Hardwood Flooring

Considering Hardwood Flooring?

Hardwood Flooring Survey Headline

When you are looking for ways to enhance the look and feel of your home, hardwood flooring is one of the best investments you can make. Its popularity has never waned. In a recent survey of designers from across the country, nearly 85% indicated that, when a change of flooring is called for, they prefer to make the change to hardwood.  Like a good friend, hardwood stays with you throughout every stage of life. Its look can be changed to match the latest design trends and each room can be transformed overnight with the addition of a new rug, furniture, and accessories. You can’t help but feel warmth and comfort surrounded by this source of natural beauty.

Compared to carpet, hardwood flooring has many advantages. Although the initial cost of hardwood floor installation may be more than standard carpet, it will not have to be replaced every 10-15 years. If the carpet color and style is used as a design element of the décor, it could be replaced even sooner. Anyone with children or pets knows that carpeting can be easily stained or damaged by normal family activity. Allergy sufferers are strongly advised to avoid having carpet in their homes because it is a wonderland for dust mites and other prominent allergens.

Linoleum and vinyl flooring are easy to care for and less expensive than hardwood but they are also much less attractive. Depending on the quality, the color of the vinyl may be affected by certain household cleaners. Sunlight and cleaners are known to cause the color to fade as well. Because it is pliable, any sharp object dropped on the floor may be able to pierce it and jeopardize integrity of the entire floor. A small cut could allow water to seep beneath the flooring and cause several other problems. This could also happen if the edges are not properly sealed during installation.

Tile flooring is durable, long-lasting, and stain-resistant. It is also expensive. Anyone who has stood on tile floors for several hours at a time can attest to the physical strain this hard surface places on the body. Wood is softer and has some give so it is much more comfortable for active environments.  The overall look and feel of tile is cold. Whether it is a snowy winter night or the height of summer with the air conditioning chilling the air, tile flooring will remain cool and feel unpleasant. Another major concern is the cost and time required to change the tile when remodeling.

Hardwood flooring is very versatile. Any décor will come alive when it is built on a foundation of wood. The many species available encompass a vast number of colors and texture. Patterns, borders, and medallions are other elements that can enhance the design of your interior. On the other hand, a neutral mid-tone stain can accommodate the desire for style changes that normally occur over time. A quality hardwood floor can be easily refinished to change the color and sheen. Rugs and other complementary elements will only complement the natural beauty of the wood. It really has no disadvantages.

Hardwood Flooring

Hardwood Flooring, It’s Good for Your Health

If you are among the 35 million Americans who are allergic to dust mites and pet dander, you may already be aware that a good way to limit your exposure is to replace the carpet in your home with hardwood flooring.

A house with wooden floors and rugs will contain only a tenth of the dust that a carpeted house contains. The hard surface of wood floors greatly reduces the accumulation of allergens in your home, compared to carpet, which keeps you and your family members happy and healthy.

Allergens and Irritants

The main irritants that pollute our indoor air quality are allergens and toxic chemicals. Dust mites, pet dander and pesticides constitute the largest portion of irritants that stand between us and optimal wellness.

–       Dust mites are tiny spider-like creatures that cannot be seen with the naked eye. They eat exfoliated skin and live in carpet, mattresses, and upholstered furniture.  A mite’s life cycle lasts only a few months, transitioning from egg to adult within a matter of weeks. It is their waste products that cause the allergic reactions.

–       Pesticides used in gardens and homes accumulate on floors and other surfaces in the home. A recent EPA study found that the accumulation of such toxins on hard surface flooring is significantly less than other types of flooring.

–       Pet dander is shed from dogs and cats. These allergens are very strong and maintain their potency for months, adhering to walls, clothing and other surfaces, even travelling with people to places where the pets have never been.

Complementary Solutions

Every part of the cleaning regimen that is recommended to properly maintain your hardwood floors is also a crucial step in reducing the allergens in your home. In fact, natural wood oils often have a strongly anti-bacterial action.

–       Replacing all carpeting, especially in the bedroom (where you spend one-third of your time) will significantly reduce the available safe-havens for allergens.

–       Wood floors do not trap and accumulate concentrations of harmful chemicals and fumes, nor do they become homes for unpleasant parasites.

–       Washing rugs with hot water, at least 130°F, will kill dust mites.

–       Using a dehumidifier or air conditioner to maintain relative humidity at 50% or below is good for your hardwood floors and, makes the environment undesirable for dust mites.

–       Cleaning the floors with a microfiber mop, instead of traditional cleaning methods, has been recommended by the EPA as an environmental best practice for healthcare facilities.

The beauty of hardwood floors has long been a favorite of homeowners. Whether you choose the look of pronounced rustic lines or a subtly background blend, the attraction to natural elements is overwhelming.

The stains and finishes available provide a wide array of colors and styles. Each choice can add to the beauty of your home while making it a healthier environment with significantly fewer allergens and irritants. It seems so simple. It’s the natural choice – hardwood flooring.

For more information about how you can be happier and healthier, contact MacDonald Hardwoods.