Hardwood flooring: Pros
The first advantage to a hardwood floor is the look. A classic hardwood floor creates a warm décor, and it also feels good under your feet. Most homeowners and buyers will agree that wood floors are beautiful and much more attractive than tile or carpet.
In addition to a wood floor’s warm look and feel, most homeowners find it easier to match furniture with it than with carpet. Wood is neutral, whereas carpet requires you to deal with a color palette. The neutral quality of wood becomes extra valuable when you are redecorating a room. Tile and carpet can limit your design and furniture choices, but a wood floor—whether you want to go ultramodern with steel and plastic furniture—can be stripped, sanded, and refinished with a light or clear stain to give the room a clean, bright feel.
Hardwood floors are resilient and long-lasting. With proper maintenance and care they can last centuries.
The greatest advantage of hardwood flooring is that it is easy to clean and maintain. While spills and stains on a light-colored carpet can be a disaster, on a hardwood floor you can simply wipe them away. You can sweep or vacuum a wood floor anytime, and you can wash it regularly without damaging it or wearing it out. lf you use a floor cleaner and polish at least once a month, you can make your wood floor shine.
Hardwood floors can also be sanded and refinished multiple times, which means that every 10 years or so you can repair any scratches and restore the floor’s good-as-new glow... Finally, if you or your family members have allergies, you will really appreciate that wood floors don’t trap dust and irritants the way carpets do. Once you sweep or vacuum, you’ll know just by looking at your floorboards that they are clean and dust-free.
Hardwood for flooring: Cons
The biggest problem with hardwood floors is that they’re vulnerable to moisture and humidity. Even a small amount of moisture can deteriorate the wood, so you need to be careful to mop up spills fast and, if you have a leak, get it fixed fast.The worst type of damage to wood floors can come from a leak that penetrates between the boards and the subfloor. This can happen—and go unnoticed for a long time—if a pipe bursts ever so slightly and water leaks down inside a wall and flows into the flooring.
Hardwood flooring is not suitable for every room. Because of its vulnerability to moisture and humidity, you should not put a wood floor in your bathroom or laundry. Before you install hardwood flooring, check your floor substructure. If it is uneven or unstable, it will make the installation of the hardwood floor problematic and later cause it to bend and open.
Some finishes on hardwood scratch easily. High-heeled shoes and pet’s sharp claws can leave dents and scratches. But if you finish your floors with one of the modern, hard-poly finishes, you will have fewer problems.
Another disadvantage of a hardwood floor is noise. When you walk on it, especially with hard leather boots and shoes, the steps can be loud. Some people find wood-floor noise a nuisance but, if you’ve got your heart set on a hardwood floor, you can mitigate this concern by using area rugs.
For most people the biggest drawback to a hardwood floor is price. A real hardwood floor can be expensive, with the cost of the boards and planks added to the price of hiring a professional to install them.
Hardwood for flooring: Costs
Hardwood floors cost about $8 to $13 per square foot, installed, depending on type, quality, and finish. Floating systems are generally the most expensive of the hardwood floor types.
When installing a wood floor you must think about the cost of occasionally re-sanding and refinishing it. This doesn’t need to be done often, especially if you are careful about your maintenance. About every 10 years you will want to redo your floor to repair damage and restore the wood to its original, glorious finish.
If you are thinking of installing a hardwood floor, consider the expense as an investment in your home. It will add a lot of value whenever you decide to sell. While wood is definitely more expensive than other flooring (with a large, upfront cost), it will almost definitely add back more value to the home than what you spend on the boards. And, studies have shown that you will be able to sell your home faster than similar homes that have other types of flooring.