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rational 12-21-2010 03:43 AM

Refinish/match old parquet or new hardwood?
We are remodeling an older home with pre-finished parquet floor tiles installed with a particle board layer backing (on top of the subfloor). The parquet was never sanded, so it appears it may have one decent sanding/refinish left in it. The floor needs quite a bit of patching up to cover holes made as we remove old bookshelves and move walls around. There is also water damage in one area as well as some deep furniture marks and dark stains. The total area covered by this parquet is about 950 sq ft and I estimate at least 100 sq ft of parquet that has to be newly installed to fill the holes resulting from remodel as well as replace some badly stained tiles.

The largest expanse where this parquet floor exists has settled and there are some obvious uneven areas on the floor.

My initial thought was we would have this parquet floor filled in with matching new parquet and refinish the whole floor. However, as I learned more about floors, I am beginning to wonder if the end result would work out any better than simply replacing the parquet with new hardwood floor.

We really hate the unevenness of the floor and the only way to fix that, I believe, is to remove the current layer of parquet and have the installer fix the subfloor, but that means installing new floor because the old parquet can't go back on.

I am estimating $4 / sq ft for refinish and about $10 / sq ft for matching existing parquet, so that leaves me with about $5,000 (4 * 1000 + 10 * 100) of expense to refinish. If I install new prefinished solid hardwood (est $6 / sq ft material) and account for $5 / sq ft labor (demo + install + fix subfloor), I am looking at about $11,000. We plan to hang on to this house for at least 15 - 20 years.

Having a hard time deciding between a 5K expense with unknown outcome (and we may still end up replacing the parquet after a few years) vs. replacing it with new hardwood for a known outcome, but at a considerable expense. We think this is one of those choices that has a huge impact on the look of the house (hardwood covers the formal living room and a couple of other rooms adjacent to it -- with 800+ sq ft of it visible to anybody who walks in the home) and are resigned to parting with about 11K.

It is a big decision so I am looking for some advice here. Are my numbers about right? Is refinishing pre-finished old parquet worth the money? Is it hard or easy to match old parquet (I think at least 20 years old)? For reference, the previous owner remodeled and expanded the kitchen (added about 100 sq feet) about 12 years ago and decided it was cost effective to install new hardwood in the kitchen than to match the parquet in the kitchen. That 12 year old solid hardwood floor (finished on the site) looks great.

Sorry, turned out to be a long message, but had to get the important details in.

DannyT 04-29-2011 10:25 PM

if it was my house id rip up the old floor and put new in, but then i would be doing the work myself. if you fix the parquet and then in a few years as you mentioned you still have to replace it you will have spent 16,000 dollars total and that's if the cost for the new one stay the same as you quoted. I would get at least 2 more estimates before i did anything. Would you better prepared to spend the 11,000 in a few years?

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