6 Ways to Know You Need a New Finish for Your Wood Floors

Do your hardwood floors need a refresh? Here are 6 ways to know if you need a new finish.

Are you concerned that the finish on your hardwood floors is no longer adequate? Are you concerned that your wood floors will be damaged as a result of poor maintenance? Or do you simply want them to look better and newer? With our simple guide, you’ll know when to have your hardwood floors refinished. Your wood floors require regular maintenance. If your wood floors get a lot of traffic or haven’t been maintained in a long time, you’ll need more than a simple cleaning. But how do you know if your hardwood floors need to be refinished?

Keep reading to find out!

Length of Time

Wood floor refinishing is recommended every 10-15 years, depending on the quality and material of the wooden floors. Different types and manufacturers require different maintenance and upkeep, and you should know when and how to handle your floors. Do you know what kind of finish your floors have? If you don’t know, you should find out or consult a hardwood floor refinishing professional.

Major Scratches & Dents

It’s nearly impossible to avoid minor dings and scratches on hardwood floors, especially if you have children or pets. However, when the damage spreads and penetrates the poly coating into the wood itself, only a powerful sanding can reveal an undamaged surface. This isn’t just a cosmetic problem; once scratches penetrate the wood, your floors become susceptible to water damage.


Cupping occurs when floorboards bend downward from their edges in a concave shape. Cupping is not only unsightly, but it also indicates water damage. This type of damage is caused not only by spills and drips but also by humidity. Although sanding will remove mild cupping, if any floorboards are sticking up or separating, you will need to replace those individual boards.


If walking barefoot on your hardwood floors causes painful splinters, this indicates that your sealant has worn away and the wood beneath has been damaged. Sanding is the only way to get beneath the damage and restore smoothness and safety, and a fresh coat of sealant should keep this new surface protected for many years.

Water Damage

Water damage causes gray floorboards, which are frequently mistaken for a charming patina that adds character to older homes. Those once-gray floorboards should look brand new after refinishing, but any boards that have turned black are beyond repair and must be replaced. Water damage is also easily identified by stained floorboards. While most water stains can be avoided by quickly wiping up spills, unattended plumbing leaks, air conditioner drips and pet accidents will eventually stain hardwood. When these stains appear, refinishing is required to reveal and protect the clean wood beneath.

Fading & Discoloration

A bright room feels wonderful, but too much sunlight can fade and discolor hardwood floors over time. Refinishing the floor near glass doors and windows will restore a uniform hue if you’ve noticed fading or color changes. Once you have the new finish, protect the integrity of your hardwood flooring by placing rugs and installing blinds and curtains on windows.

If it has been more than ten years, you definitely need a refinishing, and all you have to do is decide whether you want to do it yourself or hire Valor Home Services to help you. We can advise you on the best way to refinish your floors so they look renewed and refreshed.