The cost of refinishing hardwood floors that are many years old with scuff marks, gauges. perhaps even cracked boards vs. installing a new floor is still way in favor of refinishing the older hardwood floor. In addition, many people really like the character of a home with older hardwood floors that have aged and have an older style look and feel to them. For them the decision to refinish a floor is not difficult, since they love this character and the atmosphere that an older floor creates.

Hardwood floors will fade over time and each time you move furniture you will notice that the floor area under the furniture will be a different shade compared to floor area that was exposed to the sunlight. As long as you do not move your furniture, everything is fine, however if you move furniture around you will be faced with a decision regarding  sanding and refinishing your floor or perhaps purchasing some area rugs to cover the newly exposed floor areas and blend the different shades.

It does not take long for the shading of hardwood floors to change and the sun can really make a huge difference on how fast it will change. If you can protect your floors from exposure to the sun there will not be as much change as quickly.

Refinishing Hardwood Floors

Refinishing the older floors may involve quite a bit of manual sanding since the floor may be uneven and may also have gauges that will need to be repaired separately. Always sand the floor in the direction of the grain and never across the grain. Hand sanding will ensure that you have a nice even look to the floor, although it takes a great deal more work. In addition, you will remove far less of the wood from the floor, whereas mechanical sanders may take as much as an eighth of an inch of wood from the boards.

While it does not seem like much, if an older floor has been sanded many times, there may not be much wood left to sand. A mechanical sander could expose nails and even sand right through the hardwood to the under floor below. Sanding by hand is far safer and delivers a nicer job on older floors, although this type of sanding tales more time and effort.

Replacing a Hardwood Floor

If you decide to replace the floor, the existing hardwood must be removed and all nails and any other debris removed. Make any repairs to the supporting floor underneath that may be required. Most experts will suggest that there should be at least five eighths plywood to support a new hardwood floor. This will help to ensure that there are no squeaks in the floor when you walk across it. The cost of removal of the old floor, clean up and preparation of the base floor, placement of the sub floor for support and then installation of the new hardwood floor is usually much more expensive than sanding an older floor.

Evaluate both alternatives and request estimates for both solutions before making a decision. You can them make an informed decision about which direction is best to take with respect to your new floor. In addition, if you can do some or all of the work yourself, the cost of refinishing a hardwood floor will be much different as well. Consumers can save a great deal of money by refinishing the hardwood floor themselves.

Many people enjoy the ambiance and the character of an old floor that still retains its color and texture from years ago. In addition while you still want to be careful on the floor with furniture etc to not scratch it, there is less concern about the floor since it already has marks on the floor from years of use. Many consumers prefer this decor vs. having one that is perfect and must be treated carefully every time you walk on it.