Is it better to refinish or restore hardwood floors?

When it comes to your hardwood floors, maintaining their beauty and longevity is essential. Over time, wear & tear can take a toll on your flooring, leaving you with a dilemma: should you refinish or restore your hardwood floors? In this article, we’ll break down the differences between these two options to help you make a fully informed decision.

The Crucial Distinction

Before we delve into the details, it’s crucial to understand the fundamental difference between hardwood floor refinishing and restoration. While replacement is rarely necessary, deciding between refinishing and restoration can significantly impact the cost and disruption of your project.


Hardwood Refinishing:

This option is generally more straightforward, quicker, and more budget-friendly than restoration. Homeowners prefer it when their floors primarily sustain damage to the finish itself.


Hardwood Restoration:

On the other hand, restoration becomes necessary when the damage goes beyond the surface and affects the actual wood. This is a more extensive and labour-intensive process that tackles deeper issues with your hardwood floors.

This image is after the wood floor restoration process of the above image:

The Advantages of Refinishing

Let’s start by exploring the benefits of hardwood refinishing:

1. Simplicity and Speed

Refinishing is a relatively straightforward process, making it a quicker option. It’s ideal for addressing lighter issues that have affected your floor’s finish.

2. Cost-Effective

Compared to restoration, refinishing is a more budget-friendly choice. It allows you to refresh the look of your hardwood floors without breaking the bank.

3. Common Issues Addressed

Hardwood refinishing is effective for addressing common issues such as:

  • Light scuffs or scratches
  • Moderate wear from foot traffic
  • Loss of the original shine over time

However, it’s important to be selective when hiring a refinishing service, as traditional methods may involve toxic solvents and produce significant wood dust. This process can take several days, including preparation and curing times.


When Restoration is Necessary

Now, let’s take a closer look at when hardwood restoration is the right choice:

1. Deeper Damage

Restoration becomes essential when your hardwood floors have suffered more extensive damage, including:

  • Deeper scratches and gouges (e.g., from large pets or heavy furniture)
  • Areas where the finish has worn away, exposing the raw wood underneath.
  • Walkways have discoloured due to excessive foot traffic.
  • Warped, cracked, uneven, or water-damaged floorboards.


2. Laborious Process

Restoration is a labour-intensive process that requires extensive work to address these deeper issues. It can be disruptive to your daily life and may take longer than refinishing.

3. Similar Challenges

Just like traditional refinishing, hardwood restoration may involve the use of toxic solvents and generate substantial wood dust. Additionally, it can result in parts of your home being unusable for an extended period, potentially two weeks or more.


Making the Right Choice

When deciding whether to refinish or restore your hardwood floors, consider the extent of the damage. If the problems are primarily surface level, such as light scuffs or scratches, refinishing is the way to go. It’s a cost-effective and relatively speedy solution.

However, restoration is the answer if your hardwood floors have suffered more severe damage, like deep scratches, exposed wood, or extensive wear. While it comes with more challenges and disruptions, it’s the only way to bring your floors back to their former glory.

Ultimately, the choice between refinishing and restoration depends on your specific situation and the condition of your hardwood floors. By understanding the differences between these two options, you can make an informed decision to ensure your floors look their best for years to come.

If you want to find a wood floor restoration company in the Cambridgeshire area, check out this blog:

Floor Sanding Companies In Cambridgeshire

Also, our knowledge centre is excellent for finding help with other problems. If you can’t find what you’re looking for, send me a message, and I’ll see if I can help you:

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Written by Tracey Gilbey, Marketing

For further advice or information on our Carpet and Soft Furnishing care, please don’t hesitate to contact the Art of Clean team on 01223 901549 in Cambridge. Our services include Carpet CleaningUpholstery Cleaning, oriental and area Rug Cleaning, Curtain Cleaning, Patio and Driveway Pressure washing, Leather Cleaning, Stone and Tile Floor Cleaning and Wood Floor Sanding and Restoration. We also supply new flooring and carpets through our sister company Art of Flooring. Farthings Cambridge provides our Dry Cleaning service.