Most old solid oak wood floors can be sanded several times during its lifetime. However, if your flooring is over 20 years old it is best to double check to ensure enough wear-layer exists before attempting another sanding. When a wood floor's wear-layer is under 2 millimeter, you might consider a factory finished hardwoods for your next project. Prefinished hardwoods are also known as factory finished because they are finished at the mill rather than at your home making for a quick install and a tougher finished product.
Refinishing My Wood
You might have heard from your neighbors that solid and engineered (with a thick wear-layer) floors can be sanded and refinished several times through its lifespan. Perhaps you recently purchased a home and it has old golden oak hardwood floors underneath the carpet. Why not refinish it? Refinishing a hardwood floor can be cost effective for a DIY project, however, there might be significant costs associated if you hire a skilled contractor. Your contractor will need to sand, stain, and apply several layers of finish. If a flooring is being sanded and finished at your home, it would be best to move in with your in-laws for a few days to allow the house to air out. This can all be avoided by choosing a new prefinished hardwood product.
Resanding your old wood floor may not be the best way to save money after factoring in the additional labor costs. If you hire an inexperienced contractor to sand your floors, they might over sand through the wear-layer; now you will have to replace the floors anyways. Over sanding a wood floor will lead to the exposure of nail heads, which can be dangerous, especially for children and pets. The amount of dust created with sanding a floor onsite needs to be addressed if you have allergies or asthma.
Sanding and refinishing your old floor has its cost benefits if you are willing to put in the work, but you might find yourself in a sticky situation if you get half way through and realize it is more than you bargained for. Perhaps after reading this, you've realized prefinished hardwoods are the best option for you due to its easy of installation and at the end of the day a new floor might not cost you much more than sanding your existing hardwood.