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How easy is it to repair a hardwood floor?

Posted on August 6th, 2012 In: Blog, Wood Floor Repairs Blogs

A well-maintained hardwood floor can easily last a lifetime – several if it’s a very dense wood such as oak. But despite hardwood flooring’s resilience to the ravages of time, they can still become damaged and at some stage in their lifespan they will invariably need repairing. Whether that’s a simple and relatively straightforward fix or a major renovation depends on the individual circumstances, but general repairs are usually quite easy to do.

However, that’s not to say that repairing wooden floors is a simple, Sunday afternoon DIY quick-fix job. There is in fact a great deal of technical expertise required to repair a wooden floor of any kind successfully, particularly hardwood. Despite its name, hardwood is actually quite delicate and can easily be damaged through heavy-handed sanding, slap-dash repairs or using the wrong type of staining. The trouble is that it can then cost a great deal more financially to put the situation right. Calling in the experts from the outset not only guarantees a good finish, but can actually work out cheaper in the long run than ‘having a go yourself’.

Does the entire floor need replacing?

The necessity to replace an entire floor is rare. This normally only happens when there has been substantial damage to the building, for example during a flood or fire. The only other time when you may need to replace the whole floor is if you have a termite infestation, but in the UK this is an exceptionally rare situation as termites are not as big a problem as they are in the USA, for example. There are very occasional instances of termite infestations in the UK, but they are exceptionally isolated and very, very rare. The most likely insect infestation you will face in the UK is woodworm, and they take a very long time to eat through an entire floor!

It is far more likely that you will only need to replace sections of a floor that have become damaged or worn over time. If the surface of the floor is in relatively good condition it may be that the only part that needs work on will be the supports. If this is the case then your flooring experts will probably use wooden ‘bracing’ to stabilise the floor and then relay the original hardwood floor back on top. This means that you do not have to pay out to replace the entire floor, and your flooring team does not have the problem of trying to match new timber to the existing flooring.

What about stains and scratches?

The most common repairs to wooden flooring are to the surface to remove the usual signs of wear and tear, such as stains and scratches. This is in fact one of the easiest types of renovation you can perform on any wooden floor – but before you break out the sandpaper, it is worth calling in an expert to assess just what type of renovation techniques will most benefit you. Sanding wooden floors may seem like a relatively straightforward job but again, do it wrong and you could be paying out far more to put it right than you budgeted for. Shallow scratches and stains should be reasonably easy to remove with a light sanding, but deeper scratches that have cut into the fibre of the wood may require filling before they can be sanded, buffed and polished.

All wooden floors will eventually need a little TLC, and whether it’s a major renovation job or a ‘done in an afternoon’ polish and wax, you can restore almost any hardwood floor to its former glory quite easily – and for relatively little cost.

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