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Why Is Hardwood Flooring So Popular?

Choosing the right flooring for your home can be a tough decision. There are many factors to consider, such as cost, durability, and appearance.

Hardwood floors have been popular for centuries, and despite cheaper alternatives being available, including carpet, laminate, and linoleum, they continue to be one of the most popular flooring types available today.

What makes hardwood flooring so popular, though, and is it the right choice for your home? We’ll be answering both of these questions to help you make an informed decision.

Hardwood flooring is a popular option because of all the benefits it offers. It’s stylish, inviting, and available in many styles to suit any taste. It’s easy to install and durable enough to last for years. Hardwood flooring can also increase the value of a home, making it a great investment.

Read on to discover more benefits of hardwood flooring and why it’s such a popular option for many homeowners.

Here are some of the advantages of hardwood flooring and the reasons why it’s the floor covering of choice for millions of people:

It’s Stylish and Inviting

Installing hardwood flooring is one of the best ways to make your home more stylish and inviting.

In a survey of prospective homebuyers, aside from entire kitchen renovations and kitchen upgrades, installing new wood flooring topped the list of the most appealing interior projects that buyers look for in properties they are looking to buy.

Don’t worry if you aren’t looking to sell your home, though, as another survey showed that a whopping 78% of people want to stay home more since installing a hardwood floor, while 67% of people said that they enjoyed being in their home more following a recent flooring project.

These statistics are hardly surprising, either.

Hardwood flooring is one of those timeless design features, which, unlike other kinds of flooring like carpet or linoleum, tends to always be in vogue.

why is hardwood flooring so popular article image - an image showing a stylish hardwood floor installed in a home


In further contrast to carpet and linoleum and even most laminates, the variances across the planks of a hardwood floor, from knots to grain patterns, provides a natural-looking surface that is very appealing to the eye.

So, if you’re looking to make a great first impression with visitors to your home, or you’re looking for a flooring surface that you’ll grow more fond of in the years to come, you can’t go wrong with a hardwood floor.

It’s Available in a Wide Variety of Styles

Whatever your taste, you’re bound to find hardwood flooring that suits your taste.

From different types of hardwood flooring to different colors and textures, there’s no shortage of options available to match your interior decor, to make the floor a decorative statement piece, or to make that small room look bigger.

Here are just a few of the options that you can choose from when it comes to hardwood flooring:

  • Bamboo wood flooring
  • Engineered wood flooring
  • Solid wood flooring
  • Horizontal strips
  • Diagonal strips
  • Wide planks
  • Mixed width planks
  • Herringbone parquet
  • Chevron
  • Checkerboard
  • Gray
  • Whitewash finish
  • Brown
  • Brightly painted hardwood
  • Dark painted hardwood
  • Smooth
  • Textured
  • Distressed
  • Matte
  • Satin
  • Semi gloss
  • High gloss
  • Lacquered
  • Oiled
Even better? It’s also possible to refinish or recoat your hardwood floor at a later date (something we touch on later on) via a colored stain or painted finish to give your hardwood floor a new lease of life or updated style.

It’s Cost-Effective

It’s no secret that hardwood flooring can be expensive, costing on average around $9 per square foot.

While this is considerably more expensive than some alternative floor coverings, for example, carpet, which averages $2.50 per square foot, hardwood flooring can end up being more cost-effective in the long run.

A typical carpet lasts around ten years on average, whereas solid flooring can last anywhere from 20 to 100 years, depending on the type used and how well it is maintained.

Let’s look at an example to demonstrate this point using a 1000 square foot area for simplicity and assuming a period of 50 years.

If we calculate the cost based on materials only, the carpet would require replacing five times, equaling $12,500 if we disregard inflation and only look at the current cost.

In contrast, there’s no reason why the hardwood flooring could not last the entirety of the fifty years. Based on this, the hardwood flooring is quite a bit cheaper at only $9000, making it more cost-effective in the long run.

It Can Improve the Value of Your Home

Aside from looking good and making your home feel welcoming, it turns out that installing hardwood flooring is also a good investment.

A report by the National Association of Realtors estimated that a hardwood floor would return about 106% of its original cost at the time of resale, meaning that it’ll pay for itself and then some.

Perhaps even more impressive, though, is the evidence that hardwood flooring doesn’t just pay for itself but that it can boost the value of your entire home.

One statistic that supports this is the claim by real estate agents that should two similar homes be listed for sale – one with wooden floors and one without – the one with the wooden floors would sell for between 1% to 10% more.

Whatever the exact figure, the consensus is that installing hardwood flooring is a very wise move from a financial perspective.

It’s Easy to Install

Thanks to various jointing systems, from basic tongue and groove joints to innovative click systems, hardwood flooring is quick and relatively easy to install.

What’s more, you usually don’t need any specialist tools, with a hand saw, tape measure, pencil, and some personal protective equipment generally being sufficient.

So, provided you follow the manufacturer’s instructions, including letting your hardwood floor acclimate, ensuring the sub-floor is sufficiently level and providing an expansion gap around the floor’s edges, then there’s no reason why installing hardwood flooring should be overly complex.

Here’s a helpful video showing the entire process:

Having said that, if you’re in any way concerned about the installation process, we would strongly recommend employing the services of a professional floor installer.

It’s Durable and Can Last for Years

Perhaps one of the biggest advantages of hardwood flooring is its durability.

Thanks to this durability, it isn’t uncommon for solid wood floors to last more than 100 years, helping them last for generations.

