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Repairs & Patching: DYI or Hire a Professional?

Making the decision to hire a professional hardwood flooring installer to help you patch up or repair your hardwood floor can be influenced by various factors. Your expertise level when dealing with hardwood floor repairs, the difficulty and scope of the repair needed and your budget will impact your decision.

Can you get away with not really having it repaired?

For example, if the spot that needs repairing is small or slight, can you live with the look of it? Can you rearrange furniture to hide it? Can you put a throw rug over it? Is it safe to leave alone? In other words, could someone trip over it and fall? Depending on your situation, the last thing you want to deal with is potentially costly medical or other liability issues.

How large is the scope of the repair needed?

For example, is it one small part of one plank that needs to be finished or is it several planks? Do you have any extra boards you may have kept after the original installation was complete? Do any of those planks match the grain, texture and overall look of the rest of your hardwood floor?

Not sure what repairing or patching involves?

All patch or repair jobs for hardwood flooring involves analyzing all of the unique factors that exist for each specific situation including taking into consideration exactly how repairing one or two planks will affect the stability of the rest of the hardwood floor. The specific approach used in the repair or patch will also depend on whether or not the hardwood floor is floated, nailed, stapled or glued down. Specific types of saws and prying bars or chisels must be used. The angles of the cuts must be exact in order to not damage the planks surrounding the repair area and must not go too deep. The reapplication of the new planks must be done with the same type of precision at every step to avoid damage to the surrounding flooring.

Can you repair or patch the job yourself?

Unless you're adept and fully qualified by trade to make repairs to hardwood flooring beyond regular maintenance of sweeping, mopping, furniture rotation, etc.., you should consider hiring a professional hardwood flooring installer to assist you. Some professional installers argue on the side of never patching, but always repairing, citing that small patch jobs resemble the look of small sticky first aid products used to clean minor cuts or scrapes. They feel taking the time to fully repair any badly damaged planks will pay off in the long run. Others prefer the small patch jobs and are not bothered by the appearance. Some hardwood flooring installers may be able to meet you in the middle when it comes to repair methods and your budget.