Is Hardwood Flooring Right for You?

August 15, 2016

Shopping for a hardwood floor? Be sure to ask yourself these questions as you consider all your options.

Are kids and pets a factor?
With today’s tough polyurethane finishes, hardwood floors stand up to the wear and tear of active households – even in the kitchen. Hardwood floors are easy to maintain and keep clean: simply wipe up any spills; sweep and vacuum regularly.

Are allergies a consideration?
Doctors often recommend hardwood floors for their patients with allergies and respiratory problems. With their smooth surfaces, hardwood floors don’t harbor animal dander, fleas, dust, mites, pollen or other allergens.

Will your hardwood floor take more abuse than a professional basketball court?
“The other day, someone asked me if an oak or maple floor would be hard enough to handle all the activity in her busy home,” says Susan Regan of the Hardwood Information Center. “Let’s put it into perspective: pro basketball is played on maple floors. Freight trains run on oak rail ties. Does your floor have to stand up to more abuse than that? Oak, maple and many other hardwood floors are more than hard enough for even the most chaotic households.”

Does it matter that something isn’t what it claims to be?
Beware. Some imported tropical hardwoods are masquerading as traditional homegrown favorites like oak, cherry or maple. For example, so-called “Tasmanian oak” is not oak at all: it’s eucalyptus from Down Under. What’s sold as “Brazilian cherry” isn’t cherry – cherry grows in temperate climates, not in tropical rain forests. So-called “Malaysian oak” actually is rubberwood from tropical plantations and it doesn’t even look like oak. Ask lots of questions and make sure you get what you want. When in doubt about the true identity of any wood, check the species’ botanical name.

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