Refurbish or Replace: When Is Your Floor Past Its Prime?
Published: January 26, 2023
Does your flooring have more life left in it, or is time to wave goodbye and plan its replacement? If you’ve invested in high-quality products, installed them correctly and—perhaps most importantly—maintained them properly, you can expect your floors to give you years of great performance. At the same time, it’s essential to recognize the signs of a floor that’s past its prime. Those signals are easy to spot, if you know how to look for them, but they vary depending on the types of flooring you have. Here’s how to make your evaluation.
Long live hardwoods
Hardwoods may begin to show some signs of aging courtesy of foot traffic, including the paws and claws of your beloved pets. But some scratches and wear aren’t enough to rule out an otherwise solid hardwood floor. In fact, you can refinish hardwood floors many times to bring them back to their original gleam.
Of course, that assumes you’ve hired a professional to take care of revitalizing your floors. That’s because the more—and the deeper—you sand your floors, the sooner they reach the point at which they’re no longer thick enough to refinish. The pros take off just enough to smooth away the wear.
Likewise, you’ll want to keep watch for signs of splintered planks. No amount of sanding and refinishing can curb that when it happens, and you don’t want splinters under foot, especially in a home with small children, pets and folks who remove their shoes at the door.
Walk the planks
Luxury vinyl plank and tiles redefine your definition of vinyl flooring. They’ll amaze you with their varied looks, reasonable prices and durable waterproof resilience. The top layer of this sandwich of materials can pick up dents and puncture marks, and it can tend to fade in direct sunlight. That’s why you need to pick where you use vinyl so you maximize the value of this versatile performer.
If your luxury vinyl tiles are peeling up, you won’t be able to stick them back down. Similarly, luxury vinyl planks that show cupping at the edges are telling you they’re ready for replacement. And if the top layer of your floor is peeling, that’s perhaps the ultimate sign that you need new flooring.
The laminate lament
Did your laminate floor get submerged in water? Unlike vinyl, it’s only water resistant, and it won’t survive a real soaking. A flood produces delamination that’s an immediate cause for replacement. Of course, that’s the reason you wouldn’t install this type of flooring in your basement, bath or other places that use water or can get moist.
But laminate combines the ability to emulate the appearance of just about any kind of ceramic, stone or wood with a lot of great scratch resistance. However, if it curls up, peels or flakes, or you see signs that the joints between pieces have begun to expand, it’s time for replacement.
Breakup on the tile aisle
Tile floors endure through heavy traffic and lots of activity. If you notice individual tiles have come loose—or, worse yet, you actually can pick them up—that’s not a good sign. Additionally, cracked tiles tell you that something’s caused the subfloor to become uneven, which may signal water damage lurking beneath.
Proper care can preserve a tile floor for a very long time, but if you see evidence of crumbled grout, that’s not something you can repair. And before you install a replacement floor, plan to check out what’s underneath for any problems that need correction.
Called on the carpet
The skin care industry markets all kinds of creams and potions for wrinkles, but there’s no equivalent for carpet. In fact, badly wrinkled carpet can trip you as you walk.
If you’ve vacuumed and cleaned your carpet, but it still seems dingy and your high-traffic paths stand out like they’re a different color, you’ve outlived your flooring. The same holds true if the nap is matted, snagged or pulled.
Yes, it’s smart to make your floors last as long as possible. You want to take great care of them and enjoy them throughout their useful life. Once they begin to age less gracefully, however, it’s time to plan what’s next. Come see the design experts at Kermans to find the ideal combination of great looks and enduring performance for your home.