How long do hardwood floors last?

Home Builder with The Flooring Girl

Well of course that depends...


In case you haven't noticed, I love hardwood floors.  We have seen and refinished some pretty old and authentic wood floors.


I believe the oldest ones we have done came from a home that was built in 1726.  Yes, that is one of the cool things about living in one of the 13 original colonies.  We have homes from all centuries...some even have been around since the 1600s in my county.


I'm always astounded by the wood in these homes.  They have witnessed so much!  If only the walls (and floors) could talk.


Recently, I've become a bit obsessed with the musical, Hamilton. I can't get it out of my head. Lin-Manuel Miranda is a genius in so many ways.  It's fascinating in so many ways.  And, of course, I couldn't help but learn more and more.  So, I googled tons of information about all the know the ones that were real people.


Amazing to learn about all the drama and conflicts that I didn't know about (like that Burr went home after the duel to have breakfast) and all the homes where they all lived.


It's amazing how much the landscape has changed since then.  It doesn't matter if I'm talking about New York or Virginia or Boston or South Carolina.  Those battles were fought on our turf...and some of them right here where I live.


It is an honor to work on wood floors that predate the Revolution, some of which may have been the homes to those that grew up and fought in the war half a century later.


Yes, those floors from 1726 were made differently than they are today. The tools were different. The process different.  Almost 300 years later, those floors are still almost 3 inches thick (and almost a foot wide).  It's pretty cool.


BTW all wood floors scratch over time, no matter what you do.  Whether they are new hardwood or old pine, they all have one thing in common: they scratch.  I recently published an article on the best furniture protectors for hardwood flooring, so that info may come in handy if you have recently refinished your hardwood.


After we refinished the floors in the 1726 home, the real estate agent was so impressed with the result that he had us do his floors.  As it turns out, he lived right nearby and had a home from 1735.  That was cool.  He actually had several wood species and types in different rooms. That was very typical for the time and homes were built small, and later expanded.


We did another home from 1760 (different town) and that was neat, too.  And, then one in another old town from the 1790s. That wood had face nails so it presented some other challenges.


It's amazing to see wood that lived through the centuries of our country.  You know when I was younger (like in Elementary school), we visited some old homes in the area (from 1600s and 1700s), but I didn't have the same appreciation for them that I do now.  And, of course I've been to Mt Vernon and Monticello in middle school, but I'd really like to go back again and check out the floors in person.

I think I'd see things differently now.



Comments (7)

Ed Silva
Mapleridge Realty, CT 203-206-0754 - Waterbury, CT
Central CT Real Estate Broker Serving all equally

Debbie, it is mind-boggling to think of he labor that went into making the flooring almost 400 years ago and that the flooring still had value today.  No power tools then just skilled labor at all phases of the making and installing of the flooring.

Apr 05, 2021 01:32 PM
Paul McFadden
Responsive Pest Control - Seattle, WA
Pest Control, Seattle, WA.

Thanks Debbie! Interesting now that I too own a flooring company. I wish you well!

Apr 05, 2021 03:03 PM
John Pusa
Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Crest - Glendale, CA
Your All Time Realtor With Exceptional Service

Hello Debbie, thank you for the very valuable report about how long do hardwood floors last.

Apr 05, 2021 03:53 PM
Wayne Martin
Wayne M Martin - Chicago, IL
Real Estate Broker - Retired

Good morning Debbie. The oldest wood floors I have seen are from the late 1800's and most were in good shape. One home had floors without a scratch! Enjoy your day.

Apr 06, 2021 05:25 AM
Grant Schneider
Performance Development Strategies - Armonk, NY
Your Coach Helping You Create Successful Outcomes

Hi Debbie - growing up outside of Philadelphia I saw many revolution era homes with beautiful hardwood floors.  My grandmother had beautiful floors in her house in Philadelphia.

Apr 06, 2021 07:10 AM
Kathy Streib
Room Service Home Staging - Delray Beach, FL
Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224

Hi Debbie- I love hardwood floors as well and you're right about their longevity. When we lived in Northern VA our home had hardwood floors and we loved them. What I also noticed that when we toured historic homes in the area, their hardwood floors still looked good...some obviously more worn than others. I can't imagine what tile or carpet that old would look like. 

Apr 06, 2021 09:58 AM
Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Los Angeles Pasadena 818.516.4393

Hello Debbie - as you write - all woods floors scratch. . .     

And another thing that stood out for me in this post is living/working in one of the thirteen original colonies gives you a differerent perspective compared to others who may not be as familiar with old home maintenance.  I kinda laugh when people describe a house as being old when it was built twenty or thirty years ago not centuries.  😃

Apr 07, 2021 05:58 AM