Sooner or later you’ll have to get wood floors refinished. While the great news is that they can last for years, after about 10, you'll start to see wear, dullness, and excessive scratches. There are some very common problems, some of which can be avoided with proper preparation and awareness during the process, either by you or the wood refinishing service

Here are some things you should know about.

A soiled floor won’t hold finish

If the flooring is contaminated or too moist, the coatings won't adhere well and will eventually peel. 

It can also happen with excessive sanding, which will cause the surface to be too glossy and slippery. Other reasons include using a mismatched stain color. Not all stains work well with each other. Many professionals advise homeowners to make a note of the stain so the same type is always used.

When this happens, it’s usually best for the refinisher to sand the floors and restart the process. Simply applying a new coat, without sanding, may not fix the problem, since wood is porous and substances can soak in, causing the finish not to adhere.

Damp finishes attract debris

That means the entire room, not just the floor, must be thoroughly cleaned.  Every single surface, including walls, light fixtures, art, etc., must be dusted. If debris does get into it, the floor needs to be sanded and restained. Sometimes you'll also see blemishes; these can take the form of little scratches, swirls, or screen-like images. That means it needs to be sanded past the coat where these flaws occurred. That can be difficult to determine, so it’s best if the wood is just sanded down completely.

Is refinishing always the answer?

Usually, yes, refinishing often will bring the floor back to its original beauty. There will be times, however, when the floor is irreparable, such as warping or termite destruction. Also, watch closely for boards turning gray. That means water damage, which is then oxidized, resulting in discoloration. Handle that immediately and call for service. If you ignore it, the boards will get darker and darker until black spots occur and, once that happens, usually the only solution is a replacement.

For more information, visit the Delair's Carpet Barn showroom in East Montpelier, Vermont, serving East Montpelier, Montpelier, Stowe, and Waterbury. Ask about our estimates.