Who doesn’t love wooden floors?
It’s a timeless classic that looks great wherever it is installed, adding a touch of both nature and luxury to any space. It enhances the ambience within a room, whether you prefer country chic décor or something a little more stripped back and industrial.
In South Africa, solid wood flooring can cost anywhere between R800 and R2 000 per square metre (or more), depending on the kind of wood and the installers you hire. For some, this is a worthy investment because wooden floors last a long time – but they have major flaws too.
Hardwood is not as easy to maintain as other types of floors, and any humidity or moisture for prolonged periods will damage the planks. Fortunately, the market has some stellar alternatives to hardwood.
Here, we explore why many homeowners enjoy hardwood flooring, what factors influence the cost of an installation, and what alternatives exist.
Why Hardwood Flooring Is Loved by So Many
As a natural material, hardwood has been used throughout history for floor installations. These days, people associate wooden flooring with regal elegance because it is inviting and costs more than other kinds of flooring. It is also a highly durable option that can last for decades when cared for and maintained, and a home with wooden flooring will have a higher value. Solid wood has an ageless quality about it, and even when the planks are old and worn, they still have much character and charm. They can also be sanded down and refinished to get them looking good as new. There are various types of hardwood that offer their own hue and grain, and homeowners can choose a stain that suits their space best.
The Wood Species You Select Will Influence the Price
There are different types of wooden flooring because they are sourced from various tree species. Pine is more common and, therefore, cheaper than other kinds of hardwood. Wood flooring planks made from oak, walnut, maple, mahogany and ash are sought after, and slightly more expensive. For rare and exotic species such as teak, however, you can expect to pay a premium price. Each species also has its own texture, look, and feel and will perform differently from other options. The width of the plank will also determine the cost, as wider boards are generally more expensive, but fewer of them are needed in an installation.
Timber Forests Have Diminished in Size
As the demand for timber continues to rise, trees are being cut down much faster than they can grow. Logging technology is also advancing, which means cutting down trees is easier, and forests are being destroyed at an alarming rate. Timber is thus becoming quite rare, and the harder it is to attain, the more expensive it will become. Many people who enjoy the look of wooden flooring opt for environmentally sustainable alternatives that use wood byproducts like fibreboard, or products that merely mimic the look.
Installation Is Labour-intensive and Costly
Hardwood flooring is one of the hardest to install because a minor mistake can ruin the entire look – and fixing such mistakes is not cheap. Homeowners who are fans of do-it-yourself projects will need carpentry know-how and the right equipment if they wish to tackle the task alone. Some specialised tools needed for the installation include a jamb saw, jigsaw, table saw, flooring nailer, nail gun and much more. Precision is required in rooms with corners and stairs, and expansion gaps between the boards are needed to accommodate the natural expansion and contraction of the wood. Before this can happen, the subfloor will need to be adequately prepared to ensure no moisture affects the installation. For these reasons, a professional installer is a preferred solution for many.
Maintenance and Refinishing Is Another Expense
Hardwood does tend to be high maintenance. The boards must be polished, and scratches and scuff marks do eventually show up. The floors can be refinished, but even this costs money. Mopping the floors with water and regular floor cleaner is also out of the question, and any liquid spills and messes will need to be cleaned up quickly to avoid moisture damage. Many homeowners use specialised cleaning products on the market created specifically for wood flooring, which is another expense to consider. Hardwood floors are known to last decades, but only if they are maintained properly. So, to protect your initial investment, you will need to make sure it is maintained continually.
We Offer Realistic Alternatives to Hardwood
If you love the look of hardwood flooring but you are not keen on spending so much money, there are alternatives that are more affordable, more resistant to moisture, and more environmentally friendly. Our range includes high-quality options such as wood laminates, luxury vinyl planks and tiles and engineered wooden planks. Our collections not only emulate wood in a way that is hardly noticeable to the untrained eye, but they are available in a price range that suits you. To try these out in your home before buying them, have a look at our room visualiser.
If you would like to find out more about our remarkable designs that are currently trending, be sure to talk to us today.