Wood flooring is classic, durable, and a popular form of flooring for small country cottages to large modern homes. If you have decided to have new wood flooring installed, there are some things you should consider before you make your final selection.
What kind of maintenance will the floor require?
Many types of wood flooring require different types of maintenance, so make sure you understand the care your floor will need before you have it installed. There are numerous options in wood flooring, and each has its pros and cons. Knowing what to expect before you make a final decision about flooring will ensure you remain in love with your choice for years to come.
- Laminate wood flooring—Laminate wood flooring is sturdy and low maintenance. These floors are easy to clean and maintain, making them ideal for high traffic areas. It resists scuffs and scratches and stands up to the test of busy family homes. High-quality laminate wood lasts for many years without losing its beauty. The downside is that even high-quality laminate wood flooring can look and feel artificial. It is slippery when wet and can’t be refinished. You want to love the color you choose because there will be no changing it once it is installed.
- Hardwood flooring—Long-lasting beauty of hardwood flooring compliments the look of any space. Hardwood flooring offers a timeless appeal that radiates inviting warmth.
Hardwood flooring requires regular maintenance and cleaning to keep it looking its best. The floors can be dented and scratched, so be careful when moving or placing furniture. Dust and dirt can quickly dull the sheen, so frequently cleaning the floor with gentle cleaners is recommended. Hardwood flooring does not do well with moisture, so it is not ideal for kitchens, baths, or laundry rooms. Though the flooring is a somewhat expensive option, and it does require some work to maintain, its stunning look appeals to many homeowners. There is no question that with proper care, these floors will last the life of your home, and they can be refinished several times over the lifetime of the wood. You might not think you will ever want to change the look of the beautiful wood you have chosen, but styles and taste change, so having the option for change is a definite bonus.
- Engineered wood flooring combines the best features of laminate and hardwood flooring. The top is made of real wood, providing the natural warmth and style of hardwood flooring. Engineered wood flooring is a bit more moisture resistant so it can be installed throughout the home. Cleaning is similar to what you would do for hardwood flooring. Liquid left standing can do irreparable harm to the finish. Engineered wood flooring can not be refinished as often over its lifespan as hardwood flooring, but most types can be refinished once. Though dents and scratches are possible, engineered hardwood is a bit more resistant than hardwood flooring.
Which has the best value?
That question can only be answered by knowing your lifestyle. Wood laminate does not add to nor detract from the value of your home. If you have children and pets, or just want to avoid extra work, then the value in wood laminate is in its ability to be easily cleaned and maintained. Hardwood floors can add substantial value, but it can be a turn off to potential buyers who realize the care that must be taken to preserve its beauty. Engineered wood flooring can be a good compromise, as it increases the value of your home while needing a bit less maintenance to keep it looking terrific.
All three products come in a wide variety of colors and shades, so you can choose what best suits your décor. A skilled contractor can provide you with a cost estimate for any form of wood flooring, and help you decide which best suits your lifestyle and budget. Flooring plays a huge role in the overall look of your home, so take your time with the decision about which wood flooring is right for you.
Whatever wood flooring you choose, do not skimp on skilled installation. Having a professional who is familiar with the installation of wood flooring is crucial to creating the look you want for your home. It can also save you money in materials, as professionals will install your wood flooring with little waste. The look of the most stunning flooring can be ruined by poor installation, so make sure you find a contractor that will do it right the first time.