28 April 2022
Is wooden flooring a sound investment (or more hassle than it’s worth)?
Real wood flooring has been used in homes and businesses for centuries, and with good reason. Not only does it look stunning, but it’s also highly durable and hardwearing – ideal if you want something that will last for decades.
However, wood flooring isn’t without its downsides, most noticeably, the cost. Genuine wood flooring is one of the most expensive floor types on the market, so it’s worth taking some time to consider whether it will be the right investment for you.
In this article, we’re looking at the pros and cons of wood flooring for homes and businesses, as well as some of the best alternatives.
Pros and cons of real wood flooring
When you consider the longevity and durability of wood flooring, it’s easy to see why it’s such a good investment. A well-maintained wooden floor can last a lifetime.
Although wear and tear might start to show after time, a wood floor can be sanded down and re-finished to make it look as good as new.
And with so many types of timber on offer, and a choice of natural, varnish or stained finishes, you really can create a look to suit any room.
But although there are many fantastic reasons to choose genuine wood, it isn’t the best choice for every space.
Wood is susceptible to moisture damage, and continued exposure to moisture can cause wooden planks to warp. This means it isn’t a great choice for rooms or spaces with high moisture content.
Wood can also be noisy, which isn’t a major issue, but if you’re using it in upstairs bedrooms, you might want to consider putting rugs down to muffle the sound.
It’s also important to remember that installing and removing wooden flooring is not a quick job. If you want flooring fast, wood’s not for you. And if you plan on changing your flooring in the near future, then opt for something that can be easily replaced.
The high price tag is also something you’ll need to think about. If you plan on staying in your property long-term, then it makes sense to invest. But if you plan on moving within the next few years, you might want to consider something a little cheaper.
Real wood flooring for your home
Wooden flooring looks great in any room, but there are some spaces where it really excels.
Genuine wooden flooring in hallways, entranceways and living rooms is a great way to wow visitors and guests. If you really want to make an impression, consider parquet flooring. Traditional styles such as Herringbone look stunning, but there are some beautiful contemporary designs too.
Wood flooring works well in bedrooms, but if you have active children, you might want to add a few rugs. These will help muffle the sound of bangs and bumps, provide cushioning for trips and falls, and make it warmer underfoot.
When it comes to kitchens and bathrooms, you probably want to steer clear of real wood. Although it does work well in some kitchens, the inevitable spills and stains make it difficult to keep your flooring looking its best. The moisture levels in kitchens and bathrooms (especially bathrooms) can also make life difficult for wood since wood and water don’t always play nicely.
Overall, wood is a solid investment if you plan on staying in your home long-term, but it’s certainly not something to rush into. And if you do decide to opt for wood or parquet, make sure you get it professionally installed so you get a quality finish that will last.
Real wood flooring for your business
It’s one thing laying wood within your home to give off warmth and splendour – but what about at your workplace? Does laying wood at work make a difference to your staff and customers?
Wood flooring certainly makes an impact. And being hardwearing and durable makes it a fantastic choice for spaces such as school halls, function rooms, retail units, restaurants, bars and hotel receptions.
For that extra wow factor, consider parquet flooring with a bespoke artistic design. Although this will add to the cost of your flooring, it also adds an element of quality and prestige to your commercial space.
Wooden flooring can also work well in office spaces. Once installed, it will last decades, meaning you don’t have to disrupt your teams every few years to replace the floor.
While wood is a fantastic choice for many commercial spaces, it isn’t good for all spaces. Facilities with contamination risks – such as hospitals, food manufacturers or factories – are not suited to wood as it is absorbent, making it harder to disinfect. There are far more suitable options for these types of commercial facilities.
In summary, wood flooring is a fantastic option for customer-facing spaces, where durability, longevity and aesthetics are a priority. However, given the cost of real wood flooring and parquet, it should only be considered if you are staying in your property long-term and have permission to install new flooring. It isn’t easy to remove, so if you only have a short-term lease, you might want to opt for something that allows for easier reinstatement.
Real wood alternatives
Although highly durable, wood does have its drawbacks and isn’t the best choice for every space. Luckily, it is possible to get the look and feel of real wood without the hassle and high price tag.
Luxury vinyl tiles (LVT) are an excellent alternative to natural wood flooring. The tiles or planks are manufactured to look exactly like real wood or stone, and it’s often difficult to tell they aren’t the real deal.
LVT is durable, low maintenance and easy to clean. And here’s the best part – it is much less expensive than genuine and engineered wood.
As with all types of flooring, the quality does vary, so if you are considering LVT for your home or business, choose a reputable brand or speak to a knowledgeable flooring specialist like Beyond Flooring.
Launched in the late 1970s, laminate flooring has become a very popular alternative to real wood flooring as it is far more accessible in terms of price (for those on a tighter budget), whilst providing the same clean lines, colourways and easy to maintain characteristics of wood.
Laminate is basically a hybrid flooring which consists of a particleboard wood base which is topped by an image layer (so in effect a picture of wood) plus an additional transparent wear layer.
The downside with laminate is that, like wood, it is less suitable for areas of high moisture such as kitchens and bathrooms, though some recent laminate products have high levels of water resistance.
Need a little inspiration or advice?
There are hundreds of flooring manufacturers, suppliers and installers, so it can be hard to know where to turn.
At Beyond Flooring, our mission is to enhance your home or business with expertly fitted flooring. We only use quality products, and we offer a two year warranty on all domestic projects.