Hardwood floors are known for their extreme durability and longevity; in fact, there have been cases of hardwood lasting for more than a lifetime.

However, it’s fair to say that nothing on this planet lasts forever. While refinishing and proper care will prolong the life and viability of your hardwood flooring and are important parts of upkeeping hardwood, there still will come a time when your hardwood floors can no longer serve their purpose. Eventually, if you stay with your home long enough, you probably will need to replace your hardwood floors.

How do you know when it’s time for this extensive project? And how can you know when a refinishing job instead will do the trick and leave your floors looking like new? UB Hardwoods, a Plymouth floor installer and expert in hardwood floors and engineered hardwood flooring, explains below.


Just like any other flooring, your hardwood will no doubt take its fair share of physical abuse over its lifetime. Scuffs, gouges, and spills all can contribute to a dull, lifeless look, not to mention degrade your flooring’s structural integrity over the years. Though hardwood flooring is tough, and regular refinishing can keep it going strong for decades, sometimes enough is enough, and you need to bite the bullet and replace it—like when you see the signs below.

Severely Warped Wood

While refinishing can fix cosmetic concerns and small disfigurements, if your hardwood’s boards are severely cupped or tented due to moisture exposure, they’ll be needing replacement. Just make sure to fix the water problem before purchasing new boards.

Movement Between the Boards

Refinishing this type of flooring is nearly impossible, as the movement of the boards against the sander affects the finished quality of the job. Replacement is a much better option in this case.

You’re Ready for a Change

Refinishing generally can’t drastically change the way your flooring looks, unless you hire an expert, like ours at UB Hardwoods. Usually, if you’re just dying to change the color or texture of your floor, replacement is the best option.


As a general rule, the vast amount of hardwood flooring damage can be solved with a refinishing job, as we cover in our flooring blog. That’s part of what makes this flooring type so appealing; it can take a beating and come back to looking like new with just a bit of professional help. But that’s not the only thing this wonderful flooring brings to the table; check out why it’s an awesome fit for your whole home here.

If you’re in doubt about whether you need refinishing or a whole new hardwood floor, read on; below are some signs that the former would be more beneficial for you than the latter.

It’s Been a Few Years Since Your Last Refinishing Job

Of course, this isn’t a hard-and-fast rule; hardwood flooring can be severely damaged and also be overdue for a refinishing job. Regular professional care, though, is a necessity. According to Bob Vila, “hardwood floors start showing their age around 10 years after installation,” which is right about the time you should consider a refinishing job. This, of course, varies; high-traffic areas may need more frequent refinishing, while less active areas might not require such care. If you’re ever unsure, a flooring pro can provide you with a better idea of where your hardwood stands.

The Sun Has Had its Way With Your Flooring

Just like anything that’s exposed to the sun over the long term, your hardwood flooring can fade. Luckily, though, a simple refinishing can destroy years of wear in this respect, leaving your floors as beautiful as the day they were first installed. Plus, though refinishing can’t drastically change your flooring’s looks, you still have the opportunity for staining, which can alter its color significantly and make sun damage a thing of the past.

If you’re looking to avoid sun damage with your hardwoods, though, certain finishes are available that come with built-in UV protection. Though they still can wear through with the years, as all finish is liable to do, they still are a great option for refinishing a sun-heavy area.


No matter if you’re in need of refinishing or a complete replacement, our Plymouth flooring company can help. Give us a call now at 763-807-4500.

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