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Hardwood flooring is a popular choice in Charleston, but our humidity can prove challenging for traditional solid hardwood (and even some older engineered planks). Unfortunately, many of the homeowners we’ve worked with didn’t know that until it was too late. The damage had been done and sometimes even affected the subfloor. That leads to more expensive repairs and might cause foundational damage. Here, we’ll briefly discuss a few signs that it’s time to replace your hardwood floors.

1. Surface Damage

Damaged hardwood floors

If you’ve gone any length of time without cleaning your hardwood floors, you’ve probably noticed a light, grimy film covering the surface. Usually, this can be wiped away with a little elbow grease. But when that’s no longer the case, it might be time to replace your hardwood floors.

This is especially evident if you’ve refinished your hardwood floors several times already. Each refinishing brings the planks closer to the end of their lifespan. If they still show signs of wear and damage, it’s time to replace.

Also, keep an eye out for dents, chips, and scratches that are particularly deep. If they reach the wood (for solid hardwood) or core (for engineered hardwood) over a fairly large area, it’s time to replace. However, some engineered hardwood floors can be replaced by plank (rather than replacing the entire floor).

2. Cracked and Warped Planks

Man replacing hardwood flooring panels

Like we said, Charleston’s climate can be tough on many hard surface floors. The most frequent signs of permanent damage are cracks and warped edges. This often occurs thanks to our drastic temperature changes and low humidity. Unfortunately, cracks and (especially) warped edges can’t be repaired.

3. Planks Are Rubbing Against Each Other

Closeup of a damaged hardwood panel

As hardwood planks lose their integrity, they’ll begin rubbing against each other and the subfloor. This level of wear is usually a sign that it’s time to replace your hardwood floor. If your floors aren’t replaced, they may allow moisture to seep into the subfloor, significantly increasing your repair costs. Weaker planks may also lead to exposed nails.

Learn More

Hardwood designs are a popular choice in Charleston, but we highly recommend modern engineered planks for our environment. Fortunately, we offer some of the industry’s leading hardwood floors. We also sell a few alternatives that beautifully mimic the wood aesthetic, such as LVP and laminate. To learn more, give us a call!