Top 10 Reasons to Choose Hardwood Flooring

by Eric Hurst

Choosing a type of flooring for your home or business can be overwhelming, especially with the many different types of floor covering materials and styles available. Although many other flooring types have been competing in the market for years, none have offered the same benefits or unique qualities of genuine hardwood flooring.

We've done some research and composed what we think are the top 10 reasons you should choose hardwood flooring:

#1 Hardwood Flooring is Classic and Ageless

Old Wood Flooring

Hardwood floors are ideal for practically any decorating style or color scheme. When carpets have become worn beyond repair and vinyl floors sustain damage that is impossible to disguise, hardwood will still look as invitingly warm and beautiful as ever. On some types of wood surfaces, minor injuries may simply add character- but even a wood floor with significant damage can simply be sanded and refinished rather than replaced.

#2 The Strength and Durability of Hardwood Floors

Durable & Strong Hardwood Flooring

Most of us will never be as strong as this guy, but that doesn't mean you can't have floors that are strong enough to handle your hectic household activities! Wood is a naturally durable and tough material with high density levels that make it less vulnerable to scratches and dents that cause unsightly and often permanent scars on weaker floors. If durability is of a particular importance to you (little ones banging pots & pans on the floor) then consider a harder wood like hickory, brazilian teak, or Ipe for example.

#3 The Longevity of a Real Wood Floor

Much like a well-built structure from the distant past, a hardwood floor can literally last for hundreds of years! Because of its strength and the fact that damages are unlikely to shorten its life span, you can expect many years or even decades of functionality and beauty from hardwoods. Some fully intact hardwood floors are known to be centuries old, so unless you're Count Dracula, your wood floor will probably last longer than you do. To prolong the life of your hardwood floors, it is recommended that you do a "maintenance coat" every 5 years or so, which will prevent you from having to do a full sand and refinish as frequently. By doing maintenance coats occasionally, you shouldn't have to sand and refinish your wood floors for at least 20 years or so.

#4 Hardwood Flooring is Stylish and Versatile

If you're in the market for new floors, you have an absolutely mind boggling assortment of choices available to you in the wood flooring segment. Literally hundreds of colors, several construction types, and several surface textures mean there is a wood floor perfect for any taste, and any room of your home (even the basement).

If you're dealing with your existing floors, hardwood can be refinished and stained in any color imaginable, giving you many affordable choices when it is time to redecorate. It also allows you the option of incorporating decorative area rugs instead of installing carpet that could become permanently damaged and more expensive to replace.

#5 Wood Floors are Easy to Clean, Maintain and Repair

Cleaning hardwood is easy. It only requires a basic wood floor cleaner and a dust mop for everyday sweeping. When individual boards become damaged severely, they can be repaired or replaced easily without disturbing the rest of the floor. If the floor is maintained well, the typical surface finish will last 25 years or longer (seriously!) before refinishing is needed. Remember; use maintenance coats!

#6 Hardwood Flooring is a Practical Investment

If you plan to eventually sell your home, installing wood floors can increase the appeal and market value. If you are planning to stay, you will save money that would have been required for the eventual replacement of other types of flooring. Remember that carpet, laminate, vinyl, linoleum and tile are all throw-away floors, once they are used up, they're destined for the dump. Meanwhile a hardwood floor can go 25 years or more on it's original factory finish, and then you just sand it and finish it again and it's like new again!

#7 Hardwood is Eco-Friendly

As a sustainable and natural substance, wood is an environmentally friendly choice that helps to insulate the home and lower energy bills. The long life of wood flooring also means less wasting of replacement materials. Recycled or Reclaimed wood flooring is available for those who want to live even greener. Other types of wood flooring use less hardwood to get the job done, like engineered hardwood and HDF based products. Do your research and shop around and you can definitely find a floor that is both beautiful and green at the same time!

