The feeling of luxury and beauty you get from solid wood flooring is obvious. While you may invest in cheaper alternatives such as laminate flooringor engineered wood flooring hardwood flooring is a long-term investment that will deliver real results for the home, providing a remarkable amount of longevity that is proven by floors that look fantastic centuries after they were originally laid. What’s more, hardwood flooring continues to evolve with the times, as organic and environmentally-sustainable options enter the market and establish themselves as the norm.
Hardwood flooring is a particularly aesthetically versatile offering. Woods such as hevea, oak and walnut are used to great effect and treatments and finishes include solid, lacquered, stained honey, distressed, oiled, hand-scraped, brushed and coated. This is usually the most difficult choice to make with your home, given the seemingly infinite customisation that wooden flooring can bring. A lot of the decision can be made for you when you consider how you need to maintain the finish. Many have longer shelf-lives, such as wax, while UV coatings will last much longer and will provide protection for the wood against fading from sunlight.
You must also remember that, like carpets, linoleum and other coverings, hardwood flooring should be cleaned regularly. Luckily, it is an easy process; all that you need to do is get hold of specialised wood cleaner or, if it is untreated, it is usually best to sweep or vacuum the surface. Specialist cleaners are able to create a self-polishing film, making floors highly resistant to wear and dirt.
Another wonderful advantage of hardwood flooring is that you need not worry about the limit you can sand down the surface, should it take particularly heavy damage. Flooring such as engineered wood only provides a limited depth on the surface veneer, meaning it often can’t be sanded at all. Luckily, as hardwood is solid, you can take a layer off and have it looking as good as new. This is also great should you want to change the overall feel of a room following the purchase of new furniture or the installation of discount floor lighting.
Finally, there are a number of considerations that you ought to make when you choose hardwood flooring as your final investment. The most important of them all is hardwood’s suitability for the room you wish to install it in. Certain types of hardwood flooring cannot be used for particular applications, such as in conjunction with underfloor heating systems. Sadly, natural hardwoods have a major tendency to react badly to large changes in temperature, meaning flooring can expand or contract and do structural damage to the surface. If you want a real wood finish to combine with your underfloor heating system, you may be better off considering engineered wood or laminates; it’s best to stick to traditional floor underlay.
Aside from this, solid wood flooring is perfect for a large number of different applications and is still the top option for most homes in need of a huge makeover. What’s more, it’s great value for money and can truly boost the value of your home, should you plan to sell your property in the future.