Clarify the Common Misconceptions of Wood Floors
Wood floors have been a great choice for many homeowners for centuries. They are beautiful and very durable. In the course of the years, a lot of myths have cropped up about hardwood floors and they have become so popular to the point of becoming “facts”. There are many homeowners that have refused to installed wood floors in their homes simply because of these misconceptions. In this article, we will be debunking 14 misconceptions and learn the actual facts about wood floors.
Misconception #1: Wood Floors are Expensive
The initial cost of wood floors may be more than some other flooring options but in the long run, wood floors are really some of the most cost-effective flooring choices you can think of. When it is well installed and properly maintained, they can last hundreds of years. Many other flooring choices generally have a lifespan of between ten to twenty years. Also, wood floor options can be sanded and refinished as many times as possible to restore the luster and beauty inherent in them. This means wood floors are excellent long-term investment choice and are some of the least expensive options of flooring that are available when you consider the overall service life.
Misconception #2: Wood Floors are hard to maintain
Regular maintenance for hardwood floor is quite easy. All you need to do is sweep, vacuum or dust mop the floor to remove grit and dirt from the floorboards. Steam mops and wet mops should not be used on wood floors because too much water and steam can make the finish lose its luster over time and can even damage the hardwood in the process. When there is a spill, the floor should be cleaned immediately with a slightly damp or dry cloth. When the floor starts to look dull, use wood floor cleaner suggested by your floor installer to help renew the luster. In case you are not sure of the cleaner to use, check a reliable floor maintenance store and get a recommendation.
Misconception #3: Wood Floors can scratch easily
Irrespective of the choice of flooring you have, it will show signs of wear over a period of time. However, only the wood floor can be repaired to return to the original looks. Most of the scratches that occur in wood floor do so in the finish and not in the wood. The finish can be repaired by simply abrading the floor lightly and apply a new coat of finish. When the scratches go deeper into the wood, the floor can simply be sanded and then refinished. You can engage a professional who is adequately trained to work on the wood floor and has the appropriate equipment. After the scratches are eliminated, a new finish coat will be applied to restore the original luster back to the wood.
Misconception # 4: Purchasing Wood Floors depletes Forests
The wood floor is actually the most environment-friendly option of flooring available in the market. With sustainable forest management, hardwoods are harvested with negligible impact on the environment. This is because trees are renewable natural resources. According to a report from the United States Department of Agriculture Forest Service, each cubic foot of wood harvested in the United States gets another 1.66 cubic feet gets planted in its place. Based on this initiative, there is about 90% increase in the volume of standing hardwood in the United States since the year 1953. Moreover, due to the fact that wood floor remains durable for hundreds of years, less raw materials, natural resources, and energy are required.
Misconception #5: Investing in Wood Flooring does not make sense if you plan to move
Wood floors add remarkable value to your home which increases the sales price. According to a review of real estate agents in the United States, it was revealed that about 99% are of the opinion that houses with wood floors are much easier to sell. About 82% of the real estate agents believe that wood floor houses sell faster and about 90% believe that the houses sell for 10% more. The implication of this is that a home that is placed at $250,000 value will sell for 10% more if the homeowner were to invest about $12,500 in wood flooring. With an increase of 10%, the house would sell for $275,000 which is double the initial investment in the wood floor.
Misconception #6: Wood Floors don’t provide any warmth to a Room
Wood floors contribute significantly to the warmth of a room. This is in terms of insulation capability and the aesthetic value. Woods have exceptional insulation properties and have ten times more insulating ability than aluminum or steel. They also have five times more insulation properties than cinder or concrete blocks. Wood floors maintain warmth from heating systems, radiant heat system, and HVAC systems which increases the total physical warmness of a room.
Misconception #7: Wood Floors tend to show Dirt and Dust more than other Flooring Options
Dust and dirt that is noticeable on wood floors can also be seen on other options of flooring. The only difference is that it is not just as apparent. Interestingly, this is one of the benefits of wood floors because it doesn’t harbor mold, dust, and animal waste. You easily see dirt and you can remove it immediately which enhances the air quality in the home, offering a great relief to people suffering from allergies.
Misconception #8: Cutting down Trees to make Wood Flooring contributes to Global Warming
The major root of global warming is carbon dioxide and wood floor is a carbon neutral material. In the growing life of trees, they release oxygen to the atmosphere and absorb carbon dioxide. This makes hardwood carbon neutral. Furthermore, wood floor stores carbon all through its lifespan thereby maintaining its status of carbon neutral material, even after the harvest of the trees. According to a study carried out by the University of Wisconsin Madison, wood floor production has no emissions for nitrogen oxide, methane, and other particulates, and has little emissions for carbon dioxide and all these are what add to global warming.
Misconception #9: Wood Floors can’t stand up to wear and tear from young Children and Pets
Wood floors have the capacity to withstand any kind of lifestyle. There are various wood species and each comes with varying hardness and durability. These are measured through the use of the Janka scale. The Janka scale shows the likelihood of wood species showing wear or dent. For instance, the rating for the domestic black walnut is placed at about 1,010 while that of Brazilian walnut is 3,680, placing it three times harder than the domestic species. If you choose the Brazilian walnut for your flooring, you will discover that it is less prone to show wear and tear. Also, the introduction of finish can significantly reduce wear and tear on the wood floor.
Misconception #10: Engineered Wood Floors are not Real Wood Floors
Engineered wood floors are actually real wood floors. They are produced with multiple layers of wood composite veneers or wood. Although, there are other laminated floorings that look like wood but are not produced from wood at all. The only components of engineered wood flooring that are not wood are the adhesive that binds the veneers and the finish coat that is applied on top of the veneer to preserve the wood.
Misconception #11: You should wax your Hardwood Floors regularly
This is no more required. Over the years, there have been great evolvements in floor finishes which make wax quite unnecessary. Earlier in the 20th century, tung oil was used for floor finishes which were not really durable. A lot of evolution has taken place since then leading to the 1930s when polyurethane finishes came into the scene to produce the first non-wax floors. Today, the finishes on wood floors are more durable and do not require wax at all.
Misconception #12: Refinishing your Hardwood Floor is a Good DIY Project
Yes, you can rent floor sanders from tool rental shops to refinish your wood floor but these are not the best choice of equipment. You need professional grade equipment. Furthermore, the hardwood floor has a specific wear layer that can be smoothed over the service life of the wood floor. However, when you engage in DIY, you are likely to take off more wood than required which will greatly reduce the lifespan of your life and possibly damage your floor.
Misconception #13: Hardwood Floors are all the same
Hardwood is one of the most flexible flooring materials and they are quite different from one another in terms of durability and aesthetics. Many hardwood species come in a variety of styles and finishes, so they are not all the same.
Misconception #14: Hardwood Floors are too hard to take care of
Hardwood floors are some of the easiest floors to clean. There are various quick methods that you can employ to keep your floor clean and looking beautiful. For basic maintenance, keep the wood floor clean and free of dust, grime, dirt, and pet hair, dust it with a mop, or vacuum cleaner. You should also give your wood floor winter/spring deep cleaning at least once a year.
Wood floors add great value and style to homes. They last more than a lifetime and are worth every penny of your investment. With a good understanding of the limitations, properties, strengths, as well as the beauty and service of wood floors, you can enjoy it for a lifetime. However, you need to distinguish between myths and facts to be able to make an informed decision on the type of flooring that is finest for your home.