Learn costs and other important details about renewing a hardwood floor — and the one mistake you should avoid
After about 20 years, most hardwood floors start showing their age; scratches, dullness and discoloring are the most common signs that the wood is due for refinishing. Fortunately, the typical ¾-inch-thick hardwood floor can be sanded about six to eight times during its lifetime. So unless you live in a particularly old house, or a previous resident was an especially aggressive refinisher, chances are good that your wood floors can be brought back to life.
You need at least 1/32 of an inch of wood on the top of your floors to sand them. If your home has heat registers in the floor, remove a grille and take a sidelong look at the surrounding planks to see if that’s available. If that’s not possible, you can remove a plank from an inconspicuous location (like the inside of a closet) or ask a professional floor refinisher to appraise the situation. You can’t refinish laminated wood floors (such as Pergo); you might be able to refinish an engineered wood floor, depending on the finish and how thick the top layer of wood is.