The hard truth about hardwood
Hardwood flooring is elegant and beautiful. Real estate industry statistics show that hardwood adds significantly to the value of your home and is an attractive feature in the eyes of homebuyers. It is available in several popular styles: Plank flooring is the most common, in which narrow planks are sealed in place in unbroken continuity. Parquet flooring is typically square in shape and contains geometric patterns which have a striking overall effect. Engineered wood flooring is comprised of several layers of real wood fused together, the surface of which is pre-finished, sanded, sealed and ready to walk on.
Advantages of Hardwood Flooring
Day-to-day maintenance of hardwood flooring is relatively minimal; it needs only to be swept, vacuumed or mopped to be kept clean. Whenever possible, you should avoid walking on a hardwood floor with shoes, to minimize the possibility of physical damage. Now and then, you'll have to apply special cleansers or a coat of polish to keep your floor looking its best, but otherwise, it's very easy to care for.
If you ever get tired of the way your hardwood floor looks and want to change it, you need only sand away the top level and refinish it. This can be done over and over, so your floor can change to reflect your growing and varied tastes.
Hardwood is very hypoallergenic flooring choice, especially when compared to carpet. It is also versatile enough to go well with any home decor style, and studies show that houses featuring hardwood floors sell faster – and usually for more money – than those that don't.
Disadvantages of Hardwood Flooring
Noise is one major disadvantage – hardwood floors are notoriously loud to walk on, which can be distracting to people who need quiet. They are also badly affected by even small amounts of moisture or humidity; spills must be cleaned up immediately, and indoor humidity levels must be closely controlled.
Finally, hardwood flooring can seem pricey when you consider there are options like lineoleum flooring that are equally durable but far less expensive. Discount hardwood flooring is available, but even it is still generally more expensive than other alternatives. Cheap hardwood flooring that compromises nothing in quality is also hard to come by. If, on the other hand, you view your hardwood flooring as an investment and take good care of it, you'll usually find that, in the long run, it is worth its price.