Often a repair of the existing flooring can save you hundreds of dollars in replacement costs. Flooring repairs are much simpler and cost effective than replacing altogether.
Wear from daily foot traffic and aging of wood will eventually cause floor squeaking. It is usually the subfloor that squeaks. If the subfloor is exposed, prior to installation of your flooring product, it is suggest to screw down the subfloor to the joists. Older homes may have used nails to secure the subfloor planks to the joists and these can come loose over time. Adding extra screws will further secure the subflooring to the joists often eliminating squeaks.
If finished flooring exists then alternative methods need to be explored.
Access to the subfloor from the basement can help. If the subfloor and joists are visible a repair may be possible. If access from underneath is unavailable, the only alternative is to work from the surface. The joists will need to be located (this could be tricky) and spiral flooring nails or screws can be used to secure the flooring. This will cause surface holes, which can be covered with wood butty and colour matched.
If the floor is tiled or carpeted and access from above and below is unavailable, then it will unlikely be possible to eliminate the squeaking without removing the existing flooring.
Hardwood can be sanded and re-finished a couple of times on the products life.
If only a piece or an area is damaged it may be best to replace the planks instead of sanding and finishing only the area. The stains may not match. This is also a risk with replacing the planks, especially if a new box of the hardwood needs to be ordered. The dye lots may not match in this instance, even from the same manufacturer.
The benefit of VCT tile repair is that only the effected tiles require changing. If the tile is loose it can be re-glued with adhesive. If it is damaged, you can replace the tile.
Sheet floors can also get damaged or worn. The damaged spot can be replaced with the same pattern or similar pattern piece of sheet product without having to replace the whole flooring.
The replacement piece can then be heat welded against the existing sheet to ensure dirt and moisture does not penetrate through to the subfloor.
Individual tiles will require removal and replacement. It is important to find the same tile and grout color for replacement.