When building or renovating a home, flooring options can leave you feeling overwhelmed: carpet, vinyl, linoleum, tile, laminate, stone, and hardwood flooring plus all the variations within each type. We have an obvious preference at Gaylord Hardwood Flooring. However, beyond the fact that they look great, we know there are many advantages of hardwood flooring.
- Hardwood floors will literally last a lifetime.
- They’re natural—and, as explained below, more environmentally friendly than rumour might have you believe.
- Dirt and allergens have nowhere to hide.
- The wide variety of colours, textures and styles make wood very versatile.
Ultimately, your choice will be guided by budget, needs, lifestyle and your own preferences. Take a few moments to consider some of the key advantages hardwood has to offer.
A Lasting Look That's Unmatched; The Advantages of Hardwood
Hardwood floors look great, and we're not the only ones who think so. A survey of U.S. real estate agents by the National Wood Flooring Association found more than 80 percent agree that homes with hardwood floors sell faster—and for more money. When it comes to making smart investments in your home, hardwood flooring is high on the list
. But what about laminate flooring? Durable, cheaper and with a near-wood look, laminate is another popular flooring choice. However, it still falls short in comparison.
- Shorter lifespan: A study by the National Association of Home Builders found laminate floors have an average lifespan of 15-25 years, not nearly the 50-100 years they say you can expect from hardwood.
- More noise: Generally harder than hardwood, laminate floors can really bounce sound around a room. This can be reduced with an acoustic underlay, but you'll likely still get a hollow sound whenever you walk on it. Wood floors naturally absorb some of the sound.
- Less flexibility: Laminate looks like wood because it has a wood-like image printed onto the material; if you want a different look, you need to start over. Hardwood floors, however, can be refinished and even recoloured.
- It's still not hardwood: When you install laminate over hardwood, you'll know it—and so will other people, like potential homebuyers. Despite the aesthetics, the texture and feel will reveal that it's not the real thing.
It's Sustainable and Eco-Friendly
Some people feel hardwood floors aren't environmentally friendly, but we disagree. In North America, forest management is sustainable
; Chisholm Lumber, one of our lumber suppliers, has been harvesting the same land since 1857. Our commitment to local production also helps keep our ecological footprint to a minimum. In contrast, the environmental impact caused by shipping things from overseas
is tremendous. Bamboo, for example, has a reputation for being environmentally friendly: it's a grass that grows quickly, which makes it a renewable resource. However, bamboo flooring is typically shipped from China, and much of the bamboo is grown on land that was deforested to make room—something that has a significant impact even before herbicides, pesticides and fertilizers are added to the equation.
You Can Breathe Easy
Old carpet "can be pretty gross," observed Greg Gaylord, Sales Manager at Gaylord Hardwood Flooring, after years of experience ripping up old flooring. Of your flooring options, carpets are the worst for hiding dust, dirt and germs; you can scrub and vacuum the most visible top layer, but once that dirt has sunk in—particularly messy wet spills—you're stuck with it. As a result, carpet has the shortest lifespan of all flooring types; the National Association of Home Builders estimates just 8-10 years. For people with allergies, hardwood is one of the best options
. Other flooring types, like tile and vinyl, are also good options but require adhesives which may themselves contain allergens.
It's Versatile and Resilient
As long as you wipe up any wet spills right away and give it an occasional dusting, it doesn't take much maintenance
to keep hardwood floors looking great. Our 10-coat titanium finish is under warranty for 40 years—longer than the lifespan of many other flooring types. Wood is a natural product and it is susceptible to scratches and dents from regular use. Choosing the best hardness, colour and finish
for your needs, however, reduces the risk of damage and helps minimize marks.
When wood isn't the best choice
While wood can adapt to life at the cottage and seasonal humidity, we know it isn't the best choice for every location. “In any room where there might be moisture or water, like an entry hall or the bathroom, wood isn’t the best product to use,” said Greg Gaylord, Sales Manager at Gaylord Hardwood Flooring. "There’s too much risk of moisture damage." Wood doesn't handle moisture very well, and leaving it exposed can lead to a variety of problems
—which may or may not be repairable. Alternatives like tile and linoleum are common choices because they’re easier to clean before water or spills absorb into anything. For a hands-on introduction to our hardwood products, visit our showroom or contact us
. We'll be happy to discuss your particular needs and how we can help you create the vision you have for your home.