There are so many options when you’re considering new flooring for your home that it can be almost dizzying. Putting down a new floor can be a considerable outlay, in terms of money, time and disruption, so it’s important to make the right choice first time. As William Morris famously said:
Have nothing in your home that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.
But why not both? You shouldn’t have to choose between the aesthetic and the practical, and there’s certainly an option that gives you the best of both worlds: hardwood flooring.
Wood is warm, long-lasting and beautiful. It’s also a smooth, hard surface that can be easily brushed or wiped clean, without harboring allergens, bugs, dust, and dirt. We hear stories of children’s asthma, eczema, and other atopic allergies just clearing right up as soon as people get rid of their carpet and make the move to a cleaner floor. Wood is natural and can be sustainably sourced. A good hardwood floor will last a lifetime and can be adapted to suit your family, even as your needs and tastes change. That’s why more and more people are choosing hardwood floors to complete their homes.
The benefits of hardwood flooring include:
(1) Reduction of Allergens
Wall to wall carpeting is a perfect surface for absorbing and harboring all kinds of dust, dirt, and allergens. Allergy-related conditions like eczema, asthma and allergic rhinitis are massively improved by replacing carpet with hardwood. Carpet is the perfect haven for dust mites, and it’s their excretions and decomposing body parts that are irritating to many people. If you wake up every morning feeling stuffy, but you get better as the day goes on, you’ve probably got a dust mite allergy. Dust mite debris can be controlled somewhat with specialist vacuum cleaners and frequent hot washing of pillows, duvets, and pretty much all the fabric in your house, but get rid of that carpet and you’ve taken away a huge part of the problem. Wall to wall carpet means wall to wall dust mites. If you’re really devoted to a carpet, a nice rug on a clean wooden floor is the perfect compromise.
You just sweep it. No having to drag a vacuum cleaner around all the time, no costly and time-consuming deep cleaning necessary. It’s smooth and doesn’t harbor dirt or germs. You sweep it clean, and you give it a mop or a wipe down when it needs it. It’s the easiest kind of flooring to keep clean, and it looks smart and tidy.
Wooden floors are a great choice for people who need mobility aids to get around their house. They’re a perfectly smooth surface for wheelchairs and wheeled walking frames. Though smooth, hardwood floors aren’t too slippy for people who are unsteady on their feet – unless your children have discovered that they can have long-distance sliding competitions if they dust the floor liberally with talcum powder…
Well-laid hardwood flooring over whatever your existing flooring will eradicate draughts through gaps in floorboards, or provide an insulating layer over a poured flooring. Wood has that special adaptive quality that means it can feel warm when it’s cold outside, or cool when it’s warm.
It’s rare that anyone has to replace good hardwood flooring. It’s usually varnished or waxed to ensure good stain resistance and so any dust or dirt can be easily brushed up and wiped clean. High traffic areas can start to show some wear after years of use, but as it’s solid wood it can be sanded and refinished. Carpets wear much quicker and show high traffic areas quickly. Additionally, wooden flooring won’t give away the old positions of your furniture when you rearrange, everyone’s seen those unsightly permanent indentations and rings in the carpet from where heavy furniture previously stood. It’s just as easy to sweep the dust from cheaper laminate flooring, of course, but laminate can’t be resurfaced and has a tendency to swell around the edges of each board, especially if used in damp areas. Hardwood flooring installation is the only choice for real lasting quality.
Real wooden flooring from responsibly managed forests is the most environmentally sound of all common floor coverings. Most carpets nowadays are made from non-biodegradable synthetic fibers and end up in a landfill, a problem exacerbated by the short lifespan of carpet as a flooring material. Hardwood will last a lifetime, much longer than any vinyl or laminate. Additionally, vinyl and laminate flooring, as well as ceramic tiles and carpet of all types contain a variety of preservatives, chemical treatments and plasticizers that are harmful to the environment. All forestry isn’t equal, however, and one of the benefits of solid wood is that it is traceable so you can make sure you’re buying from responsible, sustainable sources.
(7) Return on Investment
Real estate agents report quicker sales and higher prices for houses with hardwood flooring. Buyers love hardwood flooring, it’s so easy to wipe away the traces of the previous occupants and make the home your own. No-one wants a carpet saturated with the dead skin and grime of their home’s old owners, and so carpets are often the first thing to go as soon as a house changes hands. If you’re looking to sell your house, it’s worth considering the flooring. Hardwood makes a home look warm, clean, and sophisticated: just the sort of place you’d want to live.
Wood is undeniably beautiful. People love wood, it’s got the charm of the natural environment and the chic beauty of classic style. It can be finished in a wide range of wood stains, like antique oak, warm chestnut, rich mahogany, or cool light ash; whatever suits your home and décor. Solid hardwood has the added benefit that it can be refinished with reasonable ease if it gets scuffed or marked, or if you just fancy a change in tone!
Last but not least, hardwood makes the perfect home dancefloor so get out there and dance like no-one’s watching!
This post is sponsored by Urban Design Floors and Gregory Ortiz.
Photo Credit: Pixabay