Anyone planning to resurface hardwood floors will know how hard the project is likely to be. Contractors can't perfectly address those questions without looking at the specific floors. However, homeowners can make reasonable guesses based on the following four factors.
Previous Resurfacing Projects
Over time, resurfacing will remove a thin layer of the floor. This can add up, especially if you have to regularly resurface wood floors in high-traffic areas. Resurfacing will become more difficult as a contractor has to consider how much material is left. Likewise, there will come a point where the property owner should consider replacing the wood and starting fresh.
Notably, the quality of previous resurfacing efforts matters. If the last contractor was aggressive and stripped a lot of the surface, the next one may have to be more careful. Likewise, if the previous work didn't take care of deep gouges, the current contractor may have to pay some attention to how the old work interacts with the new surface. Otherwise, there could be ugly marks left behind.
Depth of Damage
Sometimes deep resurfacing is necessary. If oil or paint stained the wood, for example, the wood may be damaged to a significant depth. To resurface hardwood floors with such deep damage, a contractor has to be sure they'll go lower than the affected area. Also, they may have to smooth the differences between deeply damaged areas and lighter ones so the floors will be even.
Gouges and scratches can also go very deep. The same applies to floors that need resurfacing due to warping from water damage. There will be more loss, but the floors will have more even surfaces when the job is done.
Frequency of Maintenance
Ideally, the homeowner has regularly cleaned and polished the floors. Also, cleaning spills right away can make a major difference. Usually, these surfaces look very good. As long as they haven't been warped by anything like heavy foot traffic or humidity, a contractor can usually go lighter on these surfaces. That means the job should be less difficult.
Type of Wood
Some woods are tougher to resurface than others. Hardwoods vary in density, and some will require a contractor to go slowly while smoothing their surfaces.
You should also consider asking the contractor to go slower if the wood is relatively difficult or expensive to replace. If the wood is from virgin timber from 150 years ago, for example, it may be literally irreplaceable. Slower will be better in that scenario.
For more information, contact a company that can resurface hardwood floors.