Thursday, April 14, 2011

The Overlooked Benefits Of Hardwood Floors

You probably know that hardwoods look great and add an air of class to your house, but do your realize some of the biggest benefits of hardwoods are things that might not cross your mind.

Did you know that hardwoods are actually more resistant to fire than carpeting, tile, and laminates? It's odd to think of wood being fire resistant, but it's true. Carpeting ignites at a lower temperature than hardwoods, and because much of the backing and glue is petrochemical based it can burn violently. Carpet also releases toxic fumes when it burns, and it is usually smoke and toxic vapors that cause most injuries and fatalities in house fires.

Many people are shocked when they find out that while tile flooring seems to be ceramic it is actually petrochemical based and can burn and release toxic smoke and fumes just like carpet. Unlike hardwoods there is also no way to repair or refinish fire-damaged carpet or tile, meaning that even a small fire could result in costly and time consuming repairs.

Hardwoods are also healthier than other types of flooring. A properly installed hardwood floor resists stains and doesn't hold moisture the way carpets can. This means that it doesn't provide a proper environment for the propagation of mold and mildew.

Hardwoods are also easily cleaned and sterilized. For persons with sever allergies or depressed immune systems this can be the difference between a healthy, comfortable life and one spent with unneeded health problems. For the allergy sufferer there's no reason to go with anything but hardwoods. Unlike carpets that can actually produce allergenic compounds hardwoods don't give off dust or other debris.

Hardwood floors also don't hold dust and dander meaning that with a simple dusting your hardwood floors will be clean, and more importantly, allergen free. Hardwoods also don't contain chemicals and dyes that can aggravate allergies.

Surprising some is the fact that a properly installed hardwood floor can actually help lower your home's heating and cooling costs. Hardwoods don't contain air pockets unlike most carpets. Because of this the hardwood will retain the temperature of the air above it. To put it simply a hardwood floor will be warm in winter, and cool in summer and will keep drafts from rising into the room, and will keep your hot or cold air from seeping into the basement. It's also a myth that hardwoods are cold in winter when you get up in your bare feet. If you flooring has been properly installed your tootsies will encounter a floor that's the same temperature as the rest of the room.

Probably the most overlooked benefit of hardwoods is the price. Do you realize that hardwoods are sometimes less expensive to purchase and install than carpets, tile, or concrete? When you factor in that most hardwoods are rated to last at least 50 years-5 to ten times longer than most carpets-it starts to become clear that hardwoods are the way to go. What's more hardwoods will require less maintenance than other types of flooring and their value will actually go up over time.

Besides looking great and adding a touch of class to your home there are plenty of reasons to choose hardwoods for your next building project. Before you install anything else talk to your builder or contractor about using hardwoods, and compare the benefits and prices with other materials. Chances are you'll make the same decision that savvy builders have been making for hundreds of years and hardwoods will adorn your home.

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