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Nine common misconceptions about wood flooring

When choosing a new floor, many people instantly dismiss wood flooring for one reason or another. These reasons are often based on faulty logic, though, and a wooden floor may be a more realistic solution than they think.

Here are some common misconceptions about wood flooring and why they should not deter you from getting one:

1. Wood flooring contributes to deforestation

While unfettered logging in the rainforests is a major concern, you do not need to source your new floor from such irresponsible operations.

Wood, even hardwood, is a sustainable resource when forests are managed responsibly. In the United States, for example, 1.66 cubic feet of land is planted for every cubic foot harvested. Since 1953, the volume of standing hardwood has almost doubled thanks to this.

Of course, it can take many years for hardwood to grow, but a wooden floor can also last for hundreds of years.

2. Wood flooring increases greenhouse gases

This again relates to the issue of deforestation. Trees act as the world’s lungs by absorbing carbon dioxide (CO2) for photosynthesis and releasing oxygen in its place. Trees also effectively act as carbon sinks by holding captured carbon within themselves.

If a tree’s timber is used for wood flooring, the carbon will remain locked in the boards for their serviceable life, so it’s effectively carbon neutral. In addition, one or more new trees can then be planted in its place to continue absorbing CO2 from the atmosphere.

Another important point to consider is that solid wood flooring requires very little processing, so its production involves minimal CO2 emissions. This may not be the case with industrially produced solutions like laminate.

3. Solid wood flooring is too expensive

While it’s true that a solid wood floor tends to be the most expensive option, it is also the most durable one. When you consider the total service life, which can be hundreds of years when well maintained, solid wood floors actually become the most cost-effective solution.

With other flooring options, you may need to replace them after 10-20 years or possibly earlier if it no longer fits in with your new décor. Solid wood floors, meanwhile, are timeless and adapt easily to changing trends.

4. Wood flooring is a waste when you plan to move house

This point does have some merit, but it is not always necessary true, because a hardwood floor could make your home more attractive to potential buyers. Of course, the wish lists of house hunters tend to change over time, so get the opinion of a local estate agent to learn what buyers are looking for. In the Liverpool area, trends tend to change quickly and regularly.

You could apply some common sense as well. For example, if you’re definitely moving within a year, do you really need a new floor at all? Alternatively, should a vague desire to live on the Liverpool waterfront stop you from making your current home a pleasant place to live?

5. Wood floors show the dirt more

Okay, you may be able to see dirt, dust and other debris more on a wooden floor, but that does not mean the same particles are not present on other flooring as well. The fibres of a carpet, for example, can hide a multitude of sins, but the carpet is still dirty. What’s more, you’ll need to use a carpet cleaning machine to get it truly clean.

While you can easily see dirt on a wood floor, it’s also easy to remove it, leaving you with a floor free from not just dirt, but also dust and animal hairs that could cause problems with allergies.

6. Wood floors need considerable maintenance

Wood floors are actually easy to maintain. Cleaning is usually just a matter of sweeping them or using a dust mop. If you prefer to use a vacuum cleaner, make sure you get one without a bristle bar (unless it can be disabled), because this can quickly wear down the floor’s finish. When the floor gets a little dull, applying a suitable wood floor cleaner should restore its lustre.

Solid wood floors are not fond of water, however, so wet mops and steam cleaners should generally be avoided. Things will inevitably get spilled now and then, but don’t worry—just clean it up with a dry cloth.

7. Wood floors scratch too easily

No floor is immune to damage, but wood floors have the advantage of being restorable, even to an as-good-as-new appearance. Minor scratches will often only penetrate the finish, so repairing them is simply a matter of applying a maintenance coat.

For more serious scratches, the entire floor can be sanded and refinished to bring it back to its original quality. You will need to hire a skilled Liverpool professional with the right equipment for this, so it will be something you do periodically rather than every time a scratch appears.

You can also easily minimise the opportunity for scratches by laying rugs on heavily trod areas, keeping your pets’ nails well trimmed, and making sure the feet of any furniture are covered with felt pads.

8. Wood floors don’t give warmth

Some people erroneously believe that a wood floor won’t bring warmth to a room, but there are many wood species and grains that easily give a room a warm aesthetic. Wood is also a good insulator and a retainer of heat, so it can actually help make the room physically warmer as well.

9. Wood floors cannot handle busy family life

Children and pets can be very demanding on flooring, but this just means you need to consider it when choosing the right wood. Different wood species have varying levels of hardness, as measured using the Jenka rating system. While some woods may struggle to accommodate a full and active family, others, such as Brazilian walnut, are remarkably resilient. You can also get finishes that cope better with heavy traffic.

In short, many of the perceived problems of solid wood floors are either unjust or easily overcome. Sure, the immediate outlay may not make it the cheapest option, but think of it as a long-term investment. Unless you move house, it will likely be the last floor you’ll ever need to buy.

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