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Hardwood Floor Repair: When Refinishing Isn’t Enough

If you’re a Philadelphia homeowner with a house with wood flooring, you know how important it is to maintain its beauty and integrity.

While refinishing hardwood floors can often solve minor issues, more significant damage may require repairs.

In this blog post, we’ll look at:

  • signs that indicate your hardwood floor needs repair
  • common types of damage you may encounter
  • repair options and techniques

By the end of this post, you’ll have a clear understanding of how to keep your hardwood floors in top condition and when it’s time to call in the experts from Hudson Hardwood.

The Importance and beauty of well-maintained hardwood floors

Maintaining hardwood floors is essential to their longevity, appearance, and safety.

Proper care

Proper care will help maintain their beauty and durability, contributing to a warm and cozy ambiance in any living space.

Consistent cleaning and upkeep will allow you to enjoy the many benefits of hardwood floors. It will help to keep the shine and polish of the hardwood floor. Dirt, dust, and debris can accumulate on the surface, and if not removed regularly, it can leave scratches and dullness on the floor’s surface.

Also, clean hardwood floors contribute to a cleaner environment, reducing the incidence of asthma and allergies.


Maintaining hardwood floors through refinishing can extend their life. The cost of refinishing hardwood floors is lower than you probably think.

Regular upkeep, including sanding, polishing, and refinishing, can remove any scratches, dings, and dents in the wood. If left untended, these damaged areas can worsen and lead to bigger issues, including structural damage to the floor.

  • Sometimes, refinishing may not be enough to address significant damage

Refinishing your hardwood floors involves sanding down the surface layer, which removes scratches, stains, and marks on the floor’s surface. However, if the hardwood floors are too damaged or worn down, or if there are deep scratches, stains, or moisture damage, refinishing may not be enough to fix the broken wooden floor.

Sometimes, more extensive repair work may be required to restore the floors to their former beauty. In such cases, repairing or replacing the damaged wood flooring may be necessary.


Remember, hardwood floors are a significant investment in your Philadelphia property. Proper maintenance ensures the floors remain in excellent condition, preserving their value and attractiveness to potential buyers in the future.

Signs your hardwood floor needs repair

There are usually clear flooring signs that you need hardwood floor damage repair. When you see too many of these signs, it’s time to call in the pros to refinish or replace your flooring.

Clear signs of damage::

  1. Cracks or splits: If you notice cracks or splits in your hardwood floors, it’s a sure sign to repair hardwood flooring. These can be caused by water damage, age, or other factors.
  2. Squeaking: Squeaking floors are usually a sign of loose or damaged floorboards and should be repaired to prevent further damage.
  3. Socks catching: If your socks are catching on your Philly hardwood floors, it’s time for some hardwood floor scratch repair.
  4. Gaps between the planks: If there are gaps between the planks of your hardwood floor, it could be due to humidity fluctuations or loose nails. Sanding and refinishing hardwood floors is in order.
  5. Cupping or crowning: If you have wavy hardwood floors, it may be due to cupping or crowning. This is often caused by moisture issues.
  6. Warping: If your hardwood floor appears to be warped or has a bulge, it could be due to excessive moisture or a subfloor problem.
  7. Heavy scratches or staining: If your hardwood floor has deep scratches or noticeable stains, it may need to be sanded and refinished.
  8. Color issues:  If you have fading or discoloration that is not solved by refinishing, it’s time for refinishing old hardwood floors.
  9. Termites: Signs of early stage termites in hardwood floors is an occasional problem, too.

Common types of hardwood floor damage

Different types of wood damage:

Water damage and Warping

Water can damage hardwood floors quickly and severely – even durable hard wood. This can occur due to flooding, spills, or high levels of indoor humidity. Hardwood floors can warp due to moisture damage, uneven sub-floors, and too much direct sunlight. Sometimes, even signs of mold under hardwood floors can be seen.


Buckling occurs when hardwood floors are exposed to excessive moisture, causing the wood planks to expand and push against each other. This is one of the signs of water damage on hardwood floors, and it can lead to damage to the floor’s structure.

