Probably not. Most scratches are only in the veneer, so refinishing is most likely all that’s needed to bring it back to the original luster. The best thing would be to call for service to see if you just need something simple or more thorough.

What is hardwood refinishing?

Simply, it just means to repair or reapply finishing on an object, in this case, the floor. There's a top coat, lacquer or varnish with, sometimes, sanding. Our goal is to get an improved or renewed finish.

Here’s the great thing about hardwood. It lasts for years, sometimes up to 100, and it can often look better with age. But a wood floor does need some TLC at times (usually at the 20-year mark), and that's in the form of a refinishing service.

When will I need it?

Quite honestly, people sometimes go for refinishing when they don’t need it. If you just see some fading and light scratches in the hardwood, you can get away with a simple one.

On the other hand, if you see structural damage, such as warping, termite damage or sagging, you might need to replace the floor.

Here’s an easy way to tell if you need refinishing: Drop a little water on the surface of the floor. If it doesn’t soak in, or if it soaks in very slowly, you can probably get away with a couple of months of just regular maintenance. If it absorbs quickly call for service.

Can I do it myself?

No, this is not a good idea. The main tool used is a drum sander, and it’s very heavy and hard to handle. If you make a hole in the wood you might end up having to place it. Another way you can ruin the floor is to spend too much time in one area, making for unevenness in the swirls.

The other thing you will probably do is not apply the veneer evenly or not let in dry thoroughly between coats, resulting in some bumps.

Remember, the whole point of refinishing is to refresh, renew and improve; you will do the opposite if you try to take it on yourself.

If you have questions, feel free to come into the Delair’s Carpet Barn showroom in East Montpelier, Vermont.