The great thing about wood floors is that they can last forever with proper care. No matter how careful you are with your hardwoods, though, you will still have to refinish them at some point. If your floors take a beating, from pets for example, you may have to refinish more often. Some floors only need to be refinished every three years, while some high-traffic floors may need more frequent refinishing. If you've ever finished a wood floor yourself, then refinishing will seem easy. To refinish a floor, all you do is sand it and reapply the finishing product to protect and seal the wood.
If you're wondering how you can tell that your floors need to be refinished, there is a test you can take. First, find a high-traffic area where the finish is likely to be most worn and pour a tablespoon of water onto the floor. If the water beads up and you can wipe it without a trace, the finish is still working and you don't need to refinish. If the water slowly soaks into the wood floor creating a moderately darkish spot, the floor is partially worn. You don't need to refinish right away, but you'll want to save room on your "to do" list. If the water immediately disappears into the wood leaving an obvious dark spot, it's time to refinish the floor.