Hardwood Flooring Replace or Refinish

Should you refinish hardwood floors, or replace them? This depends on many factors, including the age and condition of your hardwood, your preference for hardwoods, your budget, and how much you are willing to spend.

Refinishing hardwood floors will almost always cost less. You will need to replace the hardwood floors as well as haul away any existing hardwood. You can replace damaged hardwood sections (e.g. You can replace damaged hardwood sections (e.g., water stains or pet stains) and refinish the rest. This will cost less than replacing the whole floor.

If refinishing hardwood floors is more affordable, why not consider new flooring?

Check out our Flooring Guide to every room in your home.

Carpenter man installing wooden floor
Hardwood flooring being installed in Pilesgrove, New Jersey

These are the benefits and reasons to get new hardwood floors.

Old Hardwood Floors

It may be time to replace your floors if they are really old and have had to be refinished several times. This does not mean oak floors that have been scratched and dinged up. It means floors that have been in place for more than 100 years and have had to be refinished at most five times. It’s time to replace your floor if you can see the joints between the boards. If your floors seem shaky or bouncy, then it may be time to replace them. Pine floors are more prone to this because they have been used for a long time and are soft.

Change Hardwood Floor Species

You can replace hardwood if you wish to change the wood species. Oak is the most common type of wood in American homes. While some people like the look and feel of oak, others prefer something more modern such as a bright Brazilian cherry, a clear maple, or a bamboo. This is what you want, so changing woods might be a good idea. You can stain existing floors in a different color. Don’t change the color just because you don’t like it. It is possible to change it.

Hardwood Floor Width or Direction

A new floor is the best option if you need to alter the width or direction of the hardwood. Oak 2 1/4″ strip is the standard for a home. It’s fashionable and more popular to use wider planks, such as 3 1/4″, 4″ or 5″ planks. These planks look modern and make the room appear larger. A second design tip to make rooms appear larger is to lay planks diagonally. This will ensure that your eyes follow the length of the room. You can also add borders to the planks or a herringbone pattern.


Parquet hardwood floors may need to be replaced with regular hardwood planks. Parquet floors are out of fashion and make the room appear smaller due to the small squares. The room will look larger and more beautiful if you switch to long strips.

Faster Hardwood Floors Project Turnaround

Replacing floors is easier and less messy than refinishing them. Refinishing hardwood floors can be messy and time-consuming. If you live in your home, and have furniture all over the place, it can be difficult to refinish hardwood floors. It can take up to 4-5 days to finish hardwood floors. During that time, you cannot have furniture or walk on them. This can create logistical problems for some homeowners as they are unable to stay in their home or would not want to because of the mess and smell. Pre-finished hardwood floors can be replaced faster, are less messy, and allow you to live comfortably in your home. Many customers have chosen this option because it eliminates the mess that comes with refinishing hardwood floors.


As with all things, your individual circumstances will dictate whether or not you decide to refinish hardwood floors. Refinishing hardwood floors in a new house is easier than if you live there. Refinishing floors is much cheaper than replacing them. (This is to put it in perspective: Replacing them might cost you 3-5 times more).