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??

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Solid wood flooring is milled from a single piece of timber that is kiln or air dried before sawing. Depending on the desired look of the floor, the timber can be cut in three ways: flat-sawn, quarter-sawn, and rift-sawn. The timber is cut to the desired dimensions and either packed unfinished for a site-finished installation or finished at the factory. The moisture content at time of manufacturing is carefully controlled to ensure the product does not warp during transport and storage. Denver Hardwood Floor
Rigid Core flooring is a category of resilient flooring, and it has been designed from the ground up with modern homes in mind. It’s 100% waterproof, easy to install, and provides extreme scratch and indent resistance when compared to solid or engineered wood flooring. It also offers a wide range of design options because it isn’t limited to traditional wood species. Its hybrid visuals, exotic species, colors, and textures go above and beyond anything traditional wood flooring can offer.
Natural warmth and beauty make wood a favorite for floors. But when the topcoat finish wears through, the porous surface of the wood is open to stains-especially beneath dining room chairs, in front of a sink and in other high-traffic, high-spill areas. Oil soap and all-purpose cleanser remove some stains, especially when the spill is fresh. But it's impossible to scrub out stains that have soaked into the wood fibers. And sanding only creates a depression in the floor that's more noticeable than the stain. The only option to repair hardwood floors at this point is to cut out the stained floorboards and install new ones. We replaced a couple of boards from a standard 3/4-in.-thick x 21/4-in.-wide oak-strip floor using a drill, circular saw and sharp chisel. To determine the exact width and thickness of the pieces you'll need, lift up a heat register or threshold and measure the exposed ends of the floorboards. You'll find hardwood flooring at a local millwork shop, lumberyard or floor-covering store. Denver Hardwood Flooring
Not only is bamboo resistant to moisture, but it is environmentally friendly and an optimal choice for those who are looking to build “green.” The plant grows faster and does not take as long to re-grow than a typical hardwood tree, therefore not contributing to deforestation. Bamboo flooring is softer than traditional hardwoods, so it will not cause pain if it is stood on for long periods of time. The softness of the floor will also reduce noise.
First, most people are unable to successfully refinish the floors themselves. It takes a lot of experience to refinish properly. Most people can’t get it smooth/even and also don’t realize that you need to sand them 3 times before putting the stain on. It’s even harder to do it right if they are pine or maple floors (and if they are, they require conditioner before stain is applied). Also, once the floors have been sanded unevenly by a non-professonal, it’s even harder to correct due to the waves usually created by the non-professional. Denver Hardwood Flooring
Width & Length – Plank flooring comes in a variety of widths and lengths. The most common widths are currently in the 5” – 6” range, but wider widths are rapidly becoming more popular. The length of your floor is also important to consider depending on the size of your space. Hardwood flooring comes in mixed lengths because imperfections are cut out of longer planks during production. Rigid Core flooring is built to size and comes in lengths ranging from 36” up to 80+”. Hardwood Floor
Put on gloves, knee pads, and protective eye glasses. You'll be working diligently on your hands and knees for hours to complete this project, especially if you're doing a large space. Invest in a good pair of knee pads to protect your knees. Sturdy work gloves will protect your hands from splinters, and goggles will prevent sawdust and other debris from getting into your eyes.[1]
With so many potential problems and repairs that a wood floor could need, you’re probably wondering how much the potential solutions will cost. It might make you feel better to know that the average wood floor repair costs around $1000, with minor repairs costing as little as a couple hundred and major jobs costing well in to the thousands. This is definitely a job that you’ll want to get a few quotes from contractors in order to feel comfortable with your particular repair needed or how you can repair the wood floor yourself.
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.
Cut a new length of flooring to fit snugly into the space of the old board. It doesn't matter what kind of saw you use to repair your hardwood floors; just make sure the cuts are perfectly square. After trimming the board to length, turn it upside down and use a chisel to chop off the lower lip of the grooved edge (photo 5). That allows it to fit over the protruding tongue of the adjacent floorboard. Test-fit the new piece. If it's slightly lower than the surrounding floorboards, shim it up with strips of kraft paper. Then remove the board and spread carpenter's glue on the tongues and grooves of the new and old pieces. Slip the new board into place (photo 6), protect it with a scrap-wood block and tap it down with a hammer. Cover the board with wax paper, then hold it down overnight with heavy books or weights. An alternative to gluing: Simply face-nail the board with 6d finishing nails. Bore pilot holes at a slight angle, then drive in the nails. Tap them below the surface with a nailset (photo 7) and fill the holes with wood putty. Lightly sand the entire board smooth, but be careful not to remove too much finish from surrounding boards. After finding a matching stain color by experimenting on scraps of flooring, stain the boards to match the original floor. Let dry overnight, then apply two coats of clear polyurethane varnish. If the old floor is unstained, just apply the polyurethane.
"Click" or Woodloc systems: there are a number of patented "click" systems that now exist. These click systems are either "unilin" or "fiboloc" A "click" floor is similar to tongue-and-groove, but instead of fitting directly into the groove, the board must be angled or "tapped" in to make the curved or barbed tongue fit into the modified groove. No adhesive is used when installing a "click" floor, making board replacement easier. This system not only exists for engineered wood floors but also engineered bamboo and a small number of solid floors (such as "parador solido click") and is designed to be used for floating installations. It is beneficial for the Do-It-Yourself market. Denver Hardwood Flooring

