The choice of flooring in your home is crucial to your overall décor. Hardwood makes a definitive statement by being a timeless classic. Remember that there are many things you should consider before making the decision. Let’s take a look at some of the positive and negative factors that will influence your hardwood flooring decision.
Advantages of Hardwood
Fortunately, hardwood offers a lot of advantages and only a few disadvantages. It’s a healthy choice that looks and feels good, and it’s one of the most durable flooring choices you can make. Investment. Hardwood flooring is one of the few choices that will actually raise the value of your home and help it sell, since hardwood floors are worldwide known for retaining beauty, structural integrity and character for decades. We must agree on the fact they can be a powerfully persuasive selling point. The beauty and warmth of hardwood never goes out of style. Hardwood flooring is always a good investment if you plan to keep your home for generations or sell it at a premium. Warmth and comfort. Wood adds a warmth and elegance. It is commonly known for being a high-end material, hardwoods have lent an air of wealth, charm, and prestige to homes and buildings for centuries. Hardwoods are warm and comfortable to walk on, even in the winter. They are easier on the feet and legs than tile or stone. They also fall somewhere in the middle on sound absorption, not completely absorbing sound, but not magnifying it either. Hardwoods can span slight inconsistencies in the floor better than many thinner laminate floors. This makes hardwood feel solid and stable underfoot and also adds to the psychological component of perceived stability to a house. As authentic and beautiful as most laminates and other floorings that imitate wood look, most people will immediately know the difference. Design Variety. In addition to varying thickness of the wood, planks can be found at varying lengths to achieve the look you want, making it instantly recognizable from common flooring and giving you a great deal of versatility of design. Dozens of species of hardwood to choose from are found on the market, each has its own distinct grain, feel, hardness and natural color. Each type can be stained and finished to achieve the color that fits the look you envision. Finish can be smooth and glossy or more rustic. Furthermore hardwood can come pre-finished from the seller or unfinished to be finished after the floor is installed for a better seal against moisture from above. A site-finished floor may be a better option is moisture from above is a problem. Even though the installation will be more expensive, take longer and be messier, sealing the entire floor creates a barrier against moisture from above that can seep between the planks of a pre-finished floor. Durability. Hardwoods are some of the most durable types of flooring available is they are taken care of. They can last a hundred years or more and be refinished as necessary to restore the original looks. Allergies. Dirt, dust, and hair cannot become trapped or embedded in the floor, so running a simple dust mop or vacuum over the floor will remove everything.
Disadvantages of Hardwood
There are only a few disadvantages to hardwood, the most significant factor to consider being the moisture, including humidity. Another one is the environmental issue. Hardwoods harvested unethically destroy old-growth forests at an alarming rate. You can use your power as a consumer to refuse to buy undocumented hardwood or flooring that originates from a disreputable source and is not compliant with the Lacey Act. Price. The price of hardwood is both a pro and a con. Hardwood can be very pricey compared to some other types of flooring. The truth is that while most flooring won’t last longer than 25 years at best, the extended lifespan of hardwood can be a total advantage. In conclusion, this fact makes hardwood an economical choice when amortized over the life of the floor. Some high-end engineered floorings cost more than hardwoods, but installation may be higher, depending on whether you plan to do it yourself or hire professionals. Wearability. Hardwood is vulnerable to moisture, scratches, and impacts. It may also require vigilance for people with pets and children. The simplest solution to impacts from dropped objects or scratches from pet claws is the use of non-slip rugs for protection. Moisture. This is the number one problem with hardwood flooring. Wood swells when moist or wet and the same thing will happen to the floor. Excessive moisture can cause the floor to buckle, crack, or warp. Solid hardwood flooring is not recommended for installations below grade where moisture may seep up from the ground, for locations with extreme changes in humidity or for high moisture areas such as bathrooms. Installing hardwoods in a climate with high humidity can be done if proper precautions are taken. Woods thicker than 5/16” – 5/8” should not be installed directly over concrete, and a subfloor with a moisture barrier installed will help combat ground moisture. Sufficient expansion room should be left around the floor edges, covered by trim or molding. Locations. Hardwood should not be installed in rooms where standing water is common, like bathrooms. If installed in a kitchen or wet bar area, wet spills should be dried immediately.