Hardwood floors have become a popular choice in floor covering. However, it took a lot of evolution to reach the point where they are today. Old homes with hardwood floors suffered from drafts that seeped through the cracks and made rooms uncomfortable. The planks would begin to splinter and refinishing was a ton of work. It wasn’t until the late 20th century that technology was able to offer a permanent answer. But the public has always been in love with the warm cozy attraction that wood offers. There are several reasons to invest in hardwood flooring today, nine of which are listed.
1. Practically Maintenance-Free
Hardwood floors are one of the easiest types to care for. There are no special tools or equipment needed to keep the surface clean. A broom or vacuum and wet mop are all that are required to keep your wood floors clean. Regular maintenance, usually once weekly, will keep crumbs, dirt, and grime at bay. If floors begin to lose their shine from age, apply a new coat of wood floor finishes to bring back the luster. Follow the manufacturer’s suggestions for the type of cleaner for best results.
Hardwood flooring can last decades with proper care. Most manufacturers place a seven to ten life expectancy on their products. However, this is only due to the fact that the finish may be wearing thin. Add a new coat of wood floor finish and the years are extended. There are certain exceptions to the longevity rule. The thickness of your planks will bring you a longer life. 3/4″ as opposed to 1/4″ makes a huge difference in the length of life. Also, caring for pieces that have received water damage or deep gouges can be replaced without pulling up the entire floor. Take care of your investment and it will last many years.
3. Designer Friendly
There is no interior decorating that does not blend well with wood floors. Wood is natural and neutral, making it the perfect choice for designing. The aesthetics of wood flooring is of clean, fresh, and warm. Different shades of brown, beige, or gray make the perfect backdrop for everything from traditional to coastal chic.
Textures in wood flooring allow you to add dimension for a rustic or country crude look. When selecting your wood floor, remember that your new floor will be going through years of change in decorating. Stay open to different design types that will match your wood floor without replacement.
Wood floors are made to last. Mass production has improved to the point of merging solid wood with finishes that protect its product. It must be durable enough to withstand items being dropped, children playing, and pets, and their toenails. A prefinished hardwood floor is sustainable against almost any type of accident. Softer woods, like pine, do not have the durability of hardwoods. If you are looking for years of wear, hardwoods are best.
5. Cuts back on Indoor Air Pollution
Indoor air pollution is a fact of life. Dust from the furnace blower dried skin cells on upholstery, and particles that seem to appear from nowhere will always be battled with. However, hardwood floors do not contribute to the problem. Straight and smooth, the surface of finished wood allows you to spot dust, clean it up immediately and keep your indoor air cleaner. Wood floors can also provide an indicator of an unusual amount of dust that is being triggered by filters that need replaced or ceiling fans that need to be dusted.
6. Better Air Quality
Seeing specks of dust floating through the air can be disturbing. But, what you cannot see can be even worse. Indoor pollution is a major cause of illness including allergies and asthma. The Mayo Clinic offers suggestions on combatting mold, mildew, and dust mites. Here is a portion of their list and you guessed it. Replacing carpeting with wood floors or linoleum tops the list.
- Use an air filtration system with HEPA filters
- Make sure bathrooms, laundry rooms, and kitchens are fitted with proper ventilation
- Use throw rugs that are machine washable
- Encase beds and pillows with dustmite-proof covers
7. Natural Insulator
Wood floors are made to insulate your floors. Unlike the poor models of yesterday, they use a barrier against the crawl space or basement to ensure a sealed floor. The planks are either tongue and groove or tight-fitting for ultimate protection from leakage. The thicker the wood, the better. Installation by professionals further guarantees a natural insulator and sound barrier.
8. Increases Resale Value
While a new kitchen or bath can help in raising the value of your home’s appraisal, wooden flooring is a given. With all the benefits of wood, buyers will note home with wood floors. The National Association of Realtors conducted a survey and found that
54% of home buyers are willing to spend more money on a home that has hardwood floors. Hardwood floors are considered a great blank canvas of a home that is ready for design. There is little planning and prepping to do when a natural like the wood floor is available to work with.
9. Green and Renewable
Hardwood floors are a green product that has very few chemicals or dyes that are irritating to people. Enclosed in an air-tight house, this is a plus for people with allergens and respiratory problems. Lately, wood has been used as a recyclable form of wood floors which makes them even more attractive to saving forests. While recycled wood is not favorable in manufacturing new planks, they can be made into wood composites that are found in furniture.
Popular Types of Hardwood Flooring
There are five types of hardwood that have become popular in the United States.
- White Oak – White oak has natural characteristics that can range from honey blond to shades of gray.
- Red Oak – Red oak has many of the same characteristics of white oak except its color tone is more of a reddish hue
- Maple – Grown in the United States and Canada, maple contains both hard and soft cells. A very pale, creamy color with different characteristics with each grade
- American Cherry – Rich in color, American Cherry is softer than other hardwoods. Distinguished by the changing hue that it delivers in each cut. Used mainly in wide planks.
- Birch – Birch has warm golden tones of cream and yellow and is primarily used in the yellow version than the red for producing hardwood floors.
The long life of wood makes it a great resource for the environment and keeping with the world’s more on becoming a greener society. There are many different types of manufactured wood to choose from. Everything from solid wood to engineered planks is becoming the trend of tomorrow. To say that wood flooring cannot be improved anymore is a misnomer. Look at how far we have come over the course of 50 years with this durable natural source. Wood is one of the world’s most finite materials. Together with the extended life that each tree provides for a single floor, there will always be a beautiful and affordable for everyone to enjoy wood floors.