Many homeowners are faced with the same question at some point in their lives. What do I do with these worn out hardwood floors? Well, before you call the local carpet retailer and bury those floors under yards of berber or shag, let me tell you why we at Service Doctor recommend you refinish your hardwood floors.

Yes, refinishing your hardwood floors may seem like more of a hassle than just hiding it with wall-to-wall carpet. However, there are many perks to refinishing those scuffed up floors. The most notable of these advantages is improved home value. If you are looking to sell, or just looking to add value to your home, freshly refinished hardwood floors are an easy solution. You cannot deny that those wonderfully shiny floors make any room feel homey and fresh. The added home value is a bonus that pays for itself in the long run.

Ok, now we understand how hardwood floors add value to our homes. Can we talk about how easy hardwood floors are to clean? If you spill a cup of coffee on your newly refinished hardwood floors, all you need is a rag or a mop and the mess is all gone. Drop that same cup of coffee on your brand new wall-to-wall carpet and you will be on your hands and knees trying to dab the stain out. You can spot shampoo that area which, of course, leaves a clean spot, or a faded stain in the middle of a clean spot. More than likely, that unsightly stain is sitting in the middle of your floor. Who wants to deal with all that trouble? Freshly resurfaced hardwood floors are easy to clean and maintain while giving your home a warm and welcoming feeling.

Now, let’s talk finishes. Polyurethane is the most common hardwood floor finish on the market. It is available in a water-based and oil-based. Service Doctor Technicians use oil-based polyurethane. We find it leaves a lovely finish with long-lasting benefits. We also find it to be the best cost alternative of the two finishes.

Oil Based vs Water Based Finishes

There are advantages and disadvantages to both. When choosing your finish, you need to consider how much traffic flows through the area. Oil-based polyurethane holds up the best in high traffic areas. You also want to consider the type of wood you are coating. Keep in mind, oil-based finishes yellow slightly over time while water-based stay clear. We believe the yellowish hue of oil-based polyurethane provides a wonderfully warm feeling to a room. Some people appreciate the warm color of oil-based, but if you want to preserve the color of a specific type of wood, then a water-based polyurethane might be the choice for you.

Water Based

Faster drying time.
No yellowing color over time.
Less toxic smells
Less High Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs)

More expensive than oil-based.
Less forgiving of mistakes when applying.
Finish does not last as long as oil-based.
Requires more coats to achieve desired thickness.
Recoating surface is difficult as new coats may not adhere to older coats on the floor.

Oil Based

Less expensive than water-based.
Long lasting finish.
Easy to recoat.
More forgiving of mistakes when applying.
Good for high-traffic areas.

Long dry time
Strong toxic smells during application
High Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs)
Yellows over time (some find it attractive)

Now, we must admit that refinishing your own floors is not the easiest process to undertake. Unless you are a seasoned pro, you will probably want to hire professionals, like Service Doctor, to tackle the job for you. Our technicians are well-versed at screening, sanding and applying floor finishes. The whole process takes a few days to properly complete, but the results are well worth the process. Call us and one of our resurfacing experts can answer any questions you may have about refinishing your hardwood floors. Then, take the plunge and refinish those floors! You will love the results.