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Pros and cons to hardwood floors

Whitney Coy is a freelance writer and editor based in Columbus, OH, where she lives with her husband and two daughters. She writes frequently for SheKnows, as well as several other websites. She writes on topics including parenting, trav...

Are hard floors a fit?

Hardwood floors are gorgeous, but they have their drawbacks. Weigh the pros and cons and decide if they’re right for your home.

Woman using laptop on hardwood floor

Are hard floors a fit?

Hardwood floors are gorgeous, but they have their drawbacks. Weigh the pros and cons and decide if they’re right for your home.

So you’re thinking about installing hardwood floors, but you’re just not ready to make the leap? We don’t blame you — it’s a big decision! Use this list of pros and cons to decide if they’re a fit for you or if you should find another type of flooring for your home.

The pros

Look

Hardwood floors definitely have a way of making any room look good. Their warm colors and natural look give a room a look that’s clean, simple and inviting. Expect to pay around $9-$12 per square foot.

Value

Hardwoods are often a must-have on homebuyers’ lists. Adding hardwoods to your home is a guaranteed way to add to your home’s value.

Durability

It’s not uncommon to walk into a 100-year-old house and find the original hardwood floors, sometimes still looking great. When properly cared for, hardwood floors can last a lifetime (or longer!). Even when they’ve been worn down, it’s usually possible to bring them back with a little TLC.

Easy maintenance

Harwood floors are easy to care for. Sweep or vacuum them when they get dirty and use a wood cleaner every now and then when they need a good shine. Spills aren’t an issue because both liquids and solids wipe up easily without leaving a stain.

Versatile

Tired of your room? Throw down an area rug or two and you’ll have whole new look. Hardwood floors are versatile and easy to mesh with any look or style.

Repairable

If your hardwood floors do get scratched, they can be fixed! A simple sanding and refinishing is all it takes to bring your floors back to their former luster.

Alleviates allergies

Hard flooring surfaces are much nicer on allergy sufferers. Allergens like pet dander and dust tend to build up in carpet. They don’t have as many hiding places in hardwood floors.

Variety

The possibilities are nearly endless when it comes to choices for your hardwood floors. You can choose from a number of woods and stains, the thickness of the planks and the pattern in which they are laid. You can even mix and match if you’re having a hard time choosing. If you tire of your selection — or it just doesn’t look as good as you thought it would — just strip them and add a new stain. Voila — “new” floors!

The cons

Cost

The cost of buying and installing hardwood floors will set you back a lot more than buying and installing other hard floors or carpeting.

Cold

If you have a drafty house, expect your hardwood floors to be chilly in the cooler months. You’ll definitely want to keep a pair of slippers by your bed!

Less pet-friendly

If you have dogs, they’ll hate your hardwood floors. Their padded feet just can’t grip the smooth surface, and they’ll slip and slide every time they pick up speed.

More frequent cleaning

It’s a good thing hardwood floors clean easily, because you’ll need to do it frequently. Hardwood shows dirt and dust easily, so you’ll need to sweep or vacuum at least every two or three days.

Wears

Despite the fact that hardwood floors will still be functional decades after they’re installed, they still scratch and wear, especially in high-traffic areas. The worn look can be remedied with a simple refinish, which you can expect to cost $1-$4 per square foot.

Loud

There’s no sneaking up anyone in a house with hardwood floors. Nearly every step is loud and detectable when you’re walking on wood. Other sounds in the home are louder with hard surface floors, as well. Older hardwood floors tend to creak.

More on your home

The best floor cleaners
How to tell if your floors are really clean
How to clean baseboards

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