When to Replace Floors: 10 Tell-Tale Signs

Are your carpets covered in grime? Your hardwoods lacking their luster? Has your linoleum lost its shine?

Sometimes, you can apply an easy fix to flawed flooring. But other times, the best solution is to replace the old floors with new.

It’s not always easy to tell the difference between floors that could be brought back to life with some work and good old-fashioned elbow grease, and floors that are truly beyond repair.

Are you wondering if it could be time to replace your floors?s

Don’t waste your time attempting floor fixes that are futile.

Find out how to know for sure when your floors need replacing here!

When to Replace Floors

If you aren’t sure it’s time to replace your floors, we may be able to help you decide.

Here is a list of warning signs that your floors are headed for trouble.

1. There are Significant Cracks in Your Floors

What holds true for one type of floor might not for another.  Unfortunately, if you have floors with significant cracks in them this is not the case.

Virtually any type of flooring that several or deep cracks throughout likely needs to be replaced.

Cracks serve as a breeding ground for insects and mites. Cracks also tend to lead to more cracks as time passes.

Sometimes rental properties floors can get by with more damage than a house that you own, but even if you rent your property, cracks can lead to major problems down the road.

If you notice cracks, it is probably best to start looking for replacement flooring so that you don’t end up in an even larger predicament than you started with.

2. Your Floors are Severely Outdated

If your floors are so old that they look like they have been around since the dawning of America, it’s time to replace them.

The only time this might not be the case is if you have high-quality antique hardwoods. In this event, you may want to consider repairing the originals if they can be restored and don’t have any of the additional signs of damage listed here.

3. A Leak in the Ceiling Might Point to Your Floors

Can a leaky ceiling mean that you need to replace your floors? Sometimes, yes.

If the leaking ceiling is below a floor, there is an increased possibility that the floor or subfloor above the ceiling has received water damage and needs replacing.

A leaking ceiling can indicate that the surrounding structures have also been affected, especially if the leak has been growing for some time. And, you can’t always tell how long a leak has been causing damage judging from the time it’s spotted.

When you do spot a leak, make sure that you have the attached ceiling areas thoroughly examined before ruling out a leak.

4. Your Carpet’s Reached its Expiration Date

Depending on how old your carpet is, it may not be in any condition to repel stains or spills.

But carpet flooring rarely lasts until its “expiration date” before it needs replacing. Carpet is especially susceptible to dust, dirt, and stains.

Not only that, but the quality of carpeting in your home determines a lot. If it is not high quality it tends to absorb more and can also pill.

To keep your carpet in tip-top shape, have it cleaned regularly, vacuum throughout the week and clean any noticeable stains immediately.

5. Your Floors have Sustained Major Water Damage

Flooring that has flooded or has sustained any other types of visible water damage can be a sure sign that it’s time to replace your floors.

Water can ruin all types of flooring if it is continuously exposed to it for an extended period of time, or if it reaches the subflooring.

If this happens, then you are at risk for rotting, mold and other complex problems that may take even more money and time to fix.

If your floor is soft, water stained, loose or visibly rotting, then it’s time to consider new floors.

If you are unsure if you floor has sustained extensive damage from water, ask a professional for advice.

6. The Grout in Your Tile is Badly Stained

There are types of heavy duty grout and tile cleaner that you can try if your grout is badly stained.

However, there are times that even the heaviest duty cleaning products cannot remove stains and mildew from grout. When this happens, you should probably consider replacing the tile flooring.

Not only does this make it difficult to sell your home, it’s unattractive and can signal other problems.

The grout stains, especially in bathrooms, are often mildew and this can be unhealthy along with being unsightly.

When grout and tiles become damaged, water can leak through the surface and cause problems that you cannot see. But, if this happens, even if the problems are not visible, they can be impacting your home’s structural integrity as well as your health.

7. Pet Damage Has Been Ingrained in the Flooring

We know you love your pets. But, untrained house pets can do irreversible damage to your home flooring.

Many times, people move into a new home without realizing the pet damage that was done under the previous tenants care.

But whether it is your own pets or pets that lived in your home before you did, the damage done can wreak serious havoc on floors.

The stains can be impossible to remove, as well as the odor. And if left untreated, or if the damage is recurring, it can cause rotting and other issues.

It’s usually easy to spot signs of irreparable pet damage to floors.

A noticeable, constant pet odor even after the floors have been thoroughly cleaned can be a definite sign that your floors need to be replaced. Another sure sign it’s time to replace your floors is when the pet stains are irremovable.

There are some floors that are better for pets than others that pet owners might want to consider installing.

8. Your Linoleum is Peeling Up

If your linoleum is peeling up in several places, or if it has gotten damp under the areas where it is lifting, then you may need to replace your floors. Perhaps even for close variants of vinyl or laminate flooring.

Sometimes, you can forgo the process of replacing them entirely if you can find an exact match and the area can be sectioned off, so you can replace just the damaged portion.

Other times, if a match is not available or there are several areas that this is happening, it’s probably time for a replacement.

Often once this problem begins to spread to several areas, it is a sign that it will continue to occur. Once you have begun to sight lifting in several areas of your linoleum, or in every corner of the room, then the pattern may have already begun. In this instance, the best thing to do is replace the entire floor.

Luckily, linoleum is usually one of the most affordable flooring options. Often linoleum floors can be replaced for a cost that is comparable to repairing many different areas anyway.

9. Your Hardwood Floors Have Been Sanded Down Too Much to Withstand Sanding Again

Hardwood floors that are very old or have been restored several times may be in trouble.

Sometimes, when homebuyers purchase an older home, they are not aware of how many times the hardwood floors might have been refinished prior to their ownership.

In this case, you should check the floors for a rough percentage of how much of the wood is damaged.

If 30% of your hardwood floors are bad, then 50 to 60% will be bad after you sand them.

Floors that have been repeatedly sanded and have no “meat” left, may begin to have structural problems. The planks may have signs of movement when you walk across them or nails may become exposed.

Hardwood floors are often very desirable because 95% of the time they can be restored without replacing. But, once they are sanded over and over again, they lose their integrity and need to be replaced.

10. Your Home and/or Floors Show Signs of Mold

Sometimes mold is visible and can be seen outright.

Other times, the mold is invisible and lurking in areas unseen, such as subflooring, attics and inside your walls.

Mold is dangerous and can make you very sick if left untreated. If you or a loved one is constantly sick and the problem cannot be identified, it may be mold.

Sometimes, mold can be cleaned. But, since it is a fungus, it often spreads to the point that professional help is needed to eliminate the problem.

If you suspect mold, call a professional and try not to stay inside your home until the problem is fixed.

Signs of mold or dampness, such as bubbles in your wallpaper, dark spots on your floors or a regular musty smell could mean that it might be necessary to replace your floors.

Is it Time to Replace Your Floors?

Have you noticed any signs or warnings that your floors might need replacing?

If your floors need replacing, fortunately, there are high-quality options that may be more affordable than you think.