Although for most of its history human beings have lived in dwellings with dirt floors, wooden flooring has existed for many centuries. In the past, before modern appliances and electricity, wood floors were handmade, it being a very labor-intensive activity. Today, modern technology has made it possible for even the homeowner of modest means to enjoy the benefits of a hardwood floor.
Why Choose A Hardwood Floor?
With so many other choices available in flooring materials (most of them synthetic), why are many people choosing to install a hardwood floor?
One reason is their durability. Unlike cheap, synthetic materials that crack and crumble over time, natural hardwood floors stand the test of time. They are also very durable – they can be used in the kitchen, the family room, bedrooms, even high-traffic areas like hallways and stairways.
Where many people are ill-informed today is in thinking that hardwood floors are expensive. Although the initial investment can be significant, hardwood floors actually increase in value as your home increases in value. Properly cared for, hardwood floors can dramatically increase the value of your home!
What Types of Wood Floors Exist?
There are two main types of hardwood floors — the solid floor, which is manufactured from a solid block of wood, and the engineered hardwood floor, which is essentially a layered wood product that has a veneer layer on the very top.
Hardwood flooring products today can be purchased in strip form, planks (like a strip, except longer), and parquet (where the wood is arranged into a design that is pleasing to the eye).
For your convenience, modern hardwood flooring products are available prefinished, which eliminates the need to sand and apply finish to the wood after installation (a great convenience for the DIY enthusiast), or they can be purchased unfinished, in which case the wood will be sanded and finished by professionals after installation in the home.
How Does Foot Traffic Affect The Choice of Hardwood Floors?
You should carefully consider the amount of foot traffic received by the area that you intend to lay floor in. In general, darker wood colors will show the wear due to foot traffic quicker than the lighter colors. In addition, high-traffic areas will need some additional maintenance about once a year – including a light sanding and application of additional coats of finish.
It is also true that a hardwood floor with a high-gloss finish will show traffic wear more quickly than hardwood floors with lower-gloss finishes. Rugs and mats are always a good choice to help protect these areas – particularly at the entrances of doors and hallways.
Some woods – notably hickory, oak and maple – with a higher density will take wear and traffic better than woods like pine that are less dense. Again, the denser woods may be more expensive, so consider your needs carefully.
About The Author
Simon Harris owns and operates http://www.cleaning-hardwood-floors.com Hardwood Floors