My boyfriend and I recently bought a new house that requires many updates, including floors. The house was built in 1960 and has beautiful original hardwood floors that were covered in carpet. The day we moved in (scratch that: the HOUR we moved in), we pulled up the carpet and had ambitious plans to refinish the floors with a more modern stain. After multiple attempts with rented drum sanders and 12×18 sanders, the floors were just OK. We tried using our own belt sander and palm sander to even out hard to sand areas, particularly the edges, but the end-result was not ideal. We tried our hand at staining anyways because we were fed up with staining (not the greatest idea!). Our floors are unevenly taking the stain and are not up to our standards. Now our question is: do we hire someone to professionally refinish the floors (quotes we have obtained range from $4-5 per square foot) OR replace the floors entirely. Do you have any advice??
Although hardwood floors are amazingly beautiful and durable, they are not indestructible. The best floor maintenance plan for hardwood floors include regular vacuuming or sweeping with a soft bristle broom, especially in high traffic areas. Removing dirt or grit from your floors will reduce scratches. Vacuums with rotary brush heads can also scratch your floors. Denver Hardwood Flooring
Regardless of the floor, the protective finish will play a large role in how scratch and stain resistant it is. Both hardwood and Rigid Core flooring are available with various types of protective finishes. Rigid Core flooring goes a step beyond hardwood though, and also has a transparent solid wear layer that protects against gouging and deeper scratches.

Solid hardwood floors are made of planks milled from a single piece of timber. Solid hardwood floors were originally used for structural purposes, being installed perpendicular to the wooden support beams of a building known as joists or bearers. With the increased use of concrete as a subfloor in some parts of the world, engineered wood flooring has gained some popularity. However, solid wood floors are still common and popular. Solid wood floors have a thicker wear surface and can be sanded and finished more times than an engineered wood floor.[2] It is not uncommon for homes in New England, Eastern Canada, USA, and Europe to have the original solid wood floor still in use today. Hardwood Floor
Engineered wood flooring was created to lower the cost of wood flooring and attempt to fix some of solid wood’s shortcomings. It’s constructed from inexpensive plywood or particle board and topped with a thin veneer of hardwood. This construction helps with installation flexibility and slightly improves indent performance, but it adds a new set of problems as well. Because the “real” wood part of the floor is just a thin veneer, damage from scratches can be irreparable. Engineered wood floors are still made from porous wood, meaning they can’t be subjected to water. Denver Hardwood Flooring
Wood flooring is any product manufactured from timber that is designed for use as flooring, either structural or aesthetic. Wood is a common choice as a flooring material and can come in various styles, colors, cuts, and species. Bamboo flooring is often considered a form of wood flooring, although it is made from a grass (bamboo) rather than a timber.[1] Denver Hardwood Flooring
My advice is to bring in a professional to make sure the floors can be refinished (i.e. if there is still enough room/if you didn’t permanently damage the wood), and if so, have them refinish them rather than replace them – that will be much less expensive. I don’t know where you live and the going rates, but in our area, it’s prob. the price is prob. $1-2 lower…but that may be par for your area. Call in 2-3 people to see. I would check Angie’s List (angieslist.com) for some good local people in your area. Denver Hardwood Floor Install
It is difficult to compare solid wood flooring to engineered wood flooring due to the wide range of quality in both product categories, particularly engineered. Solid wood has some limitations. Recommended maximum widths and lengths are typically 5" / 127mm wide and 7' / 2100mm long. Solid hardwood is also more prone to "gapping" (excessive space between planks), "crowning" (convex curving upwards when humidity increases) and "cupping" (a concave or "dished" appearance of the plank, with the height of the plank along its longer edges being higher than the centre) with increased plank size. Solid wood cannot be used with underfloor radiant heating.[5] However extra care is necessary with the planning and installation of the heating system and the wood flooring, such as limiting the temperature to 85 °F (29 °C), avoid sharp temperature fluctuations, utilizing an outdoor thermostat to anticipate heating demands, and monitoring the moisture content for the subfloor before installation. Denver Hardwood Floor
Tongue-and-groove: One side and one end of the plank have a groove, the other side and end have a tongue (protruding wood along an edge's center). The tongue and groove fit snugly together, thus joining or aligning the planks, and are not visible once joined. Tongue-and-groove flooring can be installed by glue-down (both engineered and solid), floating (mostly engineered only), or nail-down (not recommended for most engineered).
Warranty & Brand – The value of your floor extends well beyond the floor itself. The people that created, tested, produced, and support it are just as important to consider. You want to make sure you are buying a floor from a manufacturer who you can trust. What kind of testing are they doing to make sure the floor you are buying will last? How can they help you if problems do occur down the road? What does the warranty actually cover? These are important factors to consider, especially when hardwood flooring doesn’t meet Rigid Core flooring’s abilities in areas like durability, dent resistance, and waterproofing. Hardwood Floor
Maple is another great choice for hardwood flooring. Many people prefer its light tan look, which blends into home interior spaces. As one of the strongest woods, maple is a top choice for high-traffic areas of a home. The wood doesn’t scuff easily, making it a good choice for homes with children or those with a lot of foot traffic across the floors. Maple requires minimal maintenance, with weekly sweeping and annual applications of wood soap to prolong the life of the floors.

No matter what type of hardwood flooring you choose, proper care and maintenance will help them look beautiful even longer. First off, don’t let the dirt and dust collect. At least once a week, you’ll want to go over your hardwood floors with a broom or dust mop to pick up any dirt, dust, hair or pet dander. If you’re using a vacuum, make sure it’s set to ‘wood floors’ so that you’re not beating up your floors and damaging them in the process. Hardwood Floor
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