Is it cost-effective for home builders and renovators to select wood flooring over less costly materials?
Yes! Residential real estate agents say homes with wood floors hold their value better, sell faster, and fetch higher prices, according to a recent nationwide survey commissioned by the National Wood Flooring Association (NWFA). By a three-to-one margin, real estate agents said that a house with wood floors would sell faster than a carpeted house. Some 58 percent said a house with wood floors would bring a higher price. "There is a perception today that they don't build homes like they used to," according to one Pennsylvania agent. "So when people see hardwood floors instead of carpet-covered plywood, they feel the entire house was built with superior building materials."
My clients have diverse tastes in interior design. Does wood flooring go well with most design styles?
Yes. In a recent survey commissioned by the NWFA, more than three-quarters of interior designers find that wood flooring works well with many decorating styles. "It's the most versatile floor covering there is," says one designer. "Wood goes with contemporary and traditional and everything in between." Designers rated natural materials as superior to man-made materials in beauty, prestige, style, maintenance, and durability. A variety of woods and finishes are available to complement the decor and style of any room. Oak and maple are the most popular woods, but some homeowners are investing in exotics such as Brazilian cherry and Purpleheart.
There are so many species of wood. How should a specifier select one?
Choosing a species of wood involves more than selecting a color to match décor. Both decorators and installers should be aware of the basic facts about wood species. Other appearance-related attributes are important for designers too, such as texture, grain, and color. Installers will want to consider mechanical properties like dimensional stability, machinability, and ease in finishing. And any specifier will need to consider availability and cost. NWFA's wood experts offer detailed information about the properties of many wood species.
Why do most gymnasiums use wood flooring?
For the same reason many homes and businesses do: durability and comfort. Indeed, wood flooring commands more than 70 percent of the highly demanding sports floor market. Wood floors are softer and more supple than other surfaces. Wood flooring provides greater resilience, improved shock absorption, and increased energy return, all of which help to reduce injury and body fatigue for athletes.
I've always used wood flooring in low-traffic areas like formal living rooms or conference rooms. Is it durable enough for a kitchen, bathroom, or work space?
Yes. Specifiers and clients are discovering what basketball players have always known: wood flooring can take a pounding and still look beautiful. The urethane finishes on most new wood floors stand up to water and traffic, bringing wood flooring into bathrooms, kitchens, and other higher-stress areas. These finishes resist wear and stains better than other finishes and require no stripping, no buffing and no waxing.
Does wood flooring provide good acoustics?
Churches, synagogues, and other clients with auditorium projects increasingly request wood floors for its warmth and acoustic contributions. Ask your wood flooring professional about special installation techniques that can increase acoustic abilities.