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Hardwood Flooring In The Living Room - Is It A Good Choice?
So what is the purpose of the living room in the house? It is the centre of the social activities in any home, the place where people gather to spend some time together. It is also the room where we invite our guests in order to provide them with a pleasant and comfortable experience during their visit. Obviously, this is an area of immense importance because it shows the face of our homes, the image we present to the world.
You have plenty of options when it comes to flooring. From hardwood to vinyl, carpet, laminate or more exotic options like bamboo. There are even cases where people go for unorthodox alternatives like brick or concrete. In the end, the only thing that really matters is your personal choice. What kind of look or specific quality you find most desirable and can you accept the downsides that come with it?
Generally, harder surfaces like brick and concrete will last for a long time and require a lot less maintenance. However, those are not materials people usually associate with warmth and cosiness. On the other hand, alternatives like carpet flooring can help achieve a much more pleasant atmosphere. Unfortunately, from a practical point of view carpets are bad – relatively low durability and hard to clean properly. Keep in mind that the living room is a place where people will be spending a lot of time together. Are you willing to sacrifice comfort for convenience? Or the other way around?
Why Hardwood For Your Living Room?
Let’s be honest, most of us dress to impress. We want to look good and we want others to recognise that fact. It’s the same with our homes. When someone enters our residence, we want to show our best. Right now hardwood is one of the most expensive flooring solutions and for a good reason. Wood flooring can create a fine ambience and make people feel welcome while also being practical and easy to preserve in good condition. It is simply the best of both worlds.
Of course, there are other options. Synthetic products which can resemble real wood quite well, like laminate and vinyl. The problem with those materials is that they are just that – imitations. Once the English writer Charles Colton said that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. Seems he was right. As good they are, neither vinyl nor laminate has the qualities to match natural hardwood. Besides, there is a reason wood flooring is expensive and this isn’t simply because of its timeless appeal. The truth is that none of the artificial replacements to hardwood can be ever be refinished and this is what makes the original truly shine. – You purchase it and it looks great. Time passes and the floor slowly beings to lose its fine appearance. How unfortunate! Oh well, you can sand and refinish, and you can do it several times! Years after purchasing your old wooden floor looks and feels completely new! Now if that isn’t a deal, what is? Wood is a beautiful, non-allergic, natural product which doesn’t require much cleaning or attention. What’s not to like?
How To Take Care Of Our Wooden Floor
For everything good said here, hardwood is not without downsides. The living room is supposed to be a busy area. This means foot traffic, and traffic means damage in the form of food and liquid spills, dents or scratches. As the floor gets older, those problems will become more severe until you decide you’ve had enough and refinish the surface.
If you want to make the most out of your wooden floor, you would do well to go with solid hardwood instead of engineered. Why? Because the structure of engineered floors does not allow them to be refinished as often which makes their lifespan shorter.
Age eventually shows no matter what we do. It is the course of life, however, some people actually like the fact that their floor is worn. It may even sound funny for some but it’s the truth. You see, marks are considered a sign of character. There can be many hardwood floors, shiny and polished to perfection, but none can be exactly like the one in your own home. The floor becomes unique in its own way. Besides, as the wood ages, it dries and becomes tougher. It is one of the reasons why reclaimed flooring is particularly popular today.
There are many factors that could affect your flooring in a bad way. For example the pets - they don’t mix well with the hardwood. Large pets, especially dogs, can easily scratch the finish. However, there is a way around it. Instead of going for a perfectly smooth surface, pet owners purchase floors that already are artificially distressed. Known also as “hand scraped”, their surface already is worn and pet nails simply won’t make much of visual impression. Win-win situation?
As previously mentioned, wood doesn’t require that much cleaning compared to carpets but the regular sweeping and vacuuming certainly won’t hurt. You can use rugs in particularly busy parts of the living room to hold the dirt and prevent scratching.
Another thing you should be aware of, is that occasionally heavy furniture can leave scratch marks if for some reason it has been moved or dragged across the floor. While having furniture pads will limit the possibility of inflicting damage, the best protection is achieved simply by lifting the furniture clean off the floor instead of dragging it around.
A threat for the good condition of the real wood are the shoes. High heels are the bane of wooden floors. If you have guests wearing those, you may ask them politely to leave them in the corridor and offer something more appropriate. Nothing to be ashamed of. Your home, your rules.
Sunlight - prolonged exposure to sunlight may affect the floor in a negative way. Use curtains or even better – make sure you have finish with a UV protection.
The hardwood floors are not perfect. However, it offers unique benefits for which there is no substitute. If you want to strike a balance between practical to use and enjoyable to have – this is what you’ve been looking for!