6 Important Signs Your Hardwood Floors Needs to Be Refinished

Hardwood floors

Hardwood floor refinishing can make aged, worn surfaces appear like new. In some circumstances, it may be the only means to restore damaged flooring to its former splendour. However, sanding and refinishing floors is an expensive, filthy, and time-consuming process, and you want to be sure it’s the appropriate answer before you commit.

If your hardwood floors are in good condition, you may be able to save time and money by screening and recoating them instead. This procedure involves buffing the floors and applying a fresh coat of polyurethane, a glossy finish that preserves the wood.

1. Significant Dents and Scratches

It’s practically impossible to prevent minor dents and scrapes on hardwood floors, especially if you have children or dogs. However, as the damage spreads and penetrates the poly coating into the wood itself, only a vigorous sanding may expose an entire surface. This isn’t simply an aesthetic problem; if scratches penetrate the wood, your flooring becomes susceptible to water damage.

2. Cupping

Cupping occurs when the wood expands or contracts in response to changes in humidity or temperature. This movement can keep going until it breaks the finish, which causes discoloration. Because water causes wood to react this way, it’s prevalent in kitchens and bathrooms, where water is used most.

3. Sun damage

Over time, natural light can cause polyurethane finishes to be yellow, turn yellowish-brown or become brittle. To confirm that your floors need refinishing, place a sheet of newspaper on the floor and let it sit for a few hours. If the newspaper discolours, the floors are candidates for sanding and polyurethane recoating.

4. Dirt buildup

Just because you don’t notice a lot of dirt on your floors doesn’t mean they aren’t accumulating it. Dirt, dust and other abrasive elements can dull the finish and scratch the surface of your floors. While you can vacuum and wipe your floors like usual, a more aggressive sanding is often the only way to strip away and remove dirt that’s embedded in the surface.

5. Poorly finished edges

When flooring is installed, the ends of each plank are supposed to be hidden under the ones before it. But the inconsistent way hardwood floors are cut means you might have to do some serious trimming to get the best result. This can leave tiny, jagged edges that will snag socks and deep-pile carpets. Refinishing fixes uneven edges and makes them look as good as new.

6. Uneven staining

Good sanding can reveal hardwood floors that are stained unevenly. This happens because the floors’ natural grains absorb or reflect stain differently, which means a good stain application isn’t always enough to create a perfect colour match. Sanding and polyurethane recoating can make even things out.


At the end of the day, only you can decide if the money, time and effort involved in refinishing hardwood floors is worth it. If your floors have severe damage and you’re looking for a good return on investment, they might be. If they’re just a little worn, you’re probably better off recoating them.

Gillespie Handyman Services offers quality commercial handyman services in Barrhaven, Kanata, Nepean, and Orleans in Ottawa at affordable prices. Contact us today to schedule a service!