You may wonder why to choose real hardwood flooring over other flooring options. As you'll see, the benefits of wood floors are overwhelming.
Wood floors don't depreciate.
Real wood floors are good for a home's resale value and last the life of the home. People walk on wood floors as old as our nation every day; for example, the floors in Washington's Mount Vernon. Carpet is replaced three to six times before most solid wood floors need repair. Wood floors cost less in the long term and add value to your home.
Wood is a natural product in a diverse range of colors and grain patterns.
Wood floors offer unmatched natural beauty, warmth and design appeal that allow your new or existing house truly to become your family's home. Who hasn't marveled at the beauty of a fine wood floor? There is more diversity in wood floors now than ever before... a wood floor for every taste.
Wood is the easiest floor to maintain and requires fewer chemicals to clean.
Whenever someone says, "I think tile or carpet might be easier to clean," I point to my wood floor cleaning tools. With only a swivel mop and sometimes a non-aerosol spray, I can clean my wood floor in less than half the time it takes to vacuum, scrub or shampoo other floor coverings. They don't trap dust and fumes in the fibers or grow mold in the grout. Unlike carpet or tile cleaning, cleaning a wood floor requires few chemicals.
It's the best choice for the environment.
Wood manufacturing is much cleaner than the manufacture of other building materials. Steel results in up to 40 times more pollutants than the manufacture of wood; concrete, six times more; and brick, four times more. Steel releases three times more carbon dioxide, and concrete releases even more. Wood sends less solid waste to the landfill than manufacturing the same product in either steel or concrete. Finally, wood is more energy-efficient. The cellular structure of wood traps air, giving it superior insulating properties. It takes 15 inches of concrete to equal the insulation qualities of just 1 inch of wood.
You can redecorate your wood floor entirely with stains, faux finishes and inlays.
You can change the entire look of a wood floor with stains, paints and inlays without replacing any materials.
Finishes can be repaired or reapplied easily (as long as maintenance procedures are followed).
Wood floors can be recoated or touched up instead of adding to the landfill, as happens with some other floor coverings. Our industry helps preserve what's already there... the finest form of recycling. A properly maintained wood floor never should need to be completely resanded.
Wood floors give a little and are better for your joints.
Don't be surprised if your doctor recommends a wood floor for your spine and joints. Wood gives slightly, making it easier on your legs and feet. Have you ever noticed that your feet get tired faster if you are standing on stone or tile than if you are standing on wood?
Wood is an ideal choice for people with allergies.
Wood does not trap dust or fumes, and will not harbor dust mites or mold. We spend 90 percent of our time indoors. Some researchers believe the dust mite could be responsible for increasing asthma occurrence. Wood floors in your bedroom and other main living areas can improve air quality, according to the American Lung Association.
Wood floor sales support good forest management.
Wood floors are a high-end use for forest products and can involve better margins, thereby ensuring the perpetuation of the forest. Many developing countries today rely on timber for export earnings, yet the greatest threat to primary forests in these countries is conversion to other forms of land use. Using exotic species for wood floors is a good way to give a high value to the wood and encourage reforestation for continued income production.
Wood is our greatest renewable resource.
North America has more than 70 percent of the forest cover that was here in the 1600s, and many exotic foods come from certified sustainable forests. North America produces more wood than any other place on the planet! According to a World Resources Institute report, North America was unusual in that it increased tree cover in the 1990s. In other words, we grow more than we cut. North America also is becoming known as a carbon sink. Scientists have shown that young trees use more carbon dioxide than older trees, much like younger animals need more food.
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Printed with permission from the National Wood Flooring Association