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Wood Flooring Is More Popular Then Ever

Apr 1, 2008
With many homeowners looking for alternatives to carpeting and vinyl flooring, wood flooring is gaining in popularity. From ease of cleaning to a wide variety of decorating and design choices, wood flooring is definitely making a comeback.

Consumers, architects, contractors and home decorators are being offered an incredible array of flooring choices. Carpet, solid wood, engineered wood, laminates, vinyl and ceramic tile and stone make up most of the flooring in use today.

While carpeting can add warmth and comfort to a living space, maintaining the appearance and cleanliness of wall to wall carpet can be difficult over time. Uneven wear patterns, the accumulation of dirt and breakdown of padding materials can make your carpeting look old before its time. Concerned about the potential for increased indoor air pollution, many folks are taking a green approach to their living spaces, choosing carpet fabrics that emit fewer volatile organic compounds or VOCs and have a higher content of recycled fabric materials.

Carpeting needs to be replaced periodically and old carpeting often ends up in the landfill, not to mention the cost of replacement. Many carpet manufacturers are developing products that address these concerns with carpet that wears longer, emits fewer VOCs and is more recyclable.

For many homeowners, the home improvement bug has taken hold with weekends, once reserved for leisure time activities being used to feather the nest. The growth of big box home improvement centers is partly responsible for fueling the do it yourself craze. This boom in the home improvement market has not escaped the notice of flooring manufacturers; especially when it comes to solid wood and engineered wood flooring products.

The process of having wood flooring installed very often involves hiring a flooring installation professional. Today, there are many wood flooring systems that can be installed by the homeowner with some laminate flooring systems that literally snap together and, unlike many solid wood flooring products, float on the sub floor atop a layer of foam padding. Laminate flooring, while not made of wood can give a similar appearance to hardwood flooring. Most solid wood flooring is nailed in place while engineered wood systems are installed using less volatile latex based adhesives. Offered in a variety of finish colors, many wood flooring products come pre finished eliminating the need to sand and to apply a stain and varnish.

The types of wood flooring materials being offered have grown, and the cost per square foot has become competitive with carpeting. Material styles include basic design like plank, strip and parquet. Solid oak and solid maples have been popular flooring choices for many years. The cost of wood has risen over time and engineered wood flooring, with a thin layer of the finish wood has become a cost effective alternative to solid wood and can give same rich look found in solid wood flooring. One drawback to engineered wood flooring is that, unlike solid wood flooring, engineered wood flooring can not be refinished and may require replacement over time.

If cost is not an issue, you can choose from a wide assortment of woods from the exotic to the practical. There are well over 50 species wood available from the basic beauty of domestically available oak, heart cut pine and walnut to imported woods like cypress and teak. In recent years, bamboo has become a popular and durable choice in wood flooring. Some species of bamboo grow very quickly and bamboo can be an environmentally friendly option for flooring since fewer old growth hardwood trees are cut.

Depending on the species of wood you choose, a properly installed and maintained wood floor can last far longer than carpet or vinyl. The look of wood can transform even a modest living space, adding a warmth and richness not found in carpet.
About the Author
Mitch Endick is a staff writer for the quality online store FineWebStores.com.
Shop for Area Rugs and Bamboo Rugs for your home or office. Please visit FineWebStores.com today.
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