Solid Hardwood Floors for Florida
Flooring is the visual foundation of home interiors. The type of flooring in a house contributes significantly to each room’s lighting, color tone, and comfort levels. Modern American homes are not without a plethora of flooring options, but one choice remains undeniably popular over the years for being timeless, traditional, and natural: hardwood floors.
Hardwood floors not only add to the aesthetic appeal of a house: they also had to the monetary value, as houses with wood flooring have sold faster and at higher prices than houses without them in the last few years, according to a report by the National Wood Flooring Association. The National Wood Flooring Association also verifies that every year from 2002 to 2011, Americans bought more than 900 million square feet of wood flooring. Homes all across America feature hardwood flooring, an undying trend that qualifies it as an almost universally attractive decorating decision.
Homeowners in Florida are certainly capable of solidly defining the character of their spaces with hardwood, but due to its geographical location, Florida possesses some unique characteristics that put added pressure on residents making decisions about flooring. Floridians need to know the positive and negative aspects of placing hardwood flooring in their homes, and they should be aware of the different options available in this area of flooring. Therefore, this blog will discuss the facts about the options for hardwood flooring and what those facts mean for Florida residents.
Option 1: Solid Hardwood Floors
The oldest, most organic hardwood flooring selection is solid hardwood, which is made solely of real wood. Solid harwood flooring has been popular for so long because it definitely has its pros.
Solid hardwood flooring can last for years while always adding some shine to a space. Popular solid harwood flooring materials include pine, oak, cherry, and bamboo, which can be bought in stained or unstained condition. Sometimes, solid hardwood floors can also be made with recycled wood for the sake of eco-friendliness. Because solid hardwood floors can be purchased unstained, color and finish options are completely customizable.
Having real wood underfoot promises a look and feel like nothing else. The fact that the material is natural means that real wood floors can develop character over time, so people often credit them with augmenting their distinction and beauty with age, especially as the color becomes deeper and darker. Solid hardwood floors can also be renewed as needed by sanding and refinishing, and this same process keeps repairs relatively simple.
Real wood can endure for decades due to its ability to be refinished. During installation, real wood can receive on-site finishing, in which workers sand and finish the floors at the site to give the wood a more classic look. Solid hardwood stays down with nails hammered into a subfloor, but with sanding, real wood can hide any flaws in the subfloor such as minor irregularities or height variations. Solid hardwood floors also tends to stay dust-free better other types of flooring, so cleaning is less complicated.
The reason that homeowners in Florida need to make their hardwood flooring decisions carefully is because solid hardwood floors, as a natural substance, are susceptible to debilitating consequences when exposed to humidity. Humid air can cause the wood to expand and even rot. To compensate for the swelling, installers must leave a gap between the wall and the floor.
Many flooring providers do not recommend placing real wood floors in areas exposed to excessive moisture. The website floorfacts.com actually cautions against installing solid hardwood floors in areas that are below-grade and prone to flooding, and Florida qualifies as such an area because it is flat and near sea level. The material costs for solid hardwood floors do not have to be expensive in the beginning, but installation and completion procedures can really build up the total cost overall. Also, installation can take days to complete, as the planks have to be sanded and finished after they are laid down, and the dust and chemical fumes released during the process can severely disrupt the health and comfort of the homeowners.
Sustaining solid hardwood floors in Florida homes means lengthening the list of chores. To protect it, homeowners must commit to coating their solid hardwood floors with three to ten topcoats of finish initially. Solid hardwood floors require a topcoat finish to protect against scratches and moisture, as damage from those sources can lead to mold. Mold can definitely be a problem in Florida due to the excessive rainfall and humidity levels, so keepers of real wood floors must faithfully adjust humidity levels in the home to keep them below 60% at most for the safety of their surfaces. Dropping humidity levels lower than 50% is more ideal for controlling mold growth and dust mites.
To help the finish last, solid hardwood floors should regularly receive a coat of wax or polish. Proper maintenance for solid hardwood floors also demands owners to abstain from cleaning wood floors with a wet mop, dragging furniture across the floor, or allowing the floor to be exposed to excessive sunlight.
Read more about best hardwood floors for Florida in Part 2 of this blog! The second section reveals the pros and cons of another viable option for hardwood floors in Florida and offers some concluding thoughts on how to decide which type of wood flooring is best for your home. For more information on solid hardwood floors, contact Speedy Floor Removal today.
See Part 2 for sources.