Other types of hardwood floors have an impressive lifespan, too, such as engineered wood floors, which typically last 25-30 years, and bamboo flooring that can last as much as 40-50 years if installed and maintained correctly.

It’s important to remember that harder and softer floor variants are available, and so the durability will vary depending on the specific wood used.

Choosing a harder type of wood, for example, hickory, will be essential in preventing excessive wear and tear in high-traffic areas and keeping the floor lasting longer.

We’d caution that no matter how durable your hardwood floor is, dropping a heavy object will dent a hardwood floor relatively easily. The same is true for laminate flooring, but thankfully, it is much easier to repair damage on a hardwood floor than on a laminate floor.

Aside from not dropping heavy objects, there are plenty of other things you can do to make a hardwood floor last longer, including:

How to Make a Hardwood Floor Last Longer
  • Cleaning the floor regularly using products recommended by the manufacturer that won’t damage the floor.
  • Cleaning up spills immediately.
  • Stopping things damaging the floor, for example, children’s toys, pet claws, or stiletto heels.
  • Routinely rearranging heavy furniture to prevent damage and using soft pads on the feet of furniture.
  • Periodically recoating or refinishing the floor to maintain a protective layer against damage.

It’s Easy to Maintain

Another significant advantage of hardwood flooring, especially compared to carpet, is that it’s much easier to clean.

Although some hardwood flooring is textured, dirt can’t accumulate or get stuck in the same way it does in a carpet’s fibers.

Not only is this great for allergy sufferers (more on this later), but it also means that the surface of the hardwood floor can quickly and easily be wiped clean, as opposed to the much more intensive deep clean that is required to clean a carpet thoroughly.

It’s possible to lightly brush, sweep or vacuum a hardwood floor periodically to keep it looking fresh, and some types of floors are even suitable for steam cleaning when a more intensive clean is warranted.

why is hardwood flooring so popular article image - an image showing a hardwood floor being cleaned easily

Perhaps the biggest benefits of all, however, are the stain and odor resistance of hardwood flooring versus carpet.

Being able to quickly and easily mop up small spills, confident in the knowledge that it won’t stain or cause unwanted smells, provides much-needed peace of mind, especially if you have children or pets.


It Can Be Refinished

One of the biggest issues with carpet is that it tends to fade over time, usually from ultraviolet (UV) radiation from direct sunlight or general wear and tear, making it look tired and dated.

While hardwood floors also fade, those consisting of paler woods, or those kept light and natural-looking with an unstained finish, will fade to a lesser extent than darker hardwoods.

Where fading or wear and tear has occurred on a hardwood floor, it’s possible to recoat or refinish the floor to enhance its appearance and keep it fresh.

You aren’t just limited to refinishing a hardwood floor when it becomes faded or scuffed, though, as you can also refinish it with a new color when you’re bored of the original look.

For example, it’s possible to quickly and easily change the color by applying a colored stain or paint to the floor’s surface – something you can’t do with carpet – giving your hardwood floor a new lease of life for a relatively small cost.

Here are some of the key advantages of being able to refinish your hardwood floor:

  • It’s much more sustainable and environmentally friendly than replacing the entire floor.
  • Refinishing the floor will be a lot less disruptive than lifting the old floor and installing a new one.
  • It’s significantly cheaper than purchasing a new hardwood floor and having it fitted.
  • It’s relatively easy to do yourself, meaning you can save the time, hassle, and cost of hiring a professional.

It’s Good for People With Allergies

Finally, another advantage of hardwood flooring is that it’s great for allergy sufferers.

It’s no secret that carpets can harbor huge amounts of dust and allergens in their fibers, with these just waiting to be disturbed and released to trigger allergic reactions.

Often, it doesn’t matter how hard or deep you clean the carpet; it’s virtually impossible to get all of the dust, dirt, pet hairs, pollen, and insects that can be an allergy sufferer’s worst nightmare.

Unfortunately, tiled floors aren’t much better, with the dust and allergens getting trapped in the grout lines between the tiles.

Hardwood flooring, on the other hand, is one of the most allergy-friendly floor coverings out there.

Thanks to a hardwood floor’s tough surface and tight joints, it’s much harder for any allergy-inducing nasties to penetrate the floor, improving its overall cleanliness and the air quality in the room to reduce the likelihood of allergic reactions.

Hardwood flooring is a popular option for homeowners because of all the benefits it offers.

It’s stylish and inviting, available in many styles to suit any taste, cost-effective, easy to install, durable, and can last for years provided it is well maintained. Some people with allergies choose hardwood flooring because it doesn’t have fibers or areas that trap dust or pollen, making it a better option than carpet for allergy sufferers.

If you’re worried about the financial cost of installing hardwood flooring, it’s worth mentioning that it often increases the value of a home, making it an excellent investment.

We hope this article has given you some insight into why hardwood floors are such an attractive option in many homes.

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Author: Jon Maxwell
Senior Writer, ToolCrowd
Jon Maxwell writes about various topics for ToolCrowd, including tool reviews, material advice, common home problems, and general DIY advice and how-to articles. His work has been published in national publications for audiences including consumers, homeowners, and industry experts. Jon has a bachelor's degree in Building Surveying and a master's degree in a branch of Civil Engineering focusing on concrete and steel durability. When he isn't writing for ToolCrowd, Jon enjoys completing DIY tasks in his own home, as well as woodworking in his home workshop, snowboarding, and website development. Contact Jonarrow_right_alt