Oftentimes customers are unsure what their hardwood floor is in need of; a recoat or something more efficient, such as a refinish.

First, let’s discuss what recoating is; recoating is simply taking the top layer of finish off the hardwood and bringing the wood down to the last known stain color, then applying a new layer of stain and finish. Unlike refinishing, only the top layer of finish is being removed.

Reasons to recoat your hardwood floor include, removing light scratches, filling gaps, or to patch the hardwood in areas of light distress. Recoating your floor can give you an entirely new color of finish, texture or, if you are using the same color finish, a whole new life. In addition, and perhaps most importantly, recoating your hardwood floor can extend the life of your floors. If your floor is deeply damaged, recoating should not be your choice.

If you are considering a refinish, keep in mind this is a much larger job than recoating. The objective of refinishing is to restore the finished hardwood to an unstained, original state; giving you a fresh slate. The refinishing process involves sanding off the old finish to make the floor’s surface level, then applying your preferred finish. Choosing to refinish over recoating generally comes down to the condition of the floor. If the floor has deep scratches, heavy damage, or has ever been waxed, it must be refinished. A floor with a wax finish cannot be recoated because urethane finishes will not adhere to the floor properly.

Below are a few factors to consider when choosing to refinish:

A bare patch, where the finish is worn off, is a good clue your hardwood is in need of a refinish. Bare spots on your hardwood, when covered with new finish, may not match the rest of the floor due to the wear your old hardwood has sustained. If you notice your floor having a slight gray appearance, this is an indication dirt has been worn into the soft grain of the wood and also indicates the floor has sustained damage.

If your hardwood floor has experienced pet stains or any type of water damage, recoating will not help you. If the stain is severe, refinishing may not be an option either; at times board replacement may be necessary.

A common misconception with recoating is that the new layer of finish will fill dents; it will not. Recoating might help improve the dents slightly but will not repair or make them disappear. Often deep dents will need board replacement, leading to the choice of a refinish.

The final indication of a refinish is damaged boards. If your boards are in despair from cracks, have split, or are loose or noisy, recoating will not help. You will most likely need board replacement and a refinish to match the rest of the floor.

Selecta Flooring is here to help with your decision. Whether you are on our home turf of Union County, NJ or surrounding areas, we can assist you; contact us today at 855-7FLOOR8 (855-735-6678).