Hardwood flooring is one of the most timeless and classic home renovation investments. Unlike carpet, hardwood floors are durable and withstand wear and tear. In addition, they help promote healthier indoor air quality because they don’t trap dust, pollen, or allergens as carpet does. Hardwood flooring adds warmth and beauty and helps increase your home’s value.
Hardwood flooring is a durable and attractive floor option for your home. Not only does it add warmth to a room, but it also can increase your home’s value. But the durability of your hardwood floors depends on various factors, including the type of wood you choose, its finish, and the manufacturing process.
For example, the Janka hardness scale is an industry standard for determining wood hardness and provides a general indicator of how well a floor can withstand dents and dings. A higher hardness rating means more durable wood that will stand up better to scratches and scuffs.
Another factor that can help increase the durability of your hardwood flooring is color. Darker colors, like browns and blacks, are harder to scratch, making them more resistant to dents. Lighter colored floors, on the other hand, are more susceptible to scuffs and scratches, so they tend to be less durable.
The most durable hardwoods are those that can be refinished many times over. These include solid and engineered hardwoods. Engineered hardwoods feature a thin veneer of finished hardwood over a multi-layer core of plywood or high-density fiberboard. This makes them slightly more durable than solid hardwood, and they are a good choice for kitchens or other high-traffic areas.
Engineered woods can be sanded and refinished several times, but they won’t be as strong as solid hardwoods because the top layer is so thin. In addition, they aren’t as water-resistant or as stable as solid hardwoods when exposed to moisture.
There are a variety of finishes that can make your wood floors more durable, including polyurethane and varnish. These clear finishes protect the wood from damage and stains, while also adding to the overall beauty of your floors.
Finally, it is important to keep your hardwood floors clean and free of dirt and debris. Using furniture pads can help prevent the buildup of dirt and scuffs, as can keeping them vacuumed regularly. This is especially true if you have children or pets in your home, as they will likely track messes and dirt throughout the house.
Hardwood flooring has an appealing aesthetic that can fit in with a variety of home design themes. Its classic look can complement Old World, French Provincial, or Southwest styles and looks great with a variety of decorative themes from minimalist to rustic.
The appearance of hardwood floors can also be influenced by the type of wood that is used to create them. There are a wide variety of hardwoods available and each has its own unique style and characteristics. For example, walnut hardwood floors can create a sophisticated appearance that’s ideal for creating a deluxe atmosphere in your home.
Maple hardwood is another durable and popular option for homeowners who want a timeless style that never goes out of style. This light-colored wood has a creamy hue that pairs well with many different interior design themes.
It can be installed in a variety of widths and lengths, so you can match it to your space’s decor and floor plan. Narrow planks are more traditional and are often seen in older homes, while wider ones are more contemporary and work well in open-concept rooms.
You can also choose from a wide range of colors and finishes to achieve the best aesthetic for your home. For instance, white-washed hardwoods can add a bright and airy feel to any room, while oak, walnut, and hickory floors can provide rich, deep tones that are perfect for creating a deluxe appearance in your home.
One of the benefits of hardwood flooring is that it can be used in virtually any room of your house, with the exception of bathrooms. This is because the material is very durable and can withstand spills, moisture, temperature changes, and humidity fluctuations without compromising its aesthetic.
In addition to being beautiful and durable, hardwood flooring can also be a smart choice for those who are concerned about pet-related damage. Its natural luster can mask dents and scratches, making it easier to keep clean.
Choosing the right color is important to ensure that your new hardwood floors will blend in with other elements in your home. For instance, if you have a country design theme, opt for lighter-colored hardwoods that have a natural luster instead of a shiny finish.
Hardwood floors are often favored over carpets for their durability, beauty and ease of cleaning. But like any surface, they can get dirty and grimy over time if not cared for properly. And because they’re porous, they can collect dirt, dust, pollen, dander and other particles that can trigger allergies and worsen respiratory conditions.
To keep your hardwood floors looking clean, regularly sweep and vacuum. And you should also damp-mop your wood floors to remove scuff marks and other residues from shoes and pet hair.
But keep in mind that some types of wood floors are more difficult to clean than others. For example, laminates, which are not actually made of wood, can hold grease and grime more than a solid hardwood surface. So make sure you use a cleaner specifically designed for those surfaces, says Bradley.
For most floor types, it’s recommended to damp mop twice a week or more, depending on how much traffic and whether you have kids and pets, says Sokolowski. And avoid oversaturating your floor with water, which can cause damage and staining.
You’ll want to use a cleaning solution that’s pH-neutral and oil-free on surfaces with penetrating finishes. These types of floors can absorb a lot of water, so it’s best to use solvent-based products rather than water-based ones.
Another important thing to remember is that you shouldn’t steam clean your hardwoods. It can be dangerous, as steam can penetrate the wood fibers and cause damage.
Instead, mix a solution of white vinegar with lemon essential oil and water. The combination is inexpensive, effective and smells great.
The next time you’re in the mood for a deep clean, try this at-home solution. Or, if you’re willing to spend a little more, pick up a bottle of commercially-made hardwood floor cleaner from the store.
Using these tips will help your hardwood floors last longer and look beautiful. Ultimately, they’ll save you money and stress in the long run because you’ll be able to easily maintain your hardwoods without having to replace them. Plus, they’ll keep your home looking stylish and inviting for years to come.
Hardwood flooring adds a lot of value to your home. It’s an investment that pays off in both the short and long term, especially if you plan to sell your home one day.
When it comes time to replace your floors, the first thing you should do is research your options. There are many different types of hardwood to choose from, and each has its own unique appearance, color and price range.
For example, if you want to give your space a lighter look, consider ash and maple. For a darker look, hickory and oak are also good choices.
You can also choose from a variety of wood species, including those found in tropical regions and those grown in America. Some of these more exotic species, such as teak and cypress, are more expensive than traditional woods.
As you shop for hardwood flooring, keep in mind the species you are looking for as well as its color and grain pattern. Grain patterns that run across the plank are usually the least expensive, while grains that run down the length of the plank tend to be more costly.
If you want to save on labor costs, opt for solid wood planks that have been pre-finished at the factory. This will reduce the amount of sanding and refinishing that will have to be done on-site.
You will also have to decide whether you want the boards to be finished with a penetrating resin or a polyurethane finish. This will depend on your budget and what kind of protection you need for your hardwood floors.
Another cost factor is the installation process. This can include removing old carpet or other flooring, preparing the subfloor and joists, laying the new wood, trimming, installing the glue and finally refinishing the new floor.
Overall, the average cost of hardwood flooring is about $4-8 per square foot, depending on the type of material chosen and the amount of work required. This includes the material, labor and installation costs, as well as the price of stains and other products needed to create the desired look.