If your hardwood floors look a little rough, scratched, or damaged, you are probably wondering what your options are to make them look good again.

Sometimes it can be difficult to tell if your floors can be refinished. It depends on whether they were prefinished, installed unfinished, or are prefinished engineered wood.

So, if you find yourself Googling hardwood floor resurfacing vs refinishing, read on. 


Prefinished Hardwood Floors

Solid, prefinished hardwood floors can be refinished, but because they were treated with more finish at the factory, it is more work to remove the old finish. For this reason, prefinished floors are likely more expensive to refinish than floors that were finished on-site when conducting hardwood floor refinishing.

In addition, when you remove the factory finish, you are taking away the more durable wear layer. But at some point, they will wear down and need to be fixed up a bit. Knowing that it is an option can help you plan for the time when they need it.


Prefinished Engineered Floors

Engineered floors are mostly prefinished at the factory. Depending on the thickness, you may or may not be able to refinish them.

The thickness of both the plank and the actual wood layer on top are key factors in determining if they can be refinished. Anything thinner than a half-inch is not a good candidate for refinishing. In addition, if the wood veneer is less than 2 mm, the floors likely can not be finished. 

If they are solid, three-quarter inch thick they may be a great candidate for sanding and refinishing.

Additionally, refinishing any kind of hand-scraped wood floor means that you may lose some of the look of the original floor as it gets sanded off during the refinishing process.


Installed Unfinished

Solid, sand-on-site wood floors are typically great for refinishing. They can be re-sanded and re-stained to any color that you might like or left natural without a stain. 

Sometimes, you may have areas of your wood floor that have damaged wood planks. If you can identify the exact kind of wood that you have, it is relatively easy to replace planks or fix gaps in existing planks. 

This process, sometimes called hardwood floor resurfacing, typically comes with an increased cost and the need for someone good at identifying types and grades of wood. In addition, you can always add on to your existing wood floors and then refinish the whole surface to make it look like it has always been the same wood floors.


Contact the Professionals

If you would like to find out the kind of wood floor you have, the best thing to do is to contact a flooring company that specializes in wood floors. Any good estimator will be able to tell you what your options are. 

Depending upon the species, you may have options for stains and some different types of finishes that would give your wood floors a new life. Refinishing your floors is almost always less expensive than replacing them.

Solid floors with proper care can last the life of a house. If the expert determines there is too much damage to sand out and repair, you can opt for replacement.