Are Your Wood Floors Ruined?
What homeowner doesn’t want to love their floors? Even if you’ve perfected the art of levitation, or you’re cruising around your home on a hoverboard, you probably still want the surfaces in your home to be beautiful and functional. But what if you find some damage to your beloved flooring -- is it worth repairing it or just saying to heck with it and starting over? Are your wood floors ruined, or are they just in need of some TLC? Let us help you decide with this quick guide, and we’ll also share helpful tips for protecting the floors you’ve already invested so much in.
What’s your goal?
So much of a decision about replacing your flooring boils down to your personal preference and desires for your space. Do you care the most about functionality and the least about looks? If this is the case, a simple repair might do the trick and get your floors back in working shape. Sanding bad spots down and refinishing them might be a quick and affordable way to fix the problem, or if you can find a way to cover the affected area with a small rug or table, these can be cost-effective ways to hold off on any major repairs while you weigh your options or save for a bigger project.
Major repair options.
If you’ve got the budget to support it and you’re concerned about the consistent appearance of the floor throughout your space, or if you’re worried that doing a patch job might disrupt the overall aesthetic of the room, then consider hiring a flooring professional to sand your floor down and refinish it entirely. This may sound counterintuitive, but it could be cheaper to do this than to just install carpet or new flooring. It all depends on the cost of your current flooring and the potential new carpet or flooring, of course, but be sure to explore all your options by getting estimates from multiple flooring sources before making the call to just press the reset button.
Beware chemical cleaners!
You could actually be ruining your floors with the chemical compounds you’re using to clean them. Wax or oils in a floor solution might make your floor look better in the short run, but they can cause big issues by interacting with the urethane protectant in your floor and this can speed up the deterioration of the layer of protection on your floor’s surface. This means you’re not saving time or money, and you’re not adding beauty to your floors with wax-based cleaners and floor restorers -- you’re only adding to your refinishing bills and the time required to fix the damage. Consult your flooring manufacturer’s recommendations for how to best clean your specific kind of floor, and if you don’t have this information, do some online research to find the best cleaning solutions to use for your surface that won’t cause more issues. Regardless, don’t use too much water in a mop head -- the moisture can cause damage.
Use a vacuum made for hardwood floors.
Your carpet vacuum on the “bare floor” setting may actually be stripping off layers of your hardwood and causing damage to it. Frustrating news, right? But buying a better-suited vacuum, or using other methods for cleaning your wood floors, will probably be less expensive than replacing the entire floor.
Take off your shoes!
Footwear already drags in dirt, grit and all sorts of environmental contaminants, but it can also scratch your floors and cause damage that will shorten the life of your flooring and require a refinishing a lot sooner than if you go barefoot or go with socks or slippers instead. It’s easy and affordable to set up a simple plastic tray, a large mat, or even a sitting bench with bins below for storage in the entry of your home. This will be a signal to your guests to please take their shoes off too, and it will keep all your footwear nice and organized. At a minimum, put down mats by each entry door to minimize the amount of salt and water that are tracked inside on your wood floors. Other common scratching issues can come from your pets not having regular grooming, so make sure to keep your pooch’s paws properly trimmed to minimize the risk of damage.
Protect your floor from your chairs.
Wheels on your desk chair can cause a lot of damage to your floors and speed the path to ruin. A basic plastic mat doesn’t cost very much and it will save you a ton of money in the long run. A pack of felt pads for your kitchen table chairs will cost only a few bucks but might save you thousands on repairs.
More info? For information on protecting your home from water damage, read one of our other posts: PROTECT YOUR REFINISHED BASEMENT FROM WATER DAMAGE