If you’re in the market for a new floor, but can’t decide whether or not hardwood is a fit for your home, be sure to take these factors into consideration as you research your options.
Health Effects: If you have allergies or respiratory problems, doctors often recommend hardwood floors to patients to help decrease symptoms. Hardwood floors don’t collect dander, dust mites or other allergens that carpets absorb.
Longevity and Durability: Will the floor stand up to the demands of everyday life? Hardwood floors provide decades of beauty and long wear. Solid hardwood flooring can be refurbished to match changing design tastes or to repair nicks and scratches. Fun fact: professional basketball is played on maple floors and freight trains run on oak rail ties. Thanks to their natural durability combined with today’s tough finishes, maple, oak and many other American Hardwood floors easily stand up to the everyday activities of active families.
Installation and Maintenance: Maintaining and cleaning hardwood flooring is easy with the proper finish. Simple dust mopping, sweeping or vacuuming will keep hardwood floors looking great, which is good news for busy families with pets and children.
Cost: Consider pricing over the long-term. How much does an inexpensive floor cost if it only lasts several years? Products made with American Hardwoods span generations, making them more cost-effective than other materials. And, American Hardwoods are available at multiple price points to fit any budget.
Sustainability: Studies show that consumers generally do not want to pay more for green products. The great news about American Hardwoods is that it’s a naturally sustainable material, available at a variety of price points, that won’t cost you any extra.
What makes American Hardwoods sustainable?
- American Hardwoods are abundant, renewable and self-regenerating.
- American Hardwoods are naturally prolific – nearly twice as much hardwood grows each year as is harvested. In fact, the volume of hardwoods in American forests today is 90 percent larger than it was 50 years ago.
- American Hardwoods are responsibly managed – the predominant harvesting method is single-tree.
- Harvested in North America – less energy and cost to transport, unlike imported product.
- Virtually every part of the log is used for lumber or by-product.
Don’t be Fooled by Substitutes
An important tip to keep in mind while you shop: Tropical woods that are not native to North America are being renamed and falsely marketed as hardwoods. For example, Brazilian Cherry is really jatoba wood, and Chilean Cherry is lenga wood. Neither is true cherry hardwood. Tasmanian Oak is eucalyptus, not real Oak, and Malaysian Oak is rubber wood.
Bamboo flooring is also being called hardwood, but it’s not. It is actually a grass grown in tropical regions. The harvesting and manufacturing process is intensive and not carbon neutral.
Don’t be fooled! For warmth, value, longevity and durability in the home, American Hardwoods are the only natural, non-manufactured choice. When in doubt, consult the American Hardwood species guide, now available as an iPhone app.
For more information on hardwood flooring, visit www.hardwoodinfo.com.