Jun 28

5 Things to Know Before Investing in Hardwood Floors

Wood Floor Investment

So you’re looking to splurge on a new hardwood floor. You definitely deserve it. After a hard day’s work, there’s nothing better than the sight of your gorgeous home as you walk through the door. And hardwood is nothing if not gorgeous. But before you put in those beautiful floors, here are 5 things you should know before investing in hardwood floors.

1. Let’s Talk About Money

Hardwood floors are one of the more expensive types of flooring, so installing them is quite the investment. If you take the time to find a good deal, you will end up with high quality wood that is well worth the cost. They type of hardwood we choose should be durable as well as beautiful. Though durable hardwood costs more, it lasts longer and greatly increases the value of a property.

When buying hardwood, we try to balance quality and cost. But this is a long term investment, so quality and durability should be the most important thing to consider.

There is a way to have your cake and eat it, though. Well-made, well-installed engineered hardwood is hardy, low maintenance, durable and costs way less than actual wood. Still, remember that a house with actual hardwood floors will fetch a much higher price on the market.

2. What’s Your Style?

No matter your taste, there is hardwood flooring that will fit perfectly in your home. Hardwood comes in different colors and patterns. For example:

  • White oak is versatile and is compatible with many types of décor. Its grey undertones make it perfect for a minimalist, modern home with dark furniture (black or grey) and neutral colored walls and drapes.
  • Maple has a pale, creamy color. For homes that have warm color schemes, maple is one way to go.
  • For those who like Mediterranean décor, teak adds vibrant color to the home. Teak comes in colors ranging from brown to gold and is very compatible with brightly colored furnishings.
  • And finally, engineered wood. Being man-made, this wood comes in a wide variety of designs. Some of these designs are found in nature and other designs we can create as we pick a print for our laminated wood.

3. Living With Hardwood Floors

Are there children and pets in the home?

How messy are they?

Is there someone who insists on walking around the house in heels or cleats, and can you stop them?

These are the realities you have to consider before buying hardwood floors. And this is how you deal with them:

  • Flooring in high traffic areas needs to be tough and durable. The harder the wood, the better it resists scratches, scuff marks and pressure. That’s where the Janka scale comes in handy. If your entire home is a high traffic area, then you should buy wood that rates no less than 1200 on the Janka scale. The harder the wood, the higher it rates on the scale and the more it costs. On the flip side, it will add more value to your home compared to softer wood.
  • The floors should be installed and finished in a way that makes them easy to clean. Grooves on the flooring create texture but make the floor harder to clean. Waterproof finish is recommended for homes where spills and accidents happen regularly.
  • Hardwood requires periodic maintenance tasks like refinishing and sanding. You should be ready to make an emotional and financial commitment.
  • Be ready to invest in a powerful cleaning machine like the Dyson multi floor vacuum cleaner. You can learn more about hardwood floor vacuums on the Home Floor Experts website.

4. Climate

If you live in a place that goes through drastic changes through the seasons, your home needs to be weatherproofed. How you do this depends on where you live:

  • Humidifiers are needed in places where the air is hot and dry. They prevent dehydration of the wood which causes warping.
  • In case of excessive humidity, air conditioning is needed to circulate and dry the air. Excessive humidity can also cause warping.
  • Hardwood needs protection from excess sunlight exposure that causes the wood to fade
  • Insulation is needed to keep the home at a fairly constant temperature even when its extremely cold or extremely hot outside.

5. The Sub-floor

The state of your sub-floor determines if hardwood flooring is a good idea. Before installing hardwood, you should check for any weakness in the sub-floor that could allow water damage.

Also, if your sub-floor is uneven, you floor will creak in some places. This is not a problem unless you like sneaking around all cat-like.

So, should you get hardwood floors?

Yes. They are beautiful and they make for great insulation. The most important thing is to know what it takes to install and maintain your floors. The only people who have reason to shy away from hardwood floors are those who live in really damp areas, like swamps or Atlantis.