When Are Hardwood Floors Beyond Repair?

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By Bryan Peters

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Why are hardwood floors the preferred choice of flooring over the years? 

Well, apart from the classic beauty they add to a home, they’re quite durable. 

Yes, you can refinish your hardwood floors a couple of times over the years. 

However, nothing lasts forever, and as such, you should know when it’s time to kick the old hardwood floor in the bucket! 

But when are hardwood floors beyond repair? Well, the first sign that you need to change your hardwood is when the squeaking and creaking sounds become unbearable. Sometimes a severe pest infestation is also a perfect sign that your hardwood floor is beyond repair and needs to be replaced.

This article will highlight certain telltale signs to indicate that your hardwood floor is beyond repair.

When Are Hardwood Floors Beyond Repair?

When Are Hardwood Floors Beyond Repair

Like any other natural product, wood degrades and thus needs to be replaced instead of repaired. 

Below are some signs that your once beautiful hardwood floor is beyond repair and needs to be replaced.

See Also: How To Tell If Wood Floor Is Sandable

1. Squeaking and Creaking Sounds

Refinishing hardwood floors is usually adopted when your floors are ridden with dents and scratches. But a creaky hardwood floor can hardly be fixed with a refinishing process.

You might wonder, what causes these squeaky and creaky sounds when you step on the wood floor? 

You should know that over time; hardwood floors change their shape by warping and contracting. 

Once this happens, the planks begin to scrape and rub against each other, causing that characteristically creepy sound of creaking and squeaking floorboards.

Once the squeaky and creaky sound becomes too noisy, you don’t need a prophet to tell you that your hardwood floors are due for a replacement. 

Make sure to change the subfloor; they might play a role in the squeaky, creaky sounds. 

2. If the Hardwood Floors Have Been Refinished Frequently 

If you are familiar with the refinishing process for hardwood floors, you should know sanding is an integral part of it. 

Frequent sanding makes the wood very thin and therefore reduces the number of times it should be refinished.

Also, old hardwood floors that have been frequently refinished tend to resist being refinished again too often. 

If such is the case, then it’s time for you to replace your hardwood floor because it is beyond repair. 

3. Pest Infestation

While refinishing hardwood floors tend to reduce the severity of pest infestation, sometimes, some pest infestations cannot be cured with wood refurbishment.

Pests like termites eat into your hardwood floors, destroying their essential core. 

Frequent reoccurrence of these pests are signs that your hardwood floor is beyond repair and should be replaced.

See Also: How To Get Rid Of Ants On Kitchen Floor

4. Structural Instability

This is probably the biggest sign that your hardwood floors are beyond repair. 

Once the boards and planks begin to move beneath your feet, you shouldn’t waste any time in replacing them. 

Refinishing your hardwood floor at this point will be an exercise in futility. 

In fact, the shifting board and plank will prevent you from sanding and refinishing them. 

5. Lots of Nails on Your Hardwood Floors

It is quite normal to see nails poking out of your hardwood floors, especially in older homes. 

A simple hammer can be used to fix the errant nails. 

But it calls for concern when you see exposed nails over more than 30 percent of the floors throughout your home. 

This is a big indicator that your hardwood floor is beyond repair. 

When to Repair Your Hardwood Floors

Of course, there are certain indications that your hardwood floor just needs a little fix to get back to normal. 

What are some of these indicators? Let us read on to find out.

1. Gaps between the Planks

It is quite natural to see gaps between planks due to changes in moisture, weather, and humidity levels. 

The wood shrinks and expands depending on these changes. 

Once you’ve identified the reason for these gaps, you can go ahead to fix them.

2. Cracking or Split wood

Wood wears off with time, and it’s normal for the board to crack, probably due to loss of moisture and oil. 

Fortunately, these cracks can be fixed unless the board is cracked down the length

3. Cupped Flooring

This is when the plank edges rise, leaving the center turned down, creating a sort of cup shape. 

This usually happens due to an imbalance of moisture on the planks. 

Before fixing this, the moisture issue needs to be tended to.


As mentioned earlier, hardwood floors are preferred for their resilience and durability. But knowing that hardwood floors can deteriorate over time, you need to put provision in place to replace them. 

We hope this post on when hardwood floors are beyond repair provides the needed indications for when to fix your hardwood floors.

See Also: How to Tell If Floors Are Engineered Hardwood