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How to detect whether hardwood flooring can be saved


“Can our hardwood floors be salvaged?”

If you’re a remodeler, chances are you have heard that question from clients a couple thousand times. It’s a completely understandable question, too. Homeowners often are aware of the potential costs associated with a remodeling project, but whether hardwood floors can be saved or need to be replaced is usually a point of uncertainty.

For the amateur eye, it’s difficult to know when hardwood floors have had enough. But for professionals, just what exactly is the threshold? In order to avoid any surprises for the client, how is a remodeler to know going into a project what will need to be done to fix the floors so an accurate estimate can be provided?

Professional Remodeler offers this quick and simple bit of advice:

“Sanding and refinishing versus replacing often comes down to one question: Does your client have a thick enough wear layer to sand out the “issues” like unsightly stains or gouges? This will depend on the construction and quality of your floors as 3/4-inches thick quality solid wood floors typically have a wear layer that support 3-4 sandings. Low-quality solid wood floors, however, and most engineered wood floors have much thinner wear layers. You can usually test this by checking the amount of wood still left above the tongue and groove joint. If the floor has been sanded many times, the wear layer will be very close to the joint leaving you unable to sand further.”

Maybe you already have a foolproof way to diagnose the condition of hardwood floors. If so, please share in the comments section below!

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