Hardwood Floors: Take ‘Em or Leave ‘Em?

If you have ever bought or sold a house, you probably already know that hardwood floors are super desirable and a must-have for many people. Who doesn’t love the warmth, depth and character they bring to a home?  But, are hardwood floors really that great?  It turns out there are some not so desirable truths about wood floors that may leave you second guessing whether they are right for your home or not. 

These are some things you may want to consider before buying a home with wood floors (or putting wood floors into your current home):

THE NOISE FACTOR – Wood floors can be noisy!  This is especially true in older homes where the foundation has settled.  You will hear every footstep as if it is being amplified. A pet running through the house will sound more like a pack of animals.  And the creaks!  I mean, it’s a good thing that nobody will be able to sneak up on you, but you may tire of the constant sounds coming from your floors.

WEAR & TEAR – Scratches and dents and sun-damage…oh my!  Just because your floors are “hard”, doesn’t mean they won’t fall prey to dings, dents and scratches. If you are the type of person who is going to constantly worry about your floors being damaged, well…you may want to consider more durable options or you may be adding a lot of stress to your life. While different types of wood have different degrees of durability, no matter what type you have, things like moving furniture, dropping things, and simply walking on them will wear them down. And if you enjoy an abundance of natural light in your home, you might have to choose between that and having hardwood floors because the sun is not kind to wood. It will fade in sunny spots.

DIFFICULT TO REPAIR – After reading about the wear & tear issues, you may be thinking, “but I can just fix those scratches”.  Well, yes. You can. But it won’t be easy. Repairing hardwood floors is hard work. You have to sand out the problem areas and then put on a new stain to match what you already have. In fact, you might end up having to refinish all of your floors throughout the house to keep a cohesive look. That is time consuming and stinky job! Leaving doors and windows open to help with the smell can result in dust being imbedded in the varnish, so you just have to deal with the strong odor. In addition, you can’t refinish wood over and over again forever. At some point you will have to start replacing planks, which can be super challenging if you are trying to match older flooring. Newer wood floors can be even more problematic to “fix” than older ones. Because new floors are being made differently with the top layer being ‘hard wood’, with filler and plywood underneath, they can’t really be buffed or sanded. And finding the matching stain is nearly impossible. The repaired spots will not look new like the rest of the floor.

THE DEVASTATION OF SPILLS – Let’s be real.  Somebody is going to spill something at some point in your day-to-day life. Especially if you have kids and/or pets living in the home. Even responsible adults aren’t immune from occasional spills. If you can clean up the spill immediately, your wood floors will probably be fine. But if there is a big spill or a leak of some kind, you may have some major issues with them. When it gets wet, wood expands and with enough water, this can cause the wood planks to buckle. If liquid has been saturating the floor for over 24 hours, it’s possible you will have to fully replace the flooring involved. And if you had the wood floors put in to begin with, you already know how expensive that is going to be.

So, the moral of the story here is that you should think about your budget and lifestyle before choosing hardwood floors for your home. You may love the aesthetic they provide, but sometimes it makes more sense to be practical than pretty!

Are you thinking of buying a home or selling your current home in New River Valley, VA? Then it is time to contact Desi Sowers, your New River Valley, VA real estate resource! Give her a call today at 540-320-1328!

Photo Credits: huffpost.com, hgtv.com, floortechie.com

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