Hardwood floors come with many benefits for your home. From the elegant beauty of this traditional option to the sturdy, long-lasting foundation it creates, it’s no wonder so many homeowners are fond of their hardwood floors. However, as with any aspect of your home, the wear and tear will eventually get to be too much. Maybe you bought an older house that’s starting to show some age, or perhaps your home is just old enough that the floors are barely beginning to show signs of wear. No matter the cause, a few key indicators will you when it’s time for a change. Keep an eye out for these eight signs it’s time to replace your hardwood floors.
You’ve already refinished them—a lot
A major upside to hardwood floors is the fact that you can often refinish them rather than replace them completely. Refinishing involves sanding down the wood and adding a fresh layer of stain or sealant. This is a great way to handle minor scratches and damage. It can also be a quick way to mix up your home’s style. Unfortunately, floorboards are only so thick. Too much sanding can wear them down until they’re too thin. When you refinish hardwood too many times, it becomes less structurally sound and more likely to crack. After a few refinishes, it’s probably time to get a full replacement.
Large scratches and marks
From rearranging the furniture to pets running around, scratches are just a part of life for people with hardwood floors. A few marks aren’t cause for concern, but you might consider replacing your hardwood floors if these scratches cover a large area. You should also keep an eye out for any large chips or gouges. If a scratch is deep enough to cut through the stain and reach the wood, then your floor becomes more vulnerable to water damage. Even minor spills can cause serious damage if they manage to seep into the wood beneath the stain.
Water damage is one of the few downsides to owning hardwood floors. Engineered hardwood is more resistant to water damage than solid hardwood, but both types are susceptible to stains, warping, and other issues when the floor is exposed to moisture. A good seal or stain will keep spills from soaking into your floor, but if your home suffers from flooding, plumbing issues, or similar problems, some serious damage can occur. Water damage often leads to the wood warping or separating, and a refinish isn’t enough to take care of the problem. This makes water damage one of the most crucial signs that it’s time to replace your hardwood floors.
Nails are peeking through
No one wants a nail head sticking out of their floor. Exposed nails aren’t just unattractive nuisances—they can cause some serious pain for you and your family. Unfortunately, these often appear in high-traffic areas such as the living room or entryway, so the chances of stubbing a toe or snagging a sock are even higher. As with scratches, one or two exposed nail heads isn’t cause for a total replacement. However, if you start finding exposed nails across larger parts of the floor, it might be time to look into new flooring.
The color of your hardwood floors might change for a few reasons. For example, long-term exposure to the sun can cause colors to fade. You can fix this washed-out look by restaining or refinishing your floors. However, water damage might be the source of your floor’s discoloration. If your hardwood absorbs water, it starts to oxidize and change color. Gray stains and discoloration are common signs of water damage. At this stage, a refinish will fix the problem. If left unchecked, though, the stain will get darker and eventually turn black. This is usually a sign that the water has damaged the wood’s structure and that you should replace the hardwood.
Excessive wear and tear
One of the most appealing elements of your gorgeous hardwood floor is its durability. Because they’re made from real wood, hardwood floors can stand the test of time. However, like all natural materials, they’ll eventually start to show their age—especially in high-traffic areas such as the living room or entryway. Keep an eye on the stain, as this will show the first signs of excessive wear on your floors. If the stain starts to fade or completely wears away, you can fix the problem by simply refinishing your floors. However, worn stain can lead to more serious issues such as splintered or warped wood, both of which call for a replacement.
Creaking or moving floorboards
If walking through your living room starts to sound like walking through a haunted house, you should probably check out your hardwood floors. Creaking floorboards usually mean the wood is rubbing against itself or against the subfloor. This might just be a symptom of age, but it can also signify weakened structural integrity. Moving floorboards also indicate this: floorboards that bend or shift when you walk across them might be the result of major water damage or cracks in the foundation. Keep an eye out for more subtle movement as well. Hardwood flooring that dips or swells frequently denotes larger structural issues.
It’s just time for something new
Of course, you don’t have to have a major issue to replace your floors. Our homes just need a little change on occasion. Fortunately, hardwood flooring comes in a variety of options. Find different species of wood, warmer or darker tones, or a new texture or grade. Brand-new hardwood flooring can completely transform your home, giving you the fresh style or look you crave.
Fortunately, replacing your hardwood floor doesn’t have to be a horrible ordeal. Engineered hardwood flooring manufacturers in the USA, such as From the Forest, make it easy for you to find affordable, nationally sourced hardwood for your home. Engineered hardwood is easy to install and creates less strain on natural resources, but it still provides your home with gorgeous and durable natural hardwood flooring.