Hardwood floors have a reputation for being among the more ‘high-end’ options on the market, they come in a wide range of design options (i.e. finishes, grains, woods, patterns), and they are able to bring an element of charm into any home – whether traditional or contemporary in aesthetic. And yet they always seem to come with certain reservations in the minds of our customers. Accordingly, despite the undeniable beauty and versatility of hardwood flooring, many people are put off at the design stage for reasons that simply aren’t true!
Be these concerns about maintenance or quibbles about price, many think that these disadvantages are unavoidable features of hardwood floors. We think this is a shame, and would love to see more customers open to the practical and aesthetic benefits of such flooring. So in this post, we get to the facts by debunking some common hardwood flooring myths with a view to helping you make an informed decision on your purchase.
They are expensive
Hardwood floors have gained a reputation as luxury design features befitting of grand period buildings and opulent traditional homes. As such, many assume them to be far too expensive when designing their own homes. But in reality, hardwood does not have to be a financially restrictive purchase, nor does it necessarily have to break the bank. Although certain floors can come at a hefty price tag, there are options for all budgets. Indeed, certain grades, certain species, and certain finishes are more expensive than others. So if you’re operating on a tighter budget you could narrow down your search to the cheaper types of hardwood. For instance, you could consider rustic grade flooring for a cheaper deal on some authentic real wood.
Plus, due to their lifespan of potentially hundreds of years (when properly fitted and maintained), real hardwood floors are among the most cost-effective options on the market as they will most likely not require replacing any time soon. While carpets and synthetic floors often need replacing every decade or so (depending on wear and tear) in order to keep your interior looking up-to-date, hardwood can be refinished and fully restored in ways that do not compromise their initial charm – just look at any old stately home across the UK! So instead of looking at the price tags and upfront costs, you should consider the value of hardwood as a great long-term investment.
They are too hard to maintain
For many people, hardwood flooring immediately conjures up tedious images of constant cleaning, refinishing, polishing, waxing, and repairing. Many also think that wood scratches and stains a lot easier than other materials, and requires more repairs as a result. But are wooden floors really so high-maintenance? Well, many argue that hardwood is actually one of the easiest types of flooring to maintain, especially when compared to deep pile carpets.
All it takes is a regular amount of sweeping and scrubbing to keep your hardwood looking fresh. As with any type of flooring, you should avoid using any abrasive chemicals to clean your floor – opt for pH-neutral products recommended by the manufacturer instead. Since excessive amounts of water can fester between cracks and warp your flooring, damp cloths should be used in place of wet mops when scrubbing your floor. Likewise, to avoid unnecessary scratching use a soft brush attachment when hoovering and put down protective mats where appropriate.
Getting your hardwood flooring professionally refinished every once in a while will ensure that it withstands the everyday wear of cleaning and traffic. Any scratches in the finish can be removed by refinishing the flooring, while scratches in the wood itself (though uncommon) can be sanded out before the refinishing process. It’s incredible just how long the original luster of hardwood can last throughout many years of regular use by stomping kids and clawing pets!
They are bad insulators
Nobody likes the feeling of a cold floor under their feet when they get out of bed in the morning, and some people avoid wooden flooring for this exact reason. But hardwood isn’t actually as chilly as you may think. For starters, hardwood is a natural insulator dating back centuries that will improve the overall warmth of your space better than materials like steel and concrete. Furthermore, they are compatible with underfloor heating systems and HVAC systems should you need an extra boost in temperature. If you’re looking for a warm bit of cushioning and warmth directly underfoot, you could always put down some rugs for a more immediate solution.
They are bad for the environment
While wood flooring can in some cases be detrimental to the environment when it’s harvested badly, this entirely depends on whether or not the supplier is committed to environmental concerns. Indeed, manufacturers often adopt sustainable practices (and for suppliers to only source products from sustainable manufacturers) in order to reduce their contributions to deforestation. It’s always worth checking with your supplier that this is the case before making a purchase: look out for the FSC logo and ask about how the wood was sourced and managed to ensure that you are buying a floor that has been kind to our environment.
It’s important to note that just because hardwood floors are harvested from trees doesn’t mean that they are damaging to the environment. Remember, wood is a renewable natural resource as well as a carbon neutral product, so rest assured it is a lot kinder to our planet than certain synthetic floors. Furthermore, since they have the ability to last for hundreds of years at a time, hardwood flooring does not need to be replaced regularly and uses up fewer natural resources (and thus less energy in the long run).
If you’re looking for more advice and information from seasoned experts in the flooring industry, feel free to get in touch with a member of the Hudson Flooring team and we’d be delighted to help you out.