There’s nothing like looking at (or walking on) gorgeous, high-quality hardwood. The look and feel are truly incomparable. And while hardwood tends to be pricier than many other flooring options, given its durability and aesthetic appeal, it’s often well worth the cost. Here’s a look at some of the benefits of hardwood and why it’s considered the top of the line.

Why Choose Hardwood?

Today’s homeowners have more terrific flooring options than ever, but hardwood never goes out of style. Here are some of the reasons why it’s a classic:

  • Hardwood is beautiful with a timeless appeal.
  • There are tons of choices with a range of colors, styles, stains and types of wood to get just the look you want.
  • Hardwood is high-quality and durable. When it starts to show a little wear and tear, it has character. When it goes beyond that, it can be resanded and refinished while most other flooring needs to be replaced.
  • Hardwood is a solid investment that can boost the value of your home. It represents quality for potential buyers.
  • Hardwood is surprisingly easy to clean because it doesn’t trap dirt, food and animal hair. Just dust, sweep or vacuum then mop weekly.
  • Solid hardwood offers excellent acoustics. It’s denser than many other materials so it distributes sound evenly and absorbs sound for quiet footsteps.

Is Hardwood Better Than Carpet?

Hardwood has a lot of advantages over carpet. It’s easier to clean-- from spills and stains to daily dirt and grime. It’s better for indoor air quality. Unlike carpet, hardwood doesn’t trap allergens, microbes and pet dander that can cause allergies and asthma and make family members sick. If you’re looking to add softness and color to a room, stylish rugs on hardwood are a perfect choice. But hardwood can be more expensive than most types of carpet, so carpet may be a better choice for rental properties or a house you’re planning to resell in the short or medium-term. 

Is Hardwood Better Than Laminate?

Laminate is a composite flooring made of particleboard wood with an image of hardwood on the surface and a clear protective layer on top. Some of the upsides are that it’s about half the price of hardwood. It’s also scratch-resistant and easy to clean, so laminate can be a better choice if you have lots of foot traffic, young kids and/or pets. Laminate is also cheaper and easier to install than hardwood. However, it doesn’t last nearly as long as hardwood and needs to be replaced rather than refinished when wear and tear take a toll. And while laminate styles have improved dramatically in recent years, there’s nothing that looks quite as elegant as real hardwood. 

Is Hardwood Better Than Luxury Vinyl?

As with carpet and laminate, the choice between luxury vinyl and hardwood will depend on your lifestyle, needs and budget. Luxury vinyl is trending in recent years as technology brings stylish patterns and textures at a great price. Luxury vinyl includes a vinyl core and (as with laminate) an image layer that looks like real wood or stone between the core and a clear protective top layer. It’s usually around half or even one-third of the price of hardwood and doesn’t require the care, attention and upkeep that hardwood does. It’s extremely water-resistant and scratch-resistant, so if you have a busy lifestyle with pets and kids, luxury vinyl is a good choice. However, hardwood has several advantages, including durability and aesthetics. Luxury vinyl will usually last 10 to 15 years while high-quality hardwood can last a lifetime. There’s nothing that quite matches the feel of hardwood under your feet. If it’s in your budget, the natural style of hardwood just doesn’t have any competitors.

Is Hardwood Flooring the Best Choice for Me?

At the end of the day, hardwood is an investment: an investment in the aesthetics and resale value of your home and in the promise of a floor that will last for decades and beyond.  If you’re fixing up a rental, planning to sell your house in the short-term, or simply in that phase of life where scratch and stain-resistance matter most, vinyl or laminate can give you a great look at a fraction of the cost. But if you’ve decided that you’re home to stay or want to positively impact resale value, nothing beats hardwood for timeless beauty . Because of the price tag and the quality of the materials involved, skilled professional installation is a must. Professional refinishing can help your hardwood floors look and feel gorgeous for years to come. At Loudoun Valley Floors, helping clients choose, install and refinish hardwood flooring is one of the things we do best. There’s a strong sense of craftsmanship involved in helping folks install their forever floors, and we’re proud to be a part of that.