Should I Refinish or Replace My Hardwood Floors?

Jul 03, 2023
What to Expect When Your Prefinished Hardwood Floors are Installed

If you start to notice your hardwood floors are becoming a bit worn down, it can be difficult to figure out if you should hire someone to refinish or replace your floors. This decision is entirely up to the specific circumstance, and here is what you should know in order to decide:

First, what is refinishing?

In order to keep the surface of your floors looking new, hardwood floors can be refinished up to 10 ten times (if they’re solid hardwood). Refinishing involves sanding off the top layer of the floor, and then adding a fresh top coat over the existing wood. Don’t fret if your floors are engineered, you can also refinish them. Homeowners usually refinish their floors to remove the appearance of chips or stains. Others may just want to change the stain color of their floors.

When deciding whether to refinish or replace, it may be helpful to weigh what each method can bring to your hardwood floor.

Pros of Refinishing Your Hardwood Floors

Pros of Refinishing Hardwood Floors
Replacing hardwood floors offers you a chance to design a floor that you’ll love for years to come.

The first advantage of refinishing over replacing is the price. A refinishing project will nearly always cost less than a replacement floor, making this an ideal choice for those who are watching their budget.

Secondly, refinishing your hardwood floors allows you to squeeze more life and longevity out of your floors if you already love the way they look. You get to keep the style and color of the floors if you so choose.

Finally, if you want to change the color or shade of your floors, refinishing is a cost-effective way to do so. So if you’re not fully in love with the way they look, a refinishing project may give you the chance to change your floors to your taste.

Pros of Replacing Your Hardwood Floors

On the other hand, replacement of wood floors offers its own set of advantages to think about. The main pro of replacing is the fact that you are getting a brand new floor – that means that you get a fresh slate to design and install flooring that you love. You’ll have free rein over the species, staining, layout, and direction of the planks. Not only that, but you’ll end up with floors at the beginning of their life cycle, rather than floors near the middle or at the end of it.

In addition, replacing hardwood floors adds value to your home. If you’re looking to put your house on the market sometime in the near future, new hardwood floors are a great investment that will attract potential buyers.

So, which should I do?

The first step to figuring out whether you should refinish or replace your hardwood floors is by looking at the condition of the floors. If the planks seem salvageable, it is usually best to refinish. If your floors have signs of water damage or rotting, replacing the hardwood floor planks is usually the best solution.

Another reason to replace your hardwood flooring planks is for interior design reasons. If you are looking to change the size of the planks or wood style completely, you’ll need a whole new floor. If you’re only looking to improve the look of the floors and bring in some shine, you just have to refinish them. 

Age is also a determining factor on whether to replace or refinish your floors. If the floors are decades old and refinished a numerous amount of times, sanding them down any more could destabilize the flooring. The quickest solution for this is to just install new wood planks. While this option can simply take a few hours or days, choosing to instead refinish older wood that has stains and scratches can take up to a week, sometimes longer depending on the amount of space.


If you believe any of these issues are occurring to your hardwood floors, and need help figuring out if you should refinish or replace your wood floors, contact the flooring experts at Signature Hardwood Floors. You can call us at 410.415.0755 or click here today! You can also follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram!