If you find old hardwood floors beneath the old carpet in your new home, you may face the ultimate homeowner question: replace the carpet or bring in the refinishing wood floor contractors? In fact, the “carpet versus wood floors” topic is often the first one future homeowners have to decide on.
So what is our take on it? It may come as no surprise that we are on the “refinish the hardwood floors” side, but this is not only because restoring wood floors is our job. The fact is, as a professional hardwood floor restoration company, we have worked with many clients who decided to have their planks brought to life and we have listened to their reasons. Here is a list of the ones we most often hear.
1. Hardwood floors are long-lasting. If your planks are freshly installed, your floors may last from decades to centuries (depending on the type of wood and the quality of the floor maintenance routine). While there are still carpets out there that were installed in the ‘60s and miraculously made it to our days, they rarely keep in top shape for more than 15 years.
2. Hardwood floors defy the trends. It does not matter if your floors were installed at the beginning of the last century or last year. Provided that the thickness of the planks still allows for sanding – a part of the hardwood flooring restoration process – the floors can be refinished and brought in step with the trends or at least to their former glory and antique character (which is a trend in itself).
3. Hardwood floors increase the value of a house. While a preference for carpet may exist among some home buyers, due to their specific lifestyle, most prospective buyers look for hardwood floors. This may increase the value of your house because they prefer not to do the job themselves. But even if the value of your house depends on too many factors to allow for general statements, the reality is that your house will sell faster if it has wood floors, so a hardwood flooring company may be your best friend on your way to become a former owner.
4. Hardwood floors are easier to clean. The accidental spills, the muddy shoes, the little crumbs that get everywhere – all these are easier to clean from a wood floor. Of course, the general feeling is that wood floors require more maintenance, but this is not because carpet is easier to keep clean, but because the dirt hides deep inside the carpet and cannot be seen. You can never entirely get rid of a spill and something will always lurk in the background of a carpeted house, despite all your careful cleaning routines. By contrast, hardwood floors are easy to clean, and periodically using wood floor buff and coat services completely removes any sign of use and abuse.
5. Hardwood floors just look better. While the color and pattern options for carpet are virtually unlimited, hardwood floors are simply more elegant and sophisticated. Wood floors give a house a luxurious feel and a finished look. Even more, if you choose an exotic wood like Brazilian cherry with its rich auburn tones and color variations, or if you opt to have hardwood floor medallions installed, you can turn your floors into a spectacular display of beauty and artistry.
6. Hardwood floors are better for health. While there are voices that argue that carpets trap dust and allergens, making them more difficult to disperse into the air, this does not change the fact that, with carpet, both dust and allergens remain in the house. With a good cleaning routine, these are easy to remove from wood floors, so that indoor air is as free as possible of harmful particles. Especially people with allergies and asthma can benefit from living in a house with hardwood floors.
7. The look of hardwood floors can easily be changed with area rugs. If you change your mind about your decor or want to play with your chromatic scheme on a seasonal basis, a simple rotation of area rugs can entirely alter the look of your home. Hardwood floors are similar to a blank canvas on which you can design the interior of your dreams, whatever you want it to be. In addition, a good wood floor restoration company can easily change the look of your hardwood floors by refinishing your planks, modifying the stain color or even hand-scraping them.
8. Hardwood floors are better for high-traffic areas. Hard, easy-to-clean surfaces are undeniably better for prone-to-abuse areas such as entryways or hallways. Dirty shoes on carpet, for instance, are a sight that may make you want to cringe, and rightfully so. Carpet can never be completely made new, even if periodic steam cleaning goes a long way towards removing spots and odors and sanitizing your environment. However, the hardwood floor coating can be easily buffed and refreshed, for floors that look like new.
9. Hardwood is a renewable resource. If you are environmentally-minded and want to make sure that the resources you use are easy to replenish, hardwood floors are the perfect choice. Not only can wood planks be reused, but there are certain wood options that make your resource consumption virtually irrelevant. Bamboo, for instance, grows wild, fast and in abundance in tropical areas. The longevity of hardwood floors means that it takes wood longer to end up in the landfill, which cannot be said about carpet.
10. Neighbors envy you for your hardwood floors. While you rarely hear compliments directed towards a carpeted floor, many oohs and aahs have been spent on beautiful hardwood ones. Exotic wood, rich colors, hand-scraped planks, reclaimed wood and hardwood floor medallions are only a few ways you can take it up a notch and make your floors the pride of the neighborhood, beyond the good looks of the typical refinished wood floor.