Nothing is more beautiful than a wood floor—rich, gleaming and timeless. Wood is the natural choice for any room in your home and will provide your home with warmth, durability and beauty that will never go out of style. If well cared for a wood floor will keep its stylish good looks for several decades or more and increase the value of your home as well. According to the National Wood Flooring Association wood floors hold their value better, sell faster (even in a weak market) and real estate agents agree, by a three-to-one margin, that homes with wood floors bring a higher price than a home with carpeted floors.
Besides being beautiful, versatile and enhancing your home’s value wood flooring is also a very healthy choice. The World Health Organization and other environmental agencies recommend switching from carpet to wood floors and the reasons are simple—wood is a natural material and, unlike carpets, it does not harbor harmful chemicals, fumes, and parasites such as dust mites that trigger allergies and asthma attacks. The average carpet also contain pet allergens, flea and lice eggs, traces of feces and urine brought in from outdoors, not to mention, high concentrations of toxic dust. Carpet dust contains high concentrations of lead, mercury, cadmium, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, polychlorinated biphenols and pesticides according to studies performed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. A house with wood floors will have only a tenth as much dust as a house with carpeted floors. Carpet pads can also be a source of molds and mildew—these spores work their way up through the carpet fibers and into the air.
Wood is not only healthy it’s a very green, sustainable building product since it is abundantly renewable. Today’s sustainable forest management means wood can be harvested without serious damage to the environment and trees can be replaced over and over. While it can take 40 to 60 years for a tree to fully mature, a wood floor can easily last 100+ years so the trees planted today won’t be needed for a hundred years.
Your choice in flooring should complement your furniture style and color, your fabrics, and other décor, as well as, the unique character of your home. Darker and medium wood finishes usually work well with elegant, more formal styles such as traditional. Lighter finishes work well with casual styles such as country and contemporary. Old World and other rustic style homes need a dark finish usually with a little distressing or consider reclaimed wood flooring. Wood flooring is, without a doubt, the most versatile type of flooring and with the multitude of colors and textures to choose from today you will have no problem finding the perfect wood and finish for your home.
One decision you will need to make is whether you would like pre-finished wood flooring or a wood floor that is installed in your home then sanded and finished. Prefinished wood flooring has a lot going for it since it has several layers of finish perfectly applied. The result is a very even uniform finish; it’s also a very durable and hard finish that is impervious to moisture. However, pre-finished wood strips usually have a beveled edge which some people dislike.
Finishing wood floors on site is more expensive but it has a perfectly smooth level appearance much like a table top. It’s also easier to repair a site finished floor should it ever need to be. The prefinished flooring cannot be refinished, whereas a site finished floor can. A professional can help you decide which type is right for your home.
Regardless of whether you decide to buy pre-finished or site finished wood flooring proper installation is critical and that’s where your wood flooring professional comes in. Getting a perfect install can depend on a lot of things such as your subflooring and proper acclimatization. A professional has years of experience working with all types of wood flooring including the latest products, trends and services. He has the knowledge and skill to help you make good informed decisions about your flooring and he has what it takes to provide you with a high quality install that will last a lifetime.