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The pros and cons of hardwood flooring

There’s a lot to consider when shopping for new floors. Each product has its own unique features, benefits, and even drawbacks. Hardwood can be a great choice for a variety of rooms, homes, and lifestyles. If you’re considering putting hardwood in your home, here are some pros and cons to weigh before you make a decision.

Pros

Its longevity

When installed and cared for properly, hardwood floors will last you a long time. Solid hardwood can be sanded and refinished multiple times. Engineered hardwood can sometimes be sanded and refinished, but not as many times as solid hardwood.

Its variety of looks

With so many different species, stains, cuts, grades, plank sizes, and pattern options, there’s a hardwood for every decor.

Its ease of maintenance

For the most part, hardwood flooring won’t need much maintenance beyond routine sweeping and vacuuming on the bare floor setting. Remember – hardwood floors should never be wet-mopped, and all spills should be wiped up as quickly as possible to prevent water damage.

Cons

It can be expensive

Hardwood flooring is not cheap. With some products running upwards of $15 per square foot, putting new hardwood floors into an open-concept first floor or large master bedroom can set you back thousands of dollars, especially when you consider installation costs. However, engineered hardwood products tend to be less expensive than solid hardwood.

It’s susceptible to moisture damage

Solid hardwood is especially susceptible to water damage, and should never be installed below grade or on top of a concrete subfloor. Engineered hardwood, while less prone to moisture damage, is still a natural product, and can still be damaged or grow mold if exposed to too much water. 

It can be easily scratched

Depending on the species, hardwood flooring can be easily scratched, scuffed, or dented. If you’re installing your new floors in a high-traffic area of the home, consider a species with a higher Janka rating – or a faux wood product like laminate or vinyl.

Photosensitivity

Some species of hardwood have higher levels of photosensitivity than others, meaning the color can change if it’s exposed to sunlight for too long. If the room you’re putting the flooring in gets a lot of sun, opt for a species of hardwood with less photosensitivity, or consider a different type of floor covering that won’t fade or change color when exposed to sunlight, such as wood-look porcelain tile.

About The Author

Lauren Moore

Proud flooring aficionado and office dog mom, "Flauren" has been a professional writer and editor for more than a decade (though she still maintains her magnum opus was "The Day it Snowed Slurpees," written at the age of 6).

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