Many consider solid wood flooring reasonably priced because of the lasting value it offers. Newer alternatives on the market, however, leave many people questioning whether the cost of solid wood flooring is worth it. If you are curious about what it would cost to install solid wood flooring in your own home, and whether this is the best option for you, we help to answer your questions.
Why Wooden Floors Are So Popular
The perception that solid wooden flooring is luxurious is a cultural one. Throughout history, wooden floors were considered a standard for countless homes, whether wealthy or not. What is true, however, is that they are a beautiful addition to any home. This is because the raw and natural look has long been deemed desirable, as it brings a welcoming and tranquil aspect of nature into a space. These floors are also astoundingly long-wearing, and they can last decades when cared for correctly. Some solid wood floors even outlast the people who first install them in their homes. They are generally considered highly durable, and, though prone to scratches, can be refinished over the years as needed. The various shades and types make it easy to include this kind of flooring in a home of any style, from opulent country houses and vintage spaces to modern industrial designs.
The Type of Wood You Choose
When looking at the cost to install hardwood flooring, one of the biggest factors in price is the kind of wood you select. Most homeowners are seeking a product with a beautiful colour and grain – some opt for paler shades that create a bright and sophisticated look in a home. Others prefer darker, warmer tones that make a space feel more inviting and cosier. There are various tree species, which will all have unique shades, textures and their own levels of durability. Generally, the most budget-friendly kind of solid wooden floor is pine. Other popular types also used in homes include oak, walnut, mahogany, ash and cherry. Wider planks may also be more costly per plank, but because there are fewer of them needed to cover a floor, the installation labour may be cheaper.
Timber is Becoming Increasingly Rare
Advancements in the logging and timber processing industry mean that trees are being cut down faster than what they are growing. This has a profound impact on not just the environment, but any industries that rely on wood. The strong demand continues to grow, especially with how rare solid wood floors are these days. This demand drives prices up, while the scarcity of these products increases. Exotic woods are even rarer, and thus more expensive too.
Installation is Difficult and Expensive
While it may be said that hardwood flooring is easy to install as a do-it-yourself project, solid wood flooring is actually the most difficult kind of flooring to install. Homeowners without experience and carpentry skills will have a tough time ensuring a seamless installation. It requires specialised tools, such as a table saw, jigsaw, flooring nailer, nail gun, sander and many more. The right amount of space must be left between each plank to accommodate expansion and contraction, and areas such as corners and stairs require extreme precision when measuring and sawing the planks. Before you install the planks, the subfloor must be prepared properly, and failure to do so can cause problems with the installation. Some subfloors need more preparation time than others, which will also influence the final cost. It is a labour-intensive process that takes time to do right, and the kind of professionals you hire for the job will also affect the cost.
Maintenance Can Be a Challenge Too
When considering the cost of solid wood flooring, you will need to think about any expenses that are introduced after you install it. Maintenance of these floors can be tricky, as they can’t just be mopped with water and any chemical you find in the cupboard. Various finishes will require their own kind of cleaning products, and this may add to your monthly expenses. Damaged planks that are scratched, scuffed or dented will also need to be sanded down and refinished, which can cost time and money.
Beautiful and Budget-friendly Alternatives
Hardwood flooring has its downsides, such as being prone to water damage. It is never recommended for areas with high humidity or places that are exposed to moisture and liquid spills. They are also harder and noisier underfoot than other types of floors. Currently, the market offers various alternatives that still create that authentic look without any of the downsides. These alternatives are often much more resistant to moisture, very durable and withstand temperature changes well. Best of all is that they come at a fraction of the price of solid wooden flooring. Here, at Top Carpets and Floors, we offer cost-friendly hardwood alternatives such as laminate planks, luxury vinyl tiles, and engineered wooden planks.
If you would like to find out more about our ranges that emulate wood beautifully, without the hefty price tag, as well as how much it would cost to install them, contact us today.
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