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Refinish Or Install New? Which Way To Go When Remodeling An Old Home

Construction & Contractors Blog

It's become more common now to read about people who were remodeling an old home and discovered some lovely old wood floors under the carpet that they refinished completely. These stories often tout the money-saving benefits of refinishing over installing new floors. However, sometimes starting all over and installing new floors can be a better choice. Deciding which way to go can be difficult because, when those old floors are still unfinished, it's difficult to tell if they are salvageable just at a glance. You have to investigate a little more to find the best option.

Squeaky, Spongy Floors

Old floors are often squeaky and sometimes spongy, and the extent to which the floor you have meets these definitions may affect your choice. A stable, solid floor with one squeaky board can be repaired, and that one board can be replaced if necessary. If the majority of the floor is squeaky, though, you may want to just go ahead and replace the whole thing. You'd have to add too many nails and screws to stop that squeaking, which would make the floor look terrible -- and the nail/screw strategy risks not being successful, too.

If the floor boards actually sink, then you need to have a pest control contractor who specializes in termites take a look at the floor. That sponginess can be a sign of past or current damage from those bugs. Too many spongy boards, or signs the floor really did have a termite problem, call for replacement and the installation of a new floor.

Look for Previous Damage

If you see signs that the floor was repaired many times before, just install a new floor. Yes, even the best floor can have a few issues over the decades, but why risk getting caught in that cycle of repairing over and over again? A new floor gives you a warranty and more years of good use.

Sound Insulation Issues

Maybe that old floor is in great shape already and just needs a bit of polishing to make it look terrific. That won't be worth anything if the floor has no noise insulation, and whoever is downstairs can hear everything going on where you are. In that case, you've got to rip up the old floor so you can add padding that better insulates the floor against sound transfer.

Time and Mess

One of the big selling points of refinishing is the cheaper cost, and it's true that refinishing can often cost less than replacement, if everything goes well. It is possible for a refinishing job to take longer, cost as much, and also be a lot messier than a replacement. When deciding which route you need to take for the floor, pay attention to other factors first before cost and potential mess.

Sometimes going the full distance and replacing the old floor with a new one is best. You can eliminate a lot of problems easily once you tear up that old floor and get the proper bolting, padding, and planks in place. Contact a company, like Thayer Decorating Center, for more help.

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17 September 2017