Is It Time You Refinished Your Timber Floors?
Knowing when to refinish your timber flooring can be quite tricky. You don't want to do it too often, but refinishing before you're down to bare wood means that you won't need to sand the area to get it back to its former glory. Here are signs that it's time to refinish your timber flooring.
Parts of your flooring will take more of a daily pounding than others. High-traffic areas that receive plenty of footfall are going to lose their finish far faster; you'll begin to see this when lighter patches emerge across such areas, often forming paths into and out of rooms. If the difference in wear between areas becomes extremely noticeable, you might need to have the whole area refinished. Unfortunately, you cannot simply redo one section.
An important reason to keep a strong coat of finish across your timber flooring is that this is what stops moisture from penetrating the boards. When this happens, the wood can begin to rot and swell; this will often mean having to replace the flooring, and it can also cause damage to the underlying structure of your property. One of the best ways to check if a refinish is necessary is simply by seeing how well water is repelled. Take a tablespoon of water and dribble it onto the surface. If it stays on the surface, no work needs to be done; if it soaks in, you need to refinish; and if it soaks in quickly, you need to refinish as soon as you can.
It has been over ten years
Some people are meticulous about how their timber flooring looks and will commit to refinishing every couple of years. Others will lay timber flooring down in rooms that don't receive a lot of foot traffic. These areas probably won't need to be refinished for quite some time. While there really isn't a set amount of time that needs to pass before a refinish is completed, ten years is a good estimate for most properties. If it has been almost ten years since the last refinish, it's a good idea to take a closer look at your flooring or call in a professional to provide a verdict.
Planning on a remodel
The fact that you're remodelling one of your rooms in the future isn't exactly a sure sign that the flooring should be refinished; if it's only been a year or two and there are no signs of wear, you clearly don't need to do anything to your timber floors. However, if you think it might be about time for a refinish, consider taking the opportunity to get the job done while the room is already being changed. Refinishing takes time, and it's easier to do with all of the furniture out of the room. If you're going to go through the inconvenience of a remodel, you might as well commit to refinishing the flooring for good measure.