For new homeowners, designing a dream home is exciting. Building a place where you can be comfortable after a long tiring day can give you a sense of satisfaction. But before you see your dream home come to life, you need to go through many things, especially its interior.
When it comes to flooring, hardwood is a popular choice among homeowners. Hardwood floors give your house a classic and timeless look, are durable, and can last a lifetime. Some wood species are also very easy to maintain; you can even install them in your bathroom. Best of all, hardwood increases the real estate value of your home.
The welcoming feeling hardwood gives to your interior makes it the perfect flooring option. But let us tell you: you have endless choices in terms of the design and material for wooden floors. And if you're new to this kind of stuff, the choices may overwhelm you.
That’s why we’re here to tackle all the important things you need to know about hardwood flooring: its pros and cons, installation, maintenance, alternatives, and many more! Keep reading to discover if this is the best flooring option for your home.
Different Types of Hardwood Floors
Before you decide to go for hardwood, you have to consider the type of hardwood you’ll be using for your flooring. There are two.
- Solid Hardwood Flooring. From its name, solid hardwood comes from species of natural hardwood turned into long planks for flooring. Usually, you need to nail down these planks to cover your flooring space. You can also sand and buff them to create texture and give the flooring a shiny look.
- Engineered Wood Flooring. Engineered hardwood planks come from scraps of wood bound together to form a wood plank. Instead of using solid wood at its core, manufacturers use plywood for engineered wood flooring. If you’re a bit tight on budget but still want hardwood for your floors, this is the best option for you.
Why Everyone Loves Hardwood Floors
Are you on the hardwood hype train now? Welcome aboard! Hardwood is a great choice if you want a rustic, warm, and welcoming feeling inside your home. Here are more benefits if you choose hardwood for your living space.
Compared to other flooring types, hardwood is much more expensive, especially when using exotic wood. But if you properly maintain your wood floor, it can last up to 100 years. Even with little maintenance, wooden floors can last 20 years without replacement.
Wooden floors also increase the value of your real estate. The older your property with wooden floors is, the higher the value it has. You will surely fetch a huge amount if you decide to sell it later on.
In addition, hardwood is highly durable against wear and tear. You can install this floor in high-traffic areas like the living room and the entryway. It is also naturally warmer underfoot, making your living space more appealing.
Variety of Choices
You'll spend hours just combing through the different designs available for hardwood flooring. Choose one wood species, and you will find different grains and colors available. But don’t worry: you'll find wood that matches every single room of your house. If you brighten your place up a bit, you can even mix and match wood colors for a more interesting look.
If you don't know where to start, here are the five most popular choices for wood flooring.
- Maple Wood
Many other wood species are suitable for flooring. You can explore these options and see what best fits your budget and needs.
Better Air Quality
Unlike other flooring materials, wooden floors do not attract microorganisms that cause allergies and create a foul odor over time. Thus, they are great for people with allergies. They do not trap dirt, dust, animal hair, and fleas, making the air inside your home clean and safe.
Because wooden floors are safe enough for your babies, you can let them crawl everywhere without worrying they might pick up something unhygienic. You can also add a heating layer underneath during the winter season, and it will give your home sufficient warmth.
If you want an environment-friendly flooring option, wooden floors are the best. They are organic in origin and biodegradable. The wood itself is low in toxins, and even hardwood flooring adhesive uses minimal chemicals.
Why You Might Hesitate About Getting Hardwood Floors
Before committing to hardwood floors, you should also consider the downsides of using them. Here are some of the cons of hardwood floors to help you decide in which part of your house you can best use this flooring.
Cost and Installation
Unless you are a skilled carpenter, installing wooden floors will be difficult for you. Thus, you’ll need to hire a skilled laborer to install wooden flooring.
Also, hardwood floors need a leveled and solid sub-layer, and only professionals can handle these subflooring requirements. If you do it yourself without the proper installation knowledge, it can ruin your floor's quality.
Additionally, hardwood planks cost between $6 and $20 per square foot, depending on the species you choose. Exotic wood planks cost even higher, ranging from $30 to $60 per square foot. So, imagine covering a 1000-square-foot floor. It will cost around $60,000, and that’s still without the labor fees.
Prone to Termite
Wood is prone to termite attacks. Unfortunately, this is a common problem among household owners with wooden floors. That's why it's important to choose the correct type of wood to avoid this problem. And even if you get floor planks that can resist termites, it's important to check them from time to time to prevent deterioration.
Tap your floor planks and listen for hollow sounds that may indicate termites. The earlier you spot these pests, the faster you can save your wooden floors.
Wooden planks are not waterproof. Getting your wooden floors soaked with water can promote mold and fungus growth. Also, water can make your wooden planks soft, making your flooring uneven and unstable. Thus, it's important to keep them dry all the time.
In addition, avoid using strong detergent or bleach when cleaning hardwood floors; it leaves permanent white stains on your flooring or causes it to fade.
If you want to keep the beauty of your wooden floors, you should commit to maintaining them. Hardwood floors are susceptible to scratches, especially when installed in high-traffic areas.
Therefore, we recommend polishing your floors every three years to keep their smooth appearance. You also need to buff them with wax at least once a month to keep them shiny and prevent dust and dirt from getting into the gaps.
Additionally, don’t use just any cleaning materials for hardwood flooring. Use microfiber cloths to wipe wooden floors. It's also better to vacuum your floor instead of sweeping it with a broom to avoid scratches.
Alternatives for Hardwood
No one can deny that hardwood floors elevate the aesthetics of your interior. But for some homeowners, it can be too costly. So if you're on a tight budget but still want the sophisticated look wood floors can give your home, here are cheaper alternatives you can go for.
- Laminate Hardwood Flooring. Laminate floor planks consist of organic and synthetic materials. These planks come from scraps and chips of wood bonded together by resin and a wear and tear layer to make them durable. In addition, their topmost layer is waterproof, so you can use them in the bathroom and the kitchen.
- Vinyl Flooring Planks. These planks are 100% synthetic. They use compressed PVC and other plastic materials to create waterproof and durable flooring planks. In addition, manufacturers add an image layer to mimic designs of natural flooring such as stone and hardwood. Luxury vinyl tiles also have texture, so you can fully enjoy the experience of hardwood floors.
These alternatives are significantly cheaper than genuine hardwood. They cost around $2 to $15 per square foot, which is affordable for homeowners with a tight budget. In addition, you can install these flooring types by yourself, so there is no need to spend extra on labor fees.
Get the Most Sought-After Flooring: Hardwood
Nothing beats hardwood when it comes to style and sophistication. No wonder many homeowners choose this over any other flooring material.
We hope this article about hardwood floors has helped you make a more informed decision on your flooring material. You can visit our website for more flooring inspirations, buying guides, and reviews.