Hardwood floors are beautiful and very appealing because people are drawn to natural products. Things from nature, like wood, offer rejuvenation, stress relief and relax our consciousness. Wood also falls into the criteria we have addressed in previous blogs about the importance of timeless design. However, as much as people love wooden floors, there are instances when it’s not the right choice to put into your home. If you love wood, here are five situations where an alternative flooring, maybe one that gives the look of wood, might be a better choice:
- High traffic areas where wood could be damaged; Beautiful hardwood floors will not stay looking their best or make a homeowner happy if they are installed into very high traffic areas where they can be damaged. Think of a mountain cabin where ski poles, sleds, boots, rocks, hiking equipment, mud, snow and dirt will be dragged across an entryway floor. Especially in a space where the homeowner comes to relax and get away, constant worry about a floor would defeat the purpose of your get-away place. This may also be true in certain parts of your primary residence so think about how your home will be utilized and avoid putting hardwood where there is a potential for damage. If high-traffic and risk of damage make you shy away from wood, consider concrete, rubber or vinyl as wood imposters that will look great but give you nearly indestructible alternatives. You’ll end up having the look you want without the worry.
- Areas where moisture is a concern; Places like bathrooms may not be the best rooms to install hardwood floors. Usually, when a floor has buckled or had other water damage, it happens near showers, refrigerators or where there is plumbing for sinks or appliances. Water and wood don’t mix well and when they do it causes big headaches and expensive repairs for the homeowner. If you want the wooden look without the worry about moisture damage, consider installing tile that is designed to imitate hardwood flooring. There are many beautiful options to choose from that look just like wood. Besides the moisture protection, another benefit of the tile floor is that you have the option of adding a radiant heating system into the floor. This luxury isn’t an option if you choose hardwoods.
- The cost of the wood you want is beyond your budget; Staying under budget is always a consideration that has to be managed and you can’t always find high-end materials at low-end prices. However, there are many low-cost options for wood alternatives that can give you the hardwood look you desire. Your designer will have many products for you to consider but some solutions may be linoleum, vinyl, rubber or laminates. Take time to shop these commodities and you will be amazed at how realistic the look and feel mimic hardwood floors while keeping your wallet and bottom line happy.
- Maintaining hardwood floors takes time, energy and money; You don’t want to compromise the integrity of your beautiful floors so putting in hardwood is like signing a contract to refinish them about every five years. This is a lot of work or an expense and inconvenience that is just part of owning wood. Any of the wood alternatives that are mentioned in this blog are easier to maintain than hardwood flooring. The best way to get the wooden plank look with the least amount of work is to try vinyl. It’s not the vinyl of decades gone by. Newer types that have the wood plank look even come in snap-together planks to better mimic hardwoods.
- Wooden flooring is not conducive to the design of your home; There are some styles where, as much as you love hardwood floors, they just don’t fit the design. There are literally thousands of choices for flooring available in every texture, color and material you can imagine. If you are struggling to come up with a flooring idea because you are stuck on the idea of wood then sit down and make a list of what you like about hardwood floors, then work with your designer to find an alternative that checks the boxes of those attributes that are most important to you.
Choosing the right flooring is a very important decision homeowners need to make and then live with for years. If you love hardwood, use it where you can but if some of the above five considerations affect your flooring choices then know there are a variety of options and solutions to fit every situation. The professionals at Perry Newman Design can help you navigate the selection process and choose the flooring that is best suited for each area of your home. This service is included in your Perry Newman Design experience. Your designer will be there from conception, through construction, to completion.