How to Understand It’s Time to Replace Your Hardwood Flooring

Hardwood flooring has many benefits. It gives your home a sturdy, long-lasting foundation and adds a feeling of elegance and tradition. It can also last for decades.

It’s no wonder then that so many Toronto homeowners are fond of their hardwood floors. But that does not mean they do not need proper care and maintenance. Over time, they can become damaged and show signs of wear and tear. At that point, you may need to consider replacing them.

But how do you know it’s time? Here we discuss five signs that it’s time to replace your old floor, as recommended by Amazon Hardwood’s flooring experts.

5 Signs That Your Hardwood Flooring Needs to be Replaced

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Hardwood flooring can be refinished multiple times but can’t last forever. So, how do you know it’s time to replace it? These five signs are good indicators.

1. You Can See the Damage to the Floor

Hardwood floors are hard and sturdy. So, if you notice spots that seem soft, spongy, or springy, it’s time to replace it. Soft spots are a sign that the wood beneath the finish is decaying, so refinishing won’t help.

If the floorboards are thick, you may be able to buff or screen the rot, and your floor will be fine. But, most of the time, the problem lies much deeper than that. In some cases, the subfloor may even be damaged which necessitates replacement.

Some other signs that your hardwood flooring has passed its expiry date include chips, scratches, cracking, disfigurement, and split or splintered boards. These are all irreparable damages.

2. Water Is Causing Damage to the Floor

Water damage is a crucial sign that it is time to replace your hardwood flooring. This can occur due to consistent seepage, stagnant water lying on the wood, or even just high moisture.

Engineered hardwood is more resistant to water damage, but both are susceptible to stains, warping, or other issues caused by your floor being exposed to moisture.

If the wood gets soaked for too long, it tends to grow mould. In other cases, you’ll see the wood planks buckle, cup, or swell from water damage. The wood can also become less effective at standing up to wear and tear.

You can use a good seal to keep spills from soaking into your floor, but if your home suffers from flooding or plumbing issues, that damage can reoccur. And refinishing alone won’t be enough to take care of the problem. Sometimes, it is apparent from the surface, when the wood becomes discoloured or grey. Water damage can also turn your floors black if it is ignored for a long time

3. You Will See Large Scratches and Marks 

Hardwood floors can become scratched for many reasons, from pets running around to you rearranging your furniture. A few marks are not a matter of concern, but if you see the scratches covering a larger area, that could be a problem.

Keep an eye out for sizable gouges or chips. Your floor becomes more sensitive to water damage if a scratch is deep enough to penetrate the stain and reach the wood. If a spill manages to permeate the wood beneath the stain, even a small one can result in significant damage.

So, if you see too many larger scratches that polish can’t fix or that you can’t hide with a rug or vase, it’s time for a floor replacement.

4. You Have Already Refinished It Several Times 

As mentioned, the ability to be refinished multiple times is one of the greatest advantages of hardwood flooring, but it does come with downsides.

For example, every time you refinish the floor, you have to sand down the wood to add a fresh layer of stain or sealant. This is a great way to deal with minor scratches or damage, but repetitive sanding makes the wood thinner. This leads to it becoming less structurally sound and more likely to crack.

Furthermore, if sanded down too much, the nails can start to show through the floors – and no one wants a nail head sticking out of their floor. Exposed nails are not just unsightly but dangerous.

Although there is no hard or fast answer to how many times you can refinish your hardwood floors, you should consider a full replacement after three refinishes.

5. You Notice Creaking or Moving Floorboards

You should probably check the health of your hardwood flooring if it is making weird creaking or squeaking sounds. Creaking floorboards are caused by the wood rubbing against itself or the subfloor. This can be because the floor is too old, but it can also indicate weakened structural integrity.

Moving floorboards can also be an indicator. Usually, there is natural movement in hardwood flooring as wood expands and contracts with humidity changes. This can make gaps between floorboards more apparent. But if you notice that the gaps are getting larger, that can become a major concern as it can cause shifting and movement within the floors. So, keep an eye out for that as hardwood flooring that dips or swells frequently denotes larger structural issues.

These are some of the major signs that indicate that you need to replace your hardwood flooring. Of course you don’t always have to have a major issue to replace your floors. You can also change them to give your home a new look. Fortunately, hardwood flooring comes in many varieties, so you can choose from a variety of different wood species with darker or warmer tones, or with a new texture. Amazon Hardwood can completely transform your home, giving it the fresh look you are looking for. To learn more about our hardwood flooring, contact us or visit our store in Toronto to choose the best wood flooring for your home.