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How Much Does Hardwood Floor Repair Cost?

Last Updated: January 14, 2022

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If your hardwood floors have suffered a bit of damage, it probably isn't necessary to remove and replace them entirely. Most minor problems can be addressed by a flooring professional or competent do-it-yourselfer at significantly less cost than new hardwood installation. And if the damage is widespread, hardwood floor refinishing is another more affordable option. This buying guide explains common hardwood flooring problems, how much repairs cost, and when you may want to consider installing new floors.

Common Hardwood Issues and Repairs #

Most hardwood floor issues fall into one of the following categories:

  • Wear and Tear: Floors take a lot of abuse, especially if you have pets or children. Over time splits, cracks, and scratches can develop in the wood. Nails and wood putty can be used to address splits and cracks, while touch up kits should take care of minor scratches. Note, however, that boards with significant damage might need to be replaced altogether, while damage to multiple boards could be better addressed by hardwood floor refinishing.
  • Water/Humidity Damage: The principal enemy of wood is moisture. Serious moisture problems can lead to warped or sagging floors and seasonal fluctuations in humidity can cause gaps between planks as well as cupping. Although some moisture-related issues will self-correct as the weather changes, others might be the result of a humidity imbalance that will need to be addressed. Even once the problem has been dealt with, you may consider refinishing your floors to restore their original beauty.
  • Separation From the Subfloor: If your wood floors begin to buckle, it means they've detached from the subfloor beneath them. A number of issues could cause this to happen. A flooring expert should be called in to diagnose and fix the cause of the buckling.

Would I Be Better Off Installing New Hardwood Flooring? #

There are a couple of ways to approach the question of whether it makes more sense to tear up your old floors and install new hardwood. For starters, if there is significant damage to multiple areas of the floor, repair costs could get so high that they begin to rival the price of having brand new flooring installed. Other types of damage, such as pet urine, can be deep and nearly irreversible.

Another point to keep in mind is that replacing individual planks could lead to a mismatch between the new and old boards. One way to address this is by sanding the floor and applying a new finish, but again, the cost to replace boards and refinish could be quite high, and you still won't be guaranteed a perfect match.

And finally, refinishing isn't always an option for flooring that is too thin (whether due to previous refinishing or a plank that is naturally not very thick, which may be the case with newer hardwood). If restoring your floors through refinishing isn't an option, replacement may be your only recourse.

Hardwood Floor Repair Costs #

Please note that the actual cost of hardwood floor repair depends on the type and extent of the damage as well as local labor and material costs.

  • Spot repairing hardwood floors might cost $250 to $300 for a ½ day job. Repairs that require a full day of work might cost twice that ($500 to $600).
  • Nationwide data on hardwood flooring repairs from HomeAdvisor puts the average cost at approximately $900 to $1,300.
  • Per square foot, hardwood floor repairs cost $3 to $6.
  • Refinishing hardwood floors costs $1,000 to $3,000.
  • Do-it-yourself hardwood scratch repair kits cost $30 to $60.

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