– If your floors are REALLY OLD and have been refinished many times, it may be time for a new floor. I’m not talking about oak floors that have been dinged and scratched up…I mean if your floors have been down for over 100 yrs and refinished at least 5 times. If you can see the “tongue” where the boards fit together, it’s probably time for a new floor. Or, if your floors are rather bouncy and/or don’t seem very sturdy, it’s time for a new floor. This happens more often with pine floors as pine floors are softer and used a long time ago. Denver Hardwood Floor Install
Visual – While hardwood flooring is limited by species and stains, Rigid Core flooring has near limitless options when it comes to flooring that looks like wood. In addition to traditional wood visuals and colors, you can pick from stone looks and even hybrids that marry wood and stones together into unique new options. And best of all you will benefit from a curated look that removes unwanted imperfections like oversized knots, holes, and worming that naturally occurs in hardwood floors. Denver Hardwood Flooring
Rigid Core flooring is a category of resilient flooring, and it has been designed from the ground up with modern homes in mind. It’s 100% waterproof, easy to install, and provides extreme scratch and indent resistance when compared to solid or engineered wood flooring. It also offers a wide range of design options because it isn’t limited to traditional wood species. Its hybrid visuals, exotic species, colors, and textures go above and beyond anything traditional wood flooring can offer. Hardwood Floor
Menards® has everything you need to cover your floors in style! We offer a wide selection of hardwood flooring options that are fit to use in any room of your home. Some of our quality hardwood floorcoverings include engineered hardwood, which is built to last and has higher resistance to moisture levels. We also carry a variety of solid hardwood flooring to give your home traditional character and style. If you are interested in another durable flooring option for your home, we have cork flooring. In addition to strong and durable flooring, we offer everything you will need for installation and maintenance as well as hardwood moulding and trims to help you finish the job. Once the flooring installation is complete, keep them looking clean with our selection of vacuum cleaners and floor care products. Next, complete the look with area rugs, mats, and runners to enhance your home's décor and add coziness to the space. Denver Hardwood Floor
Floating installation: A floating installation is where the flooring is laid down in a glueless manner on top of a layer of underlay. The individual planks are locked together, and are not glued or nailed down to the subfloor. By doing this the floor is floating above the underlay, and can be laid on top of existing tile or marble, without the risk of damaging the subflooring. Hardwood Floor

