restoring hardwood flooring

Is your hardwood floor looking like it needs some love, but you’re not certain whether “recoating” or “refinishing” is what you need?

Don’t worry! Confusion on this matter is quite common as many people mistakenly interchange these two terms.

Luckily, you can save lots of time, money, and unnecessary work by coming to clearly understand the difference between hardwood floor recoating and refinishing.

Here are four key differences between the two so you can choose which option is best for your floor.

Hardwood Floor Recoating vs. Refinishing

As your floors get older, sometimes colors fade, scratches happen, or even dents occur. These four differences will help you know what your floor needs to look it’s best:

1. If a Recoat is Sufficient

If your floor is in decent shape with no warping,  gaps, or damage greater than a surface-level scratch.

Provided there is no damage to the wood itself and only in the finish, than a recoating may be sufficient.

2. If Floorboards Must Be Removed

Let’s say your boards are in poor enough condition that it seems like you’ll have to remove some, or, a simple sanding will not remove the flaws. This is when you know it’s time to refinish your hardwood.

Refinishing requires a lot more than simply adding some polish to the floors. You’ll more likely need special equipment to pull specific boards up and replace them properly.

3. If Floorboards Are Uneven

Another way to tell it’s time for a total refinishing is to look for boards in your hardwood floor that are uneven or look like they’ll require grinding down to even things out.

Refinishing is no simple DIY job like recoating might be. It’s more time-consuming and more costly.

You can easily tell if a refinishing job is needed if any of the following issues have affected your floor:

  • Pieces are missing or cracked
  • Water damage or warping has occurred
  • Nails are missing
  • If sanded, pieces are still discolored, scratched, or dented
  • Holes have formed in the wood

4. If You Want to Change the Color

If your floors are looking outdated or just tired and worn out, it may be time for a full refinish.

When a floor is recoated, only the sheen of the finish can be changed, not the color.

With a full refinish, the floor will be sanded down to expose the raw wood. Then, with many stain options to chose from, the desired color can be achieved,  giving your home a fresh, new look.


More Hardwood Maintenance Tips

Now that you know how to determine whether you need hardwood floor recoating or hardwood refinishing, choose a team of qualified professionals to assist you.

For more tips on installing and maintaining your hardwood floors, check out our other blog posts.