When decorating or remodeling a home, there are many options for flooring available. Traditional options like linoleum/vinyl, tile, and carpet all have their place, but there is something to be said for the timeless elegance of wood flooring. Wood floors can fit in with any style, from modern to traditional, to contemporary.
If you are thinking of remodeling, one of the most important decisions to be made is the choice of floor. While walls are likely to be some variety of painted drywall, the choices of flooring material are near endless.
Are you thinking of the comfort of the carpet for a bedroom? Perhaps a ceramic tile fits best for a bathroom or kitchen. Maybe a long-wearing and simple vinyl floor work well for your finished basement. The magic of wood floor is that it is the only flooring that can fit equally well in all of those areas.
Carpet is Not as Elegant as it Once Was
In the late nineteenth and early twentieth century, Hardwood was the default choice for flooring most rooms in a home. America had an abundance of trees, so hardwood or evergreen (pine, cedar, etc.) flooring became the norm. It was inexpensive, beautiful, and extremely durable.
Around the middle of the twentieth century, modern material sciences led to carpet ingredients like nylon and polyester. These materials allowed carpet, long seen as a luxury material due to the handmade nature of traditional rugs, to be available to the masses.
When carpet became affordable, builders realized they could cover a cheap plywood subfloor with an inexpensive carpet, and it would appeal to buyers as something elegant and classy. Owners of older homes actually covered hardwood with carpet. Carpet became ubiquitous, and it became rare to find a home with exposed hardwoods.
Rarity always makes things seem more elegant and special. Diamonds wouldn’t have any value if they were just lying in everyone’s backyard. The infrequency of hardwood in the late twentieth century caused it to become a hugely desirable flooring option in any home.
Wood Floors are Versatile and Elegant
While carpet is now the traditional choice for a bedroom or family room, an easy to clean hardwood in a light finish can brighten the room, and will still look fresh when that carpet would be worn and stained. Carpet also can harbor dust mites and pet dander, so having carpet in the room where you sleep may exacerbate allergies and sleep difficulties.
Hardwood allows a truly cleanable floor solution that looks as fresh as a bright new carpet, and you can add a brightly colored (cleanable) rug for a pop of color that can change with the seasons or with your changing style. Have you ever moved a rug that has sat on a carpet for more than six months? Regardless of how often you vacuum, there will always be a ghost rectangle to remind you where that rug used to live- this is definitely not an issue with clean, elegant hardwood.
Most people don’t think of putting hardwoods in a kitchen or bathroom, but modern water-resistant finishes make that a rule for the past. A hardwood floor in a contrasting stain to your kitchen cabinets adds a degree of luxury and a surprise element that even the nicest tile can’t really match.
Another benefit to hardwood in the kitchen is the modern open floor plan. Having a continuous floor material between the kitchen and living room allows for a clean line of transition, and really makes that room feel open.
In summary, replacing old carpet or dated tile with modern hardwoods can add a level of elegance that can’t be matched by any other flooring.