Determining what flooring material should go into each room of your home is a major decision. Few individuals plan on changing their flooring material on a regular basis, so the decision on what kind of flooring material is a decision that the homeowner will live with for generations to come. When it comes to flooring materials, few have the warmth, and richness of hardwood, as shown in Figure 1.
Figure 1 - Select Brazilian Mesquite Hardwood Flooring
It is important to consider all the aspects of the hardwood flooring material that you are considering, from appearance, durability, cost and ease of installation if this is a home improvement that you are planning on installing yourself.
Before deciding ask yourself these questions:
Do you have children and/or pets?
The use of very durable polyurethane finishes has made hardwood suitable for almost any room in the home with the only exception being a full bathroom. Even kitchens can now have the luxury of hardwood flooring installed. Maintenance is simple - wipe up spills and vacuum to remove dust and dirt regularly.
Does someone in your home suffer from allergies?
People who have to cope with allergies and other respiratory problems will find that doctors often specify hardwood flooring to help reduce the suffering of their patients. When coated with a hard polyurethane finish, hardwood flooring provides a smooth surface that does not provide a haven where fleas, dust, mites, pollen, and animal dander can hide.
Will a hardwood floor stand up to abuse?
Professional basketball, floor hockey, lacrosse, and volleyball are all played on hardwood flooring and week after week the floors shine and remain in excellent condition. Will the abuse that your family puts the hardwood floor through be worse than a sports competition?
Is the environment a personal priority?
If you choose an American hardwood you are being environmentally responsible - hardwood is a renewable, sustainable resource. In North America, far less wood is harvested from forests every year compared to the amount that is planted and grows. The amount of hardwood in North American forests is 90% higher than it was in the 1950s.
North American hardwoods were one of the first materials named as a
green material. Hardwoods last for generations making them an excellent material for recycling and reuse.
Do you want a unique look?
North American forests contain many species of hardwood. Cherry, Oak, Ash, Maple, Hickory, and Alder are just a few of the most popular hardwoods found in North American forests. Some are unique to this continent and can be found nowhere else. As each North American hardwood has its own very distinctive characteristics every hardwood floor is a one-of-a-kind, no two pieces of hardwood ever have an identical grain or patina. Hardwood floors can be your statement to design as they adapt well to inlays of different hardwoods, can be laid in almost any pattern conceivable, can be stained, dyed, and painted.