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Glue down engineered hardwood, alternatively. If you don't want to nail down the boards, you do have the option of using adhesive to put engineered hardwood in place. It's a good choice, but won't last as long or be as sturdy as nailed down hardwood. The procedure is very similar to the nail-down process. Follow the adhesive manufacturer's instructions for installation and drying times.[11] Denver Hardwood Floor
You cannot restore every wood floor by simply refinishing it. If your wood floor has become warped or if several of the planks have become damaged, you will typically need to replace the entire floor, as finishing will only brighten an already-damaged surface. On really old floors, you may see the tongue where the boards come together, or your boards may lack adequate thickness. Floors like this are definite candidates for replacement, as refinishing is purely cosmetic. Denver Hardwood Floor
– If you want to change the width of the wood or the direction of the hardwood, the only way to do this is to get a new floor. The standard in home is oak 2 ¼” strip. Now, it’s more stylish and more common to get wider planks such as 3 ¼” or 4”or 5” planks. These look more modern and importantly make the room look larger. Another design trick to make the rooms look larger is to lay the planks on a diagonal – that way, it carries your eye along the longest length of the room. Or, you can even get fancy and add borders or do a herringbone pattern. Denver Hardwood Flooring
Local Retailers: Local home improvement stores often carry a number of engineered wood flooring products in stock. Additionally, local flooring stores can provide samples that let you see how the color and style of the engineered floor will look in your home. Either option may offer you an on-site estimate to give you a better idea about what your project could cost. Denver Hardwood Flooring

Hardwood species used in flooring are given a hardwood hardness rating, which indicates how resistant the wood is to dents and wear. This rating is based off a test called the Janka Hardness Test, and it measures the force needed to press a steel ball into the wood sample. The highest possible score on this test is a little over 5,000, with most traditional solid wood floors scoring in the 1,000-2,000 range. The superior density of Rigid Core flooring would exceed the limitations of the Janka test, and instead a higher impact testing is needed to measure real world performance. Here is how the general hardness of plank flooring ranks: Hardwood Floor


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 Install
Michael – The exotic woods are a bit more challenging to work with stain wise because they are naturally darker and redder. Yes, you can refinish them and make them darker and browner. But, you will still have some underlying red tones. So, you may need to go darker than what you’re thinking to drown out the red more. Definitely test colors. Most likely, dark walnut will come out the darkest. Use duraseal…it’s a better stain, dries faster and is a bit darker than minwax. Denver Hardwood Floor
With the extensive number of wood flooring options available, ranging from traditional hardwood to engineered hardwood floors, you must do your research to find the right option for your home. Additionally, installation can be a big job and it’s one that most homeowners need to hire professionals to complete. Use this cost guide to get a better understanding of the various expenses associated with installing hardwood floors in your home. Denver Hardwood Flooring
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
Hardwood floors can last a long time, but eventually they need to be replaced. Luckily, it's a pretty straightforward process! Use a circular saw to cut the old hardwood into pieces, then remove the old flooring. Prepare your subflooring so that it's clean and perfectly level. After that, choose your replacement flooring and follow the process for installing that particular type of hardwood! Denver Hardwood Flooring
Top quality laminate will not match the look and feel of real wood floors. The areas where the planks join will wear considerably over time, and when damage sets in, it is not an easy repair. Laminate is easily damaged by moisture, and when that damage sets in, it cannot be fixed. If the laminate is not laid correctly, it will not be appealing to potential renters or buyers. Hardwood Floor
Wood flooring can also be installed utilizing the glue-down method. This is an especially popular method for solid parquet flooring installations on concrete sub-floors. Additionally, engineered wood flooring may use the glue-down method as well. A layer of mastic is placed onto the sub-floor using a trowel similar to those used in laying ceramic tile. The wood pieces are then laid on top of the glue and hammered into place using a rubber mallet and a protected 2x4 to create a level floor. Often the parquet floor will require sanding and re-finishing after the glue-down installation method due to the small size pieces. Denver Hardwood Flooring
Warped hardwood floors, also known as sagging, is a serious problem for any homeowner. It is often the result of serious moisture problems, and any evidence of warped hardwood floors needs to be addressed immediately. Warped hardwood floors are rarely the result of faulty hardwood or installation, but are a symptom of larger moisture problems in the home itself that need to be taken care of.
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. Hardwood Floor
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