Despite what Hallmark movies and advertisements make it out to be, any real-life parent knows that family life is not all sunshine and rainbows. Raising a family is messy! Children fall and get hurt. Things get knocked over, and accidents happen. Dogs fall ill, and cats leave lovely half-dead presents for you to find. While life keeps you preoccupied with one curveball after the next, you don’t need to be worrying about protecting your floors at the same time. Professional flooring experts like this Asheville flooring store often recommend hardwood floors for families for these key reasons.
Physical damage like scratching and denting is the leading cause of floor deterioration, which is why durability matters so much. Hardwood is not just known for its timeless beauty but also for its durability. It performs well against children, toys, and pets and in high foot traffic areas like the living room, entrance, hallways, and kitchen. However, make sure to use a wood species with a high rating on the Janka scale (a measure of hardness), such as hickory, white oak, Brazilian walnut, or hard maple.
While these wood species are hard enough to hold up against denting and scratching, they won’t be as hard and cold as tile and may even afford a bit of bounce. Because of this, hardwood is an excellent choice if you have small children who may be prone to tripping over or falling ill from the cold. You can even add an area rug in the kids’ bedrooms or play areas to further soften and warm the floor.
While it does put up with physical damage well, hardwood flooring is by no means immune. If you have children who play rough with toys or a large dog with heavy claws, you may want to consider using a hardwood with a strong grain. The dynamic texture in woods like oak and hickory is more likely to conceal scratches in a way that looks natural. Alternatively, you can opt for reclaimed wood, species showing lots of natural texture and knots, or hand-scraped wood purposely designed with indents and grooves to hide scratches. Also consider using a lighter-colored hardwood, which hides dents better than darker wood, and keep in mind that you can always refinish to a darker color down the road.
If you have your heart set on a particular species of softwood, you can still go for it with confidence as long as you add a protective finish and high-quality sealer. Also recommended for harder woods, these coatings provide additional protection against scratches and dents, putting hardwood on par with laminate. Three to four years after installation, or anytime you refinish your floors, make sure to apply up to four layers of high-quality polyurethane for optimal scratch resistance.
A high-quality investment that raises property value, hardwood flooring is known to last a lifetime, or at least up to 100 years. Many other flooring materials like laminate or vinyl will only last about thirty years. This is because hardwood flooring can be sanded and refinished six or seven times throughout its lifespan. The frequency of refinishing will depend on the amount of wear and tear and the hardness of the wood. Generally, they only need refinishing once every seven to ten years. That means you’ll probably only need them redone once before your kids (or puppies and kittens) are mostly grown up. Refinishing is a crucial form of preventative maintenance that ultimately allows hardwood floors to last longer than other flooring materials and look once more as beautiful as they did upon initial installation.
Your home is a safe and warm place where you’ll raise a family and make a lifetime’s worth of memories. In the process, it’s guaranteed to see a lot of wear and tear. Thanks to its unique characteristics, beautiful hardwood flooring is more than up to the task of creating your dream home, while also standing up to the test of time and repeated abuse.