Solid Wood Flooring vs. Tile & Carpet: Which is Best for You?
Hardwood Flooring is a product of nature, and a wood floor is not really made by man, it is merely altered by man. Isn’t it a fact that all the great artists have, in one way or another, reverted to nature to get the best inspiration to create the famous masterpieces that we know today? Now why do you think they would do that? It’s quite simple actually. Nothing can beat nature’s beauty, or even nature’s toughness and durability for that matter.
Why Choose Hardwood Floor Over Tile or Carpet?
The natural beauty of wood alone should make anyone want to have wood floors in their home or office.
Add to this beauty that hardwood floors are also durable, eco-friendly (green, renewable), cozy, and very forgiving to life’s accidents (unlike carpet which seems to stain if you look at it the wrong way) and hardwood really is the perfect flooring solution.
Ok Wood Floors Look Great, But Are They For Me?
So you’re wondering if wood floors will work for your project? Because your home is built on a concrete slab? Or because you need new floors for your basement? Or because somebody told you that your home is not suitable for hardwood floors? It is true that certain applications may not be suitable for a traditional, solid hardwood floor. The good news is that there is a solution for nearly all applications! That solution is called Engineered Hardwood Flooring.
Engineered Wood Floors
Engineered wood flooring is a wood floor product that can be used below grade, ie: basements, on a concrete slab, and nearly any interior space really. Engineered hardwood is real wood, and is made up of multiple layers of a plywood-like core, laid up in a criss-cross pattern for enhanced stability (so it doesn’t expand and contract significantly) with a real hardwood wear layer on the top as the visible surface.
Besides first floor installations over a concrete slab, or basement flooring, other good applications for engineered wood floors are installations over in-floor radiant heating, installations where humidity is on the higher end, like water-front properties, etc.
Wood Flooring vs Carpet
Wood flooring is far superior to carpet because of it’s hypo-allergenic properties. It’s relatively common for doctors to tell their patients that they need to get rid of the carpet in their home and replace it with hardwood floors. The reason for this is that carpet fibers will harbor airborne pathogens, dust mites and hundreds of allergy-causing creatures that even the strongest vacuum cannot extract. Because wood flooring is a solid surface it does not trap allergy-causing entities, and can easily be wiped free of impurities using just a broom, cloth or some type of a spray-jet mop that is recommended for use on real wood floors.
Hardwood vs Tile
Probably the strongest advantage that hardwood has over tile is a wood floor’s lack of maintenance requirements. Contrary to what your parents wood floors were like, today’s factory finished wood floors, and even jobsite finished wood floors finished with polyurethane, require no regular maintenance aside from simple cleaning.
When compared to tile, which requires regular sealing of grout annually to prevent the grout from staining, hardwood is the better choice.
Not to mention that grout lines in tile are typically slightly lower than the actual tile’s surface making grout lines a great place for dirt and grime to hide from your cleaning efforts and eventually cause odors and possibly even a bug problem in your home.
Here’s the Bottom Line
If you consider the different characteristics between tiles and carpets, wood flooring actually offers the best of both worlds. It’s both hard and soft enough, (harder than carpet, yet easier on the feet than tile) is easier to maintain, easier to install, and has a long life expectancy.