The Downside of Hardwood Flooring
Wednesday, March 14, 2018 6:22 AM
The (Few) Downsides of Hardwood Flooring
Perhaps the most naturally beautiful of all flooring options, and certainly the most popular “look,” hardwood flooring has more going for it than just a pretty face.
Truly one of Nature’s most remarkable creations, it is a sustainable crop that supports countless other plant and animal species, including our own.
As a floor, it can last literally for decades with minimal care and maintenance and it adds to the value of your home as well as appealing to any future owners when it comes time to sell.
But there are some downsides:
Scratches and stains can easily ruin a hardwood floor. And it can be no match for harsh treatment.
It is also the most unstable of all flooring materials. It reacts to moisture and temperature swings. That means you’ll have to pay attention to relative humidity levels in the home, especially in that early period after installation until it “settles in.” And, since wood has to acclimate to its setting, that could mean you’ll have a bunch of wood planks sitting around in your living room for a while before it actually gets installed.
Plus, it’s expensive, which is all the more reason that if you’re going to choose a hardwood floor, you should also choose a better quality installation to go along with it. That alone will go a long way toward minimizing any potential problems that might arise.
Hardwood flooring can be temperamental when it comes to installation. The good news is that hardwood flooring mechanics, as they are called, are real craftsmen and they take a lot of pride in their work. They also share a common bond in the love and respect they have for this miracle of Nature and it shows in their work. (Always look for National Wood Flooring Association certified installers.)
One more thing: hardwood may not be suitable below grade – certainly not solid hardwood although engineered formats can with proper moisture barriers.
In the end, your hardwood floor is something you’ll treasure, something your friends will admire and something the next owner of your home will appreciate and pay extra for.
Plus, you’d be surprised how even the most seemingly abused hardwood floor can be “brought back to life” with the proper cleaning, sanding and finishing.
So yes, hardwood flooring can be temperamental and in some cases even problematic, but there are few, if any, other flooring choices that can rival real hardwood for beauty, value and environmental sustainability.