Dents and dings

Physical damage from heavy furniture or high heels is a common issue with even durable hardwood flooring. Dents in Philadelphia hardwood flooring can be caused by dropped heavy objects, high heel shoes, or furniture.


This is the most common type of damage to hardwood floors. Scratches occur due to daily foot traffic, pets, furniture movement, and sharp objects. Floor damage repair is fairly straightforward.

Aging and fading

Sunlight and exposure to UV rays can cause different types of hardwood flooring finishes to fade over time. Natural wear and tear lead to loose boards or fading of hardwood finishes.


Stains are also very common in all hardwood colors, and they can be caused by spills, pet urine, and other liquids.

The type of damage can dictate the necessary repair approach.

Repair options and techniques

There are many options to repair hardwood floor damage.

Board replacement on quality wood flooring can be a solid option for hardwood floor deep scratch repair for more significant damage, such as deep gouges, cracks, or water damage. When boards can be replaced, the entire floor is refinished for a fresh look.

Re-securing loose or squeaky boards is another option for floor repairs. This usually involves nailing or screwing the specific board back into the subfloor. This specific solution can help to improve, but not completely fix all squeaks. To remove all squeaks, the subfloor may need to be replaced.

Some types of damage on Philadelphia hardwood floors, like extensive warping due to water damage, may require a far more comprehensive repair, and sometimes a  complete floor replacement is the best option.

Why call a professional for hardwood floor repair?

Professionals are experts! They know how to fix damaged hardwood floors.

They have the necessary skills, knowledge, and experience to identify and fix hardwood floor problems correctly. They know the pros and cons of hardwood flooring and can diagnose the root cause of the issue and provide a solution that addresses the problem completely.

Their results are high-quality repairs that last longer than DIY solutions.

Also, hardwood floor repair can be dangerous if not done correctly. Professionals have the necessary safety equipment and know-how to ensure that repairs are done in a safe and secure manner. They have access to specialized equipment and products that are not commonly available to the general public.

This means that they can provide a higher quality repair and finish that can extend the lifespan of your hardwood floors.

Although it may seem expensive to call a professional for hardwood floor repair, it is actually cost-effective in the long run. There is real value in a professional’s advice for specific types of damage. They can help you figure out if buying durable hardwood floors as a replacement is a better option.

So, save your time! Hardwood floor repair can be time-consuming, especially if you are not experienced in doing it yourself. By calling a professional, you can save time so that you can focus on other important things in your life while the professionals fix your floors.

The pros know when to refinish and when to replace hardwood 

A professional can help you identify any underlying issues that may have caused the damage in the first place. By addressing these issues, you can prevent further damage and ensure that your hardwood floors remain in great condition for years to come.

There are many benefits of wooden flooring, and hardwood floor repair is not something that should be taken lightly. While DIY projects can save you some money upfront, they can end up costing you more in the long run if they are not done properly.

By hiring a professional, you can ensure that your hardwood floor repair is done safely, effectively, and efficiently. Ask to see damaged hardwood floors before and after photos, because the advantages of hardwood flooring can’t be underestimated.

So, if you have any damage to your hardwood floors, reach out to Hudson Hardwood today. We are also your hardwood floor installation Philadelphia experts. We also offer staircase services, and we’re happy to help!


Q: I don’t know how to choose hardwood flooring. Can experts help with buying hardwood floors?

A: Yes. Reach out to Hudson Hardwood for all hardwood flooring installation Philadelphia!

Q: What are the pros and cons of hardwood floors? I’d like a complete wood floor house.

A: Pros of hardwood floors: Durability, aesthetic appeal, easy to clean: Hardwood floors are easy to clean and maintain. Cons: They require cleaning and occasional maintenance.

Q: Is refinishing engineered hardwood floors possible?

A: Yes, refinishing engineered hardwood floors is possible, but it depends on the thickness of the hardwood wear layer. Engineered hardwood floors typically have a thinner layer of hardwood on top of a plywood or high-density fiberboard base. If the wear layer is thick enough, the floors can be sanded and refinished like solid hardwood floors.


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