Breaking Myths of Hardwood Flooring
By: EWP Business Partner Kelly Gross / Maple Leaf Hardwood Floors
You’re considering hardwood flooring for your home or commercial space, but have questions and concerns. I will set aside the fact from the fiction so you can decide if hardwood flooring is the right application for your home or office.
Myth: It has been said that you cannot apply hardwood flooring in kitchens.
Fact: Kitchens are one of the most popular areas in the house for hardwood flooring because they withstand heavy traffic, have lasting durability, and low maintenance.
Myth: Hardwood flooring cannot be installed over concrete or radiant heat.
Fact: With advances in heating and insulation technology, hardwood flooring can be installed on concrete and radiant heat. However, contact your local hardwood flooring contractor for proper guidelines before attempting either of these applications.
Myth: Hardwood flooring is cold and hard to maintain.
Fact: Wood is an excellent insulator and physically keeps cold out and warmth in. Plus, the aesthetics have a warm and inviting look with the added bonus of excellent noise control. When looked at it compared to tile, linoleum, or laminate flooring, hardwood flooring is without a doubt a more appealing and inviting product. Maintaining the beauty of a hardwood floor is easy. With regular dust mopping and the proper application of floor cleaner, your hardwood flooring will keep its sheen and luster over the years.
Is Hardwood Flooring Eco-Friendly?
One of the biggest concerns today with hardwood flooring is if they are safe for the environment, or “green”. Green building materials are materials designed, constructed, and applied to minimize the total of environmental impacts. With this in mind, let’s first look at some of the alternatives to hardwood flooring and how they are made and applied.
- Engineered flooring: made out of thin cuts of real wood (veneer) glued to plywood, normally being laid over foam rubber or glued. This would be the closest thing to “real” hardwood flooring. In contrast to hardwood flooring, the veneer top layer on engineered flooring can only be sanded and refinished one or two times being only 0.6 mm. to 4.5 mm. thick (0.0236 in. to 0.1773 in.). Because of this fact, the replacement time for engineered flooring would be much sooner than hardwood flooring (0.75 in. thick).
- Laminate flooring: made up of four layers laid over or glued to foam rubber. The design layer is usually made from cellulose paper with a photograph or patterned print copied to it. Upper and bottom layers are usually made from cellulose paper that has been saturated with melamine, a plastic resin. The core layer is made of particle board treated with water repelant chemicals or paraffin wax. Once the design layer on a laminate floor is scratched or worn, it cannot be refinished, it has to be replaced.
- Carpeting: usually made up of synthetic materials. Ninety percent of all carpeting is made out of nylon, polypropylene, or polyester laid over foam rubber. All of these materials are created by a similar chemical process using oil and natural gas. Replacement can be from five to twenty years, depending on the type and quality.
Hardwood flooring: as compared to carpeting, laminate, and engineered flooring – has less of a negative impact on the environment. Being natural, renewable, reusable (reclaimed wood flooring), and long lasting (over one hundred years), hardwood flooring is eco-friendly, or “green”, as compared to the alternatives. As a result of the durability of hardwood flooring, the need for replacement is virtually non-existent. Because of increase in appraisal value, it becomes an investment rather than a purchase. When you weigh the cost of having to replace other flooring mediums, hardwood flooring will cost substantially less over time in comparison.
When considering flooring alternatives, look at hardwood flooring facts as compared to hardwood flooring myths. Hardwood flooring is safe to the environment compared to the more harmful mediums like carpet, laminate and engineered flooring. The multiple replacements over time lead to countless environmental impacts. The cost of any flooring should not be looked at simply in monetary terms, but rather the total long term value.
There is no question that the replacement of any flooring is expensive, but how many times do you want to replace your flooring over time, and at what cost? Kitchens, concrete, and radiant heat are just as safe to install hardwood flooring in or over as any other flooring medium. With proper installation techniques, quality can be achieved to your satisfaction with long lasting results. Hardwood flooring is warm to walk on with bare feet and easy to maintain. Warmth physically and esthetically, plus with the ease of maintenance, hardwood flooring is always the best choice to add beauty and style to any home or office.
Questions or comments? Contact: Kelly Gross / Maple Leaf Hardwood Floors
715-282-6228 or 715-401-3258