I have 200 square feet wood floors that do not appear to be hardwood, they are in pretty bad shape and need refinishing or replacing. The quotes we got for refinishing are $600. As I said the floor is not in great shape and at $600 I could get pre finished hardwood for the same price (although I would have to install my self).

The current floor is a little uneven and has some dips and water spots. If I were to install the floor my self, would it require doing anything major to the existing floor?

Can I install it right over the existing floor if I use an underlayment?

I've read that if you want to install a hardwood floor over an existing one you need to lay the boards perpendicular, but is this still true if you use an underlayment?

I am looking for some guidance here, I want to do it right-ish but also not break the bank.

  • 1
    There is right and there is ish. Ish is not quite right.
    – Alaska Man
    Apr 15, 2021 at 16:58

1 Answer 1


Laying the new floor perpendicular to the old floor will eliminate any cupping issues. Low areas can be filled with self leveling compound. I like to use a pad between flooring if a floating floor the pad gives a better feel , helps isolate small divots and is warmer due to the pads insulation value.

With all that said renting a big drum sander and refinishing is less expensive and about the same amount of work as a new floor in my opinion.

Before going forward I would watch some videos of floor refinishing and how you can make a horrible floor look better than just about any new flooring for 1/3 the price.

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