A few years ago, my parents went through their whole house, ripped out pretty much all the carpet and ugly laminate floors, and installed hardwood floors. They love their wood floors, and most people would agree hardwood floors make a great addition to a home. It seems to be an increasing trend with homeowners and home buyers.
However, just because it’s a trend doesn’t mean it’s automatically right for me. Before I purchase something, I like to think of the pros and cons of what I’m about to buy. Making sure I think it through and consider all the points before purchasing is important. I’ve considered putting wood floors in my future home, and the things below have crossed my mind while I try to make the best decision.
Cons of Wood Floors
They’re cold in the winter
One of the things that I hated about the wood floors at my parents’ place was how cold they always felt in the winter. It sounds stupid, and maybe even a little whiny, but walking on cold wood floors right after crawling out of my warm bed sucked. To compensate for this, I put a giant rug down in my bedroom so I wouldn’t have to deal with it. What’s the point of spending the time and money to buy them if I’ll probably cover it up with a rug anyways?
Wood floors scratch easily
If you don’t put felt pads on the legs of your furniture, particularly your chairs, you’ll end up scratching or creating dull spots on your floors. The wood floor my parents installed is starting to dull where the kitchen table sits, despite having felt pads on the table and chair legs. It’s simply an area that gets a lot of heavy use.
If you have pets, like myself, their nails might leave scratches on your wood floor. This was a big concern of my dad’s when I moved back in with my cat. I’d say that my little 10-pound Dexter didn’t do too much damage, but I can imagine that maybe a bigger, heavier dog that has larger nails might cause a problem.
They increase noise in out house
The other thing I hated about wood flooring was how much noisier the house seemed. I could hear the cat running around, his claws scratching floor as he chased after his toys, in the middle of the night. He’d let out a loud howl, too, when he slid into a cabinet or wall because he couldn’t get any traction. I also knew exactly when my dad woke up in the morning, because I could hear him traipsing around the kitchen making his coffee. For the first few weeks, I didn’t get much sleep when my parents installed wood floors in their home.
Pros of Wood Floors
Hardwood floors are aesthetically pleasing
Most homeowners or potential home buyers rip out carpet and replace it with hardwood flooring. Realtor.com notes that while you might not get all your money back on installing wood floors, you’ll increase the likelihood that your home will sell faster. They add that wood floors are still seen as a luxury item, despite how inexpensive wood floors have become.
If you plan on selling your home soon, or just want to show off to your friends, installing wood floors in your dining area or kitchen makes a great addition. Just don’t go with something that looks cheap and poorly made. Invest a bit of money to buy a quality brand that looks more expensive than it really is.
They keep your home cleaner
Carpets soak up dirt, grime, allergens and who knows what else. Carpets also need a bit more TLC than wood floors. Experts recommend vacuuming at least twice a week, and almost every other day if you have a pet, to keep the carpet clean. Plus, stains gather over time and can be difficult to remove from carpeting – even with regular steam cleaning.
Wood floors on the other hand don’t really harbor odors, allergens, stains or dirt as easily as carpet. While you still have to sweep hardwood floors regularly, dirt gets ground deep down in carpet fibers further than your vacuum can reach. Wood floors also don’t stain easily – if at all. Say that one of your kids spills grape juice on your wood floor. You can easily clean it up with some paper towel and soapy water. However, if they spilled juice on the carpet, which probably isn’t the same color as grape juice, you’ll end up with huge purple blob on your carpeting.
Hardwood floors are pretty easy to install
My parents’ bought a floating wood flooring that basically snapped together via a tongue-and-groove notch secured with some glue. They had to leave a gap between the wall and the board that’s adjacent to the wall to allow the wood to expand and contract depending on the weather. Aside from a few cuts from a circular saw to make room for vents and corners, my parents installed the floor themselves in less than a month for their 1,500 square foot house.
Based on my pro and con list for wood floors, I think that I’d put wood flooring in certain rooms of my house, but that’s just personal preference. Adding wood floors definitely has some great benefits if you’re more concerned about the look and design of your home. However, if you’re looking at them from a functional standpoint, you might have to compensate for things like noise and wear and tear. Make sure you sit down and do research before you jump into redoing your whole home. You don’t want to get stuck with something you can’t live with.
What other pros and cons can you think of when considering wood floors? Share with other Zing! readers.