#8 Installing Hardwood Flooring Promotes Healthier Living

Looking for allergy-free, or hypoallergenic flooring? Get off that carpet, exit right and turn onto Hardwood Flooring Blvd. Doctors often recommend hardwood flooring to asthma and allergy patients. In fact you can even buy wood floors tax-free in some cases if it is doctor-recommended! Because it does not trap dust and dander like carpets do, the air stays naturally cleaner and house cleaning efforts are more effective. Hardwood also provides more traction than laminate products or other slippery floor surfaces, so slips and falls are less common. Even your pets can benefit; having hardwood instead of carpet means that parasites like fleas cannot lurk and lay eggs in your flooring.

#9 Hard Wood Floors are Fad-Proof

You don't wanna feel like this guy do you? Just like your brown shag carpet, this guy is stuck in the past. While various styles, finishes and looks come and go, hardwood itself never goes out of style. A basic oak floor is as timeless as a good western film, so you don't have to worry about hating your floors in a few years. Plus a wood floor can be sanded and stained any color at any time for far less than the cost of a new floor, so don't let something as simple as a color stand in your way of having a trendy floor!

#10 Youĺll Never Be Bored with Hardwood Flooring

Just like a good politician, your hardwood floor can change with the wind! If you get bored and want to change things up a bit, you can sand your hardwood floors down to the bare wood, and you virtually have a blank canvas upon which to paint your dream floor! Hand-scraping, distressing and bleaching are just a few things you can do to make your wood floors totally unique without actually putting down any new flooring material. Of course you can also stain your floors nearly any color imaginable, yes, even red, white & blue if you want to, thanks to aniline dyes. The available hardwood types, styles and products are almost endless. Since you can refinish the wood and change the color at any time without buying a new floor, your decor can be changed more often at a lower cost compared to purchasing new floors.

Ok I'm Convinced that I Should Buy a Wood Floor. What Now?

Many consumers do not realize how many options are available when considering hardwood flooring. Each wood species, product type and style has its own unique look and feel. Here are a few types/styles of hardwood available to you:

Different Types of Wood Flooring Available:

  • Solid Wood - a single piece of lumber making up each floor plank
  • Engineered - multi-layer wood flooring that is more stable than solid hardwood
  • HDF - a base of High Density Fiberboard with a real wood veneer glued on top
  • Unfinished - a blank canvas to make your own unique floor
  • Pre-finished - just install it and you're done
  • Acrylic Impregnated - this makes any wood harder than it normally is. Great for commercial floors
  • Reclaimed - wood floors made from recycled floorboards, beams, and other previously used lumber
  • Distressed - these wood floors are intentionally dented, dinged and beaten upon to create the illusion of being old
  • Hand Scraped - literally scraped to create natural looking grooves in the surface of the hardwood
  • Bleached - a popular look right now, the natural color is muted to allow designer colors to be introduced such as grey, black, off-whites and even bolder colors like blue
  • French-bleed

Different cuts of Hardwood Flooring

  • Strip - Strip flooring refers to narrow boards, usually 2 1/4" wide, although 1 1/2" oak flooring is still in demand. Strip floors were the most preferred cut of wood floors for many decades until recently, although they are still incredibly popular.
  • Plank - Plank floors are typically 3" or wider, and are currently the most popular choice among new hardwood floor buyers. 5" wide planks seem to be the size of choice.
  • Parquet - This is a style of flooring that uses strips or blocks of wood to form geometric shapes and custom designs. Other materials such as marble or tile may be combined with wood in parquets and inlays.

Wood Choices

The many species of wood include timeless domestic classics and popular exotic hardwoods.

Classics:
  • Oak
  • Maple
  • Walnut
  • Cherry
  • Hickory (incredibly popular right now)
  • Ash
  • Birch
Exotics:
  • Tigerwood
  • Cumaru (Brazilian Teak)
  • Jatoba (Brazilian Cherry)
  • Santos Mahogany
  • African Mahogany (Sapele)
  • Ipe (Brazilian Walnut
  • Australian Cypress

Narrowing Your Choices

Hardwood flooring offers a beautiful choice for every stylistic and practical purpose. The ambiance that a quality wood floor creates in a home or commercial setting cannot be underestimated. To find the best hardwood option for your budget and decor, just use the product menu at the top of this page to start shopping our huge assortment of first quality wood floors at huge discounts.

This article was published on Thursday 08 March, 2012.
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