Those who suffer from allergies will find wood as an ideal floor type. Carpet traps dirt, pet dander, and pollen allergens which can exasperate symptoms. Since it’s easy to clean, hardwood flooring is not a hospitable surface for dust mites.
The AAFA (Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America) recommends hardwood flooring for those with asthma or allergies. For more details about allergy-friendly floors read this.
For some homeowners, they’re concerned about messy installations, lack of versatility, and little waterresistance.
Messy Installations: For unfinished floor installations, sawdust and fumes can be a concern for the allergy-sensitive customers. But, modern dust-control and low VOC products have improved installation conditions.
Lack of Versatility: Not all wood floors can be installed in every area of a home. Solid floors cannot be installed below grade, but engineered flooring can be. This gives you the consistency of hardwood on all levels of the home.
Another limitation with engineered real wood floors is that not all can be re-sanded. The wear layer is not as thick as a solid board and cannot be sanded as many times, if at all.
Additionally, engineered floors are often textured with wire brushing, saw-marks, or hand-scraping. While these give a unique look, the textured wear layer may not be thick enough for re-sanding.
Little Waterresistance: The most common complaint – real wood is not waterproof. While true, there is one question every homeowner should ask, “Do I really need a waterproof floor?”
Consider these questions to decide:
- Is my floor constantly wet for extended periods of time?
- Do I have a beachfront property?
- Does my home flood often? (Or certain rooms, like a bathroom, kitchen, or basement)
- Do I live in a house with leaky pipes or leaky roof?
As a rule of thumb, flooring designed as water-safe is a great option for a home’s “wet areas” – bathrooms, utility, wash rooms, and kitchens. For other areas, you can choose wood with the peace of mind that it will serve your home well.