One of the most frequent questions that N-Hance® technicians hear from homeowners is whether their floors need to be replaced, restored, or refinished. While replacement is rarely necessary, there’s an important distinction between hardwood restoration and refinishing.

From a homeowner’s perspective, this distinction can affect the level of disruption and overall expense of your project. Restoration takes more time and costs more money. Because of this, refinishing is typically the preferred choice.

Yet certain types of damage can’t be fixed with a simple refinishing job. In these cases, refinishing your floors instead of restoring them could lead to underwhelming results. In the worst cases, it could force you to restart your project from scratch.

To help you determine which type of service you need, here’s a quick explanation of the difference between hardwood refinishing and restoration.

Hardwood Refinishing

Refinishing hardwood floors is simpler, quicker, and cheaper than hardwood restoration. In short, refinishing is preferable to restoration whenever possible.

The catch is that refinishing can only fix light-to-moderate levels of wear. To be more precise, the damage needs to be to the finish itself. If there is deeper damage to the actual hardwood, restoration will be necessary.

This makes hardwood refinishing an appropriate choice when your finish has suffered from the following types of damage:

  • Light scuffs or scratches
  • Light to moderate wear from foot traffic
  • Loss of original luster over time

While refinishing can save you time and money compared to hardwood restoration, you’ll need to be careful about which type of refinishing service you hire.

With traditional refinishing, floors need to be stripped using toxic solvents. After that, they need to be sanded, which produces high volumes of wood dust. Between preparation and curing times, traditional refinishing also takes several days to complete.

At N-Hance, our Lightspeed® refinishing process minimizes the health concerns and inconvenience of hardwood refinishing. Lightspeed® requires no solvents or sanding, keeping toxins and irritants out of the air in your home. It also cures your new finish instantly, which allows us to complete most hardwood refinishing projects in a single day.

Hardwood Restoration

In cases where the finish has suffered deeper damage, or where the damage has penetrated the finish and reached the wood itself, hardwood restoration will be necessary.

Here are a few examples of the kinds of damage that need to be corrected through hardwood restoration:

  • Deeper scratches and gouges, such as those caused by large dogs or furniture
  • Areas where the finish has been completely worn away, exposing the wood underneath
  • Walkways that have turned gray or black due to excessive foot traffic
  • Warped, cracked, uneven, or water damaged floor boards

Correcting this level of damage can be a laborious and highly disruptive process. But as with wood refinishing, the right hardwood restoration service will make a big difference.

As with traditional refinishing, hardwood restoration will typically require toxic and volatile solvents and generate high levels of wood dust. What’s more, it will take even longer than refinishing. Parts of your home could be unusable for two or more weeks.

Once again, N-Hance offers a homeowner-friendly alternative to traditional restoration methods. While our hardwood restoration services take more time than N-Hance refinishing services, they take less time than traditional refinishing. On a typical job, we can restore hardwood surfaces in two days or less.

We also use far healthier methods compared to traditional restorers. That means you don’t need to worry about toxic fumes or excessive wood dust polluting the air inside your home.

Learn more about N-Hance hardwood restoration services and request a FREE estimate by calling us today at (855) 642-6230!