As long as there have been dwellings there have been floors. In modern society oak-flooring is still very much in style and are still quite functional. Hardwood floors are timeless classics that many people associate with people of means and wealth as many people believe that hardwood floors are expensive and difficult to maintain. Hardwood floor does require special maintenance such as oil treatments to keep the wood soft and water resistant.
Hardwood floors have two major enemies, water and accidents that have strong pigments such as food stains. Every few years, depending upon wear the hardwood floors need to be re-sanded and refinished. Pieces that were damaged because of contact with staining foods will look as good as pieces that weren’t damaged, but the problem is until the floor is re-sanded you will live with a spot that shows the stain. Pieces that were damaged by water will need to be replaced, which is very expensive. The re-sanding and refinishing processes can be quite expensive and messy, but once the process is complete the floors look almost brand new and the colour of the wood could be changed. It is possible to go from a light oak finish to a dark wood look and back again because of the sanding, giving almost endless possibilities for design without actually changing the floor. Because of the allure of hardwood floors and expense of oak hardwood flooring there are several companies that make synthetic hardwood floors out of saw dust, and plastic resign that look almost identical from afar to hardwood floor, but are much cheaper and aren’t porous.
The synthetic hardwood floors are much easier to maintain as they are not porous so water does not warp or ruin the integrity of the flooring, and the synthetic flooring does not need to be professionally serviced. The synthetic floors need to only be cleaned with a wet mop and some elbow grease to remove any stains. There are some major drawbacks of using synthetic flooring over natural hardwood flooring. The synthetic flooring is very easily dented and part of the floor can easily break off if a heavy object falls onto the floor. Because of the integrated locking system of the floor repairing the floor involves removing large portions of the floor which is quite expensive. For small damages putty can be used, which is usually a good fit.
Hardwood and synthetic hardwood floors have a much longer functional use than carpeting, so the initial start cost is much greater than carpeting, but the three types of flooring do have a meeting point and a point where hardwood floors and synthetic hardwood floors become cheaper than carpeting. There are some definite advantages and disadvantages of using hardwood flooring over carpeting. Synthetic and natural hardwood floors are great for people with asthma and other breathing problems as they do not provide a good breeding ground for allergens. Hardwood floors are also great for those who are mobility impaired as they provide an even surface for walking on and the risk of falling is greatly reduced. Parents of small children tend not to like hardwood floors as they are hard and children who fall on them are more likely to be injured than if they were to fall on a softer flooring type such as carpeting.