Is it Time to Replace Your Hardwood Floors?

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Sarah Trignano

Subject: Floors dropping!

I'd like to add a "#4"...We had a major issue this winter with MICE entering in small spaces between the floor and the wall. Flooring is original (we think) in a pre-war building. Quite simply, the old wood flooring is dropping from the wall! Beware for critter entry!


Subject: Hardwood Floors

I live in a home that is 100 years old and still has all the beautiful hardwood floors. They have been bruised and battered in some spots over the years, but easily fixable. My recommendation...only consider full replacement for severe water damage that is irreparable. Keep that old can never be replaced! :-)

Mary Robinson

Subject: I disagree with this.

Sounds like a marketing ploy to me. Just like everything else, we are being encouraged to discard the old and bring in the new. I just bought a house that is over 100 years old and I have been working to reclaim and refinish these beautiful floors. They have all been buried under layers of carpet and plywood. The type and quality of this wood which is from old growth forests is much better than anything I could ever afford to replace with, let alone find....It's not always a good idea to replace with something of much lower quality, not to mention character. People are too quick to throw things out creating waste and making un-necessary updates to homes with low quality cookie cutter supplies. This article worries me because it will probably encourage more of that type of behavior and decision making. In some cases, that may be the best choice, but not all.

Pam Losinski

Subject: Hardwood floors

Thank you for your article. My husband and I just had this discussion last night. Our hardwood floors are 130 years old! When we sought out a contractor to refinish them 22 years ago, they said they would not refinish them because they were thin. We ended up doing them ourselves, which wasn't exactly the professional look we were looking for. Now we are back at this. I will share your article with my husband, to convince him that we definitely need new floors.

Beth Williams

Subject: refinishing hardwood

You want to be careful when doing, We had our wood floors refinished and the business that did the work sanded them down to the point the boards are now splitting, the floors look worse after a few years than they did before and it had been 30yrs between refinishing,

Sarah Murray

Subject: RE: Hardwood Flooring

Great comments and suggestions, I was just thinking about whether to replace or re-finish my hardwood flooring which is 86 years old! I think it's time, while they have enough (just barely) to re-finish, it seems silly just to re-finish only to replace a few years down the line. Thanks Angie's list! I'll share this with my Buyers and Sellers too!

Eugene Harper

Subject: Refinishing floors

I have 7 yr old 3/8" hardwood floors that are showing appreciable wear in high traffic areas. Can wood this thin be refinished?

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I second the original question (still unanswered). Speaking as someone who logged in today to try to find an attorney, I see this category as one that's exactly what I have my Angie's List membership for:

1. It's important that I find a good one
2. I'm not an expert enough to know myself who is a good one
3. The industry is full of advertisements and misinformation
4. I wish I knew what experiences other people have had

I don't care about lawns--I planted mine in clover and don't have to mow it. When I do need to mow I use a rotary Fiskars mower, which is great--or a scythe. That's right--a scythe (the European type, which is smaller, and it's very good exercise). Gas-powered mowers, chemical fertilizers and weed killers--all nasty stuff that gets into everyone's air, soil, and water. I'm sure my neighbor doesn't like my wildflowers, semi-wild pockets of fruit bushes, and unmown areas and yes, dandelions (I have 10 acres) but that's too bad. It's better habitat for wildlife, especially the pollinators on which our food supply depends. I think this obsession with the Great American Lawn is a waste of time and resources. Plant some food instead.

I'm not sure Angie et. al. want you to have a complete answer to this question. By re-subscribing at the Indiana State Fair in 2012, I think I paid $20.00 per year for a multi- year subscription. Maybe even less. At the other extreme--and I hope my memory isn't faulty about this--I think the price, for my area, for ONE year was an outrageous $70.00. And they debited me automatically without warning. I had to opt out of that automatic charge. I like Angie's List, but if some of the companies they monitor behaved the way they do in this respect, they'd be on some sort of Pages of Unhappiness. I'll be interested to see if this comment gets published or censored out of existence.

That's very difficult to answer without seeing the house. As one poster said, the prep is the most important part. On newer homes that don't have a lot of peeling paint, the prep can be very minimal even as low as a couple or a few hundred dollars for the prep labor.

On a 100 year old home with 12 coats of peeling paint on it, then the prep costs can be very high and can easily exceed 50% of the job's labor cost.

A 2100 sq ft two story home could easily cost $1000 just for the labor to prep for the paint job. That number could climb too. Throw in lots of caullking  or window glazing, and you could be talking a couple or a few hundred dollars more for labor.

Painting that home with one coat of paint and a different color on the trim could run roughly $1000 or more just for labor. Add a second coat  and that could cost close to another $1000 for labor.

For paint, you may need 20 gallons of paint. You can pay from $30-$70 for a gallon of good quality exterior paint. The manufacturer of the paint should be specified in any painting contract. Otherwise, the contractor could bid at a Sherwin-Williams $60 per gallon paint and then paint the house with $35 Valspar and pocket the difference. $25 dollars per gallon times 20 gallons? That's a pretty penny too.

That was the long answer to your question. The short answer is $2000 to $4000 and up, depending upon the amount of prep, the number of coats, the amount of trim, and the paint used.