make your vision a reality.