Hardwood, like many other priceless things in life forms an invaluable part of our daily existence. Very rarely do we acknowledge the undeniable presence or the advantages we enjoy from using products made of lumber from deciduous trees. Hardwood is present everywhere you look – furniture, sports items like baseball bats, fine furniture, accent furniture, and as structural beams, mouldings and beading in construction projects. Apart from all of this one of the major uses of hardwood is in flooring.
Because of its durability and longevity, hardwood is a preferred flooring choice for construction professionals, homeowners and commercial property owners. The rich deep grains and textured colors of hardwood provide a look of luxury and warmth, complementing almost any decor and aesthetics. Naturally beautiful, hardwood flooring once installed is an investment for life. It doesn’t need replacement, and as it ages, with time it changes colour, turning a deeper richer shade of its younger self. For example, woods like Brazilian Cherry when freshly milled appear light ranging from shades of salmon pink to even blond, but with the passage of time, they age and change colour, turning darker and richer, accentuating your home, complementing your furniture.
Increasing the value of your home
To call hardwood durable would be an understatement. Because of their density, they are capable of retaining the original texture even after years of heavy use, which is why hardwood floors are so in demand. Perfect for heavy traffic areas, hardwood has traditionally been the preferred choice of flooring material not only for homes, but also for commercial spaces, like schools, offices and hospitals.
Because of the durability, hardwood floors can add thousands of dollars’ worth to your home. According to the National Wood Flooring Association (NWFA), homes that install hardwood flooring sell much faster than homes that don’t. And often at higher rates. Real estate agents have time and again reported the huge success rates in selling homes with hardwood flooring at hefty prices.
Easy to maintain
Hardwood flooring comes in a number of different finishes depending on the kind of traffic it will be subjected to and also how it will be maintained. In general these wood floors are easy to clean, most only requiring regular sweeping or mopping. Sweeping with a soft bristle brush usually helps keep hardwood floors keep looking new and beautiful over the years.
The service life of wood floors also depends on the kind of finish your manufacturer subjects the wood planks to. Surface finishes are really the easiest to maintain, since they require so little taking care of. They are water resistant and come in several types – water based, oil based, acid cured and moisture cured.
While all of these finishes are durable and are extremely water resistant, the moisture cured finish really scores the highest in water resistance.
Wax finishes are excellent in protecting the wood, forming an impenetrable layer over the surface. This kind of finish is not known to add a lot of sheen on the wood; however, these help increase the service life of the floor.
For strong and durable floors, manufacturers prefer to inject the wood with acrylic impregnated finishes. These are perfect for malls, office and restaurants and other commercial spaces, where foot traffic is heavy. These make for a really strong hardwood floor.
If you are looking for a shiny look for your hardwood floor, the UV cured finishes would be your best bet. Ultraviolet light is used to cure the wood, and multiple levels of sheen are available.
The best person to ask about the kind of finish you should opt for is your installer. Professional advice is the most helpful when it is about increasing the service life of your hardwood floors.
Improving the quality of life
Of the different kinds of floors available, hardwood floors work the best to keep allergens away. Wood flooring has not been found to emit methane and nitrogen oxide including other particulate matter. In the University of Wisconsin Wood Products Program Solid Wood Flooring Life Cycle Analysis wood floor has also been found to store carbon during its service life, and emit very little carbon dioxide. This contributes to cleaner air within your home and makes hardwood a preferred choice for people suffering asthma.
There are no fibers or grout lines that can trap any dust or pollen within the pores, keeping the floor clean for years and with very little maintenance.
Please consult your installer for any kind of hardwood information. Their professional advice will help you make a perfect investment choice.