So you’ve decided to do away with your shabby carpet or worn linoleum in favor of the look of wood flooring, good for you! The next step is to determine which will be the best for your home: hardwood or wood plank porcelain. This article will outline the pros can cons of each choice so that you can make an informed and confident decision.
- Value: Market trend research has showed that homes with hardwood floors sell faster and for more money. Although hardwood flooring may initially be expensive, it is truly an investment for your home that will retain its value over time.
-Easy day-to-day maintenance: On a fairly regular basis hardwood floors only need to be swept of vacuumed, and will occasionally require the use of a floor cleaning solution.
-Durability: Although hardwood may scratch, it holds up well in the long run (if properly installed!). Many homes more than 100 years old still have their original hardwood flooring in perfectly working order.
-Aesthetic: Hardwood flooring is luxurious, yet has a natural welcoming feeling to it that is appealing to many. It has a timeless air of elegance about it that many homeowners feel cannot be achieved with anything but the real thing.
-Cost: Hardwood flooring is typically in the expensive to very expensive price bracket, ranging from $3 to $12 per square foot. Because it is important that hardwood be installed properly, the cost of labor will also need to be added to the total cost of your flooring.
-Refinishing: Since wood is a natural element, it is soft and easily lends itself to scratches, chips and stains. It may be necessary to get your hardwood floors refinished by a professional if they have been damaged over time, which will run you about $1.25 - $4 per square foot.
-Noisy: Hardwood floors can be noisy when walking across them and can be a nuisance to downstairs neighbors if you live in an apartment or condo. Adding rugs to your floors can help eliminate this problem (along with the problem of slipping or falling easily).
-Reactive: Again, wood is a natural element, so it will react to changes in the environment around it, especially changes in moisture, which can cause the wood to expand; this potential of expansion makes it especially important that your floors are installed by a trusted professional. Because of wood’s reaction to moisture, it is not recommended that wood flooring be installed in rooms that are likely to get wet, such as bathrooms or laundry rooms.
Wood Plank Porcelain
-Versatility: Because porcelain is man-made, there are many more styling options (color, size, shape, ect.) with wood plank porcelain than with hardwood flooring.
-Durability: Another benefit to porcelain being man-made is its durability. Porcelain is created by compressing clay dust mixed with a water solution into tile molds and the result is a material that is much denser and tougher than the average ceramic tile. Unlike hardwood flooring, wood plank porcelain is much more difficult to chip and scratch.
-Easier Installation: If you have knowledge on laying tiles, wood plank porcelain can be laid do-it-yourself style in a weekend. If you do need to hire someone, the labor cost will be less expensive than hardwood floor instillation because porcelain tile is less labor intensive to lay.
-Less Maintenance: It is unlikely that wood plank porcelain will ever have to be refinished, however if it does need to be, the refinishing process is less intense than that of hardwood floors and can be done do-it-yourself style in an afternoon. Porcelain also has a low moisture absorbing capacity so it is less likely to stain. Wood plank porcelain can easily be cleaned with a simple soap and water solution or household cleaner.
-Feeling: Porcelain tile is cold and hard on the feet. While natural hardwood floors have some flexibility when standing on them, porcelain has no give, which can be uncomfortable when standing on it for long periods at a time. Wood plank porcelain with a glossier finish can also be very slippery when wet, something to keep in mind if you have young children or are considering installing it in a room that is likely to get wet, such as a bathroom or laundry room.
-Potential Damage: Although porcelain floors are less likely to be damaged than natural wood floors, there is still a possibility that the floor may scratch or chip. If that is the case, it may be difficult to find replacement tiles, so it is recommended that you buy more than you will need and keep the extras for replacement purposes.
-Grout: Grout is likely to discolor over time, especially lighter colored grout. It is recommended that new grout be resealed six months after it has been laid down in order to keep it looking fresh and clean. Without the proper sealing, grout can become discolored and mold and mildew may grow within the grout or under the tile.
With all of this information in mind, you are now armed and ready to take the next step to committing to your new flooring. No matter which route you take, hardwood flooring or wood plank porcelain, your floors are sure to create an exciting new atmosphere for your home for many years to come; just be sure they are properly installed and maintained!