You live in Palo Alto or Sunnyvale, and your hardwood floors are coming apart. What should you do? Should you carefully repair and restore them… or replace them altogether? This brief guide will help you think through your challenges more clearly.

First off, how much can you afford to spend on the project?

Obviously, you’d like to spend as little as possible. But you recognize the implicit trade-off. The cheapest thing is to do nothing, and if you “did nothing” for long enough, your floors would ultimately disintegrate, reducing the value of your room and sparking major clean up costs later. Refinishing your hardwood is cheaper than replacing, except under a very few and unusual circumstances. Non-experts should almost never try to replace floors themselves, but resourceful DIYers can refinish floors themselves relatively cheaply.

What’s your timeframe?

Believe it or not, replacing a floor is actually faster than refinishing it. Refinishing can take a few days, depending on the nature of the damage done, and you may need to use a variety of tools and chemicals, such as buffers, sealers, scalers and so forth. Replacing a floor can be much faster and less messy – particularly if you use an outside contractor for the work.

What quality are you trying to achieve?

Do you hope to refurbish the dining room, where you entertain guests, or re-do a basement that the kids sometimes play in? Are you trying to make the floors beautiful… or just prevent erosive damage that could lead to mold, pest infestations, and other unpleasantness? If the damage is really severe, you probably will want to replace the floor. Likewise, if the floor is extremely old, refinishing may not even be an option (or at least a good option), because the surface wood may have already been worked on too many times.

Are you looking to do a stylistic overhaul?

If you just want the floor to look like it did a few years ago, refinishing may be up to the task. For a real redesign — to change the wood’s style or the planks’ direction or the general aesthetics — replacing is the cleaner and more efficient approach.

Getting help with your project

For help with hardwood floor restoration and repair in Palo Alto, Sunnyvale, or elsewhere in the Bay Area, connect with us at Elegant Floors for a free estimate. Our team can help you make the smartest possible decisions. Call today: (650) 961-1339

Should I Replace or Restore My Hardwood Floors?