How Much Does It Cost To Refinish Old Wood Floors Floor Resurfacing – How to Choose the Right Hardwood, Laminate, or Tile

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Floor Resurfacing – How to Choose the Right Hardwood, Laminate, or Tile

Resurfacing your floor? When you pull up old carpet, tile, or buy a new house, the installed material you find underneath determines your choices.

You have 3 basic flooring choices, depending on what you find underfoot.

Option 1 is Solid Hardwood Flooring.

Hardwood flooring needs a wood or plywood subfloor. If you pull up carpet and find a surface that works well holding nails or glue, you are in luck if you want a hardwood floor.

You may find something else on top of your plywood, floorboards, or subfloor. You may find a dusty, scratched, dingy hardwood floor already in place. It may look pretty bad, and you may think you have to rip it out to have a new beautiful hardwood finish. Take heart – and ask a professional refinisher to see it before you tear it out. Refinishing old hardwood often brings astonishing results.

With far less waste, high quality wood and lower cost than ripping out and installing a new hardwood floor, you can resurface the old one. A professional refinisher will sand, stain and apply a protective finish. Scratches, grime, wear and tear are gone. Many homeowners are simply blown away when they see the results you can get from a skilled professional hardwood refinisher.

You have the choice of new hardwood or refinished hardwood if your subfloor is wood or plywood. But what if you don’t find plywood or floor boards under your feet?

Option 2 is Laminate or Engineered Wood Flooring

If your subfloor is concrete, then solid hardwood flooring should be avoided. So installing solid hardwood is not an option. You or your flooring installer must use laminate or engineered flooring if you want the look of wood.

Laminates and engineered floors are often snap-together boards that float on top of your installed concrete. Laminates have man-made layers. The top layer looks like real wood – it often includes an image of birch, oak, pine or maple planks. Engineered floors have a thin top layer of real wood. You do not apply stain or finish – these floors are pre-finished.

Laminate and engineered floors work when you are refinishing a basement and want the warmth of wood, but can’t install hardwood. But what if your floor is going to get wet or get heavy use?

Option 3 is Tile Flooring

Ceramic tile or vinyl tile is a good choice if your floor is going to get wet or get heavy foot traffic, and you can’t use wood look-alikes.

Ceramic tile is often used in bathrooms, kitchens or mudrooms. You can use ceramic tile over plywood, backer boards or concrete. A professional installer will have the tools to cut the tile and plan an even, balanced layout. Your professional installer will avoid odd-looking cuts to fit your pattern edge to edge. Your professional installer will also give you a secure, even surface that will remain stable and look great for years.

Facts about Underlays: What Goes Beneath Your New Floor

Unless you live in a desert, all floors should receive an underlay/moisture barrier. If you are working with a professional who cares about the quality of his work and your happiness with the job over time, you should find out what the plan is to keep moisture away from the bottom of your flooring.

A careful choice of foam underlay for laminate stabilizes the floor, reduces noise, and has superior mold, mildew, and moisture protection. It is not your job to know what kind of underlay works for your floor – a good professional will have a lot of experience in choosing the right underlay for your situation.

Even solid hardwood floors need an underlay. The right material will allow moisture to evaporate or dissipate away from your floor. Excess moisture is a major concern for new hardwood; if there is nowhere for it to go, excess water may cause warping over time.

Finishing Touches

Your installer should put in trim, moldings, and other pieces to make the area between your wall and your floor look clean and finished. If your installer does not list trim pieces like thresholds and moldings in your quote, be sure to ask.

What does each kind of floor look like? You can see examples of resurfaced floors in this Facebook photo album.

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