Most people pick out flooring for their home with the intention of keeping it for many years. After all, the expense and work that goes into picking out, purchasing and installing floors is a serious endeavor. Unfortunately, floors don’t last forever. Even the most durable hardwood floors may need to be replaced after a few decades, particularly if they are not properly maintained.
If you have older floors, or you are simply curious about how long floors last, read on for the ultimate guide on when floors need to be replaced, when they simply need to be refinished and how to prolong the life of your existing floors.
How Long Do Floors Last?
Different floors have very different lifespans, so it is important to identify the material of your floor before going any further. The floors that can last the longest are solid hardwood floors that are properly installed by professionals and maintained carefully.
Some of these floors can actually last longer than the home itself, and some homes contain wooden floors that are more than 100 years old. However, thinner engineered hardwood floors typically only last for 20 years.
Thick stone floors can also last for decades, but they may need to be completely stripped and resealed every few years. Tile floors, including popular favorites like ceramic and porcelain, will usually last for a decade, but they may need re-grouting periodically.
How Can You Tell When It Is Time to Replace Your Floors?
There are various ways to tell when it is time to replace your floors. If your tiles are shifting around or cracked, that is a clear sign that they need to be replaced. Carpets that have obvious stains, rips or a strong odor also need to be replaced immediately.
You might want to replace your hardwood floors if they have been refinished several times and they are more than 40 years old. In addition, whenever you feel the need to change up the decorative style of your home, replacing the floors with a new material or design can be a great way to shake up the decor and create a new atmosphere in any space.
Is Refinishing a More Affordable Option?
Many homeowners think that their floors need to be replaced, but in reality they simply need to be refinished. Obviously, carpets cannot be refinished. If a thorough steam cleaning still leaves them threadbare, stained or odorous, they will need to be replaced. Hardwood and stone floors, however, can be refinished at much cheaper costs that an entire replacement.
If the surface of your floor is cracked, stained or has changed color over time, having the floor resurfaced or refinished can be all that is necessary, and it will save you a lot of time and money compared to replacement.
What Can You Do To Prolong The Life of Your Floors?
If you have new floors in your home, a great way to postpone both refinishing and replacement for as long as possible is to care for them while they are still in good condition. Carpets should be vacuumed twice a week and steam-cleaned every six months.
Tiles need to be vacuumed twice a week also, and they should be mopped weekly. By vacuuming your hardwood floors regularly, you can eliminate the small dirt particles that scratch the surface. By taking precautionary measures in advance, you can easily prolong the life of your floors.
Use this guide to decide if you need you replace your floors or simply refinish them. Keep in mind that alternatives like carpet tile squares make replacing certain areas of the floor easy and affordable.