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Some Pros and Cons of Hardwood Flooring in Interior Design
Monday, 24 May 2010 16:25

Hardwood flooring has a distinct advantage in its knack for adapting with time. Rustic browns and rich reds easily support a Victorian or Colonial home, finely-finished high-gloss browns complement a loft's industrial look, and bleach-white hardwood floors paired with bold black furniture quickly conveys a contemporary look. Swapping modern black furniture for breezy blue turns a modern city dwelling into an oceanside retreat. Hardwood flooring's ability to portray a time or place, to give breadth and depth to a room, and to accentuate specialty furniture, are significant advantages to any home's interior design. If a homeowner's taste changes, a hardwood floor will change with it.


Some decorating schemes may at first appear to be unsuitable for hardwood floors. A 1950's diner kitchen theme traditionally calls for large black and white vinyl or ceramic tiles. But if you are in love with hardwood flooring, you can substitute blocks of hardwood flooring, paint them for the era, and finish them with a fifties-sheen. A hi-tech house or space-age office can still maintain a futuristic presence with a smooth, slick finish on high-grade light woods, black-stained dark woods, or gray woods with wavy fine grains. If you decide that you really do want that vinyl or ceramic flooring, you can install it over your hardwood floor. A hardwood floor always adds structural integrity to a house – even if you can't see it.


Hardwood floors conform to almost any interior design plan, but each piece of solid hardwood is unique. Higher grades of hardwood are smooth with sparse evidence of grains, knots or other marks of nature. Many expensive hardwoods have very fine fluid grain patterns that add grace and subtle movement to a room. Large planks and strips can show off a floor with wide grain patterns that enliven a room, and noticeable knots that carry the fresh outdoors to the indoors.

Even though hardwood flooring forms a cohesive whole once it is installed, some homeowners might find the individual uniqueness of each hardwood flooring piece too disbarring for them, and prefer the symmetry, preciseness or patterns that ceramic and vinyl flooring can bring. If you prefer more precise patterns in your interior design plans but are intrigued by the structural strength and flexibility of hardwood floors, you still have options. Block parquet flooring with its finely laid strips can create herringbone and basketweave patterns. Specialty parquet flooring and mosaic hardwood blocks can be arranged for dramatic designs. Hardwood floor pieces can be mixed and matched, placed for borders, patterns and insets, stenciled, bleached, finished, and painted in an unimaginable number of choices. If you have a penchant for patterns, perfection and consistency, don't let the unique characteristics of hardwood deter you.


What can deter a homeowner from choosing a hardware floor is the price. There is no doubt that hardwood flooring can be expensive. But the expense is justified since it raises the value of the home, lasts for the lifetime of the home, and adds to structural integrity. Unfortunately, budgets don't always allow the best investments.


Hardwood floors are rarely recommended for bathroom installation. Wood absorbs moisture. However, with some added expense for prevention and protection, there is no reason that a hardwood floor can not be installed in a bathroom - and they often are according to a Bathroom Remodeling Chicago Company. There are heavy-duty vapor barriers for joists and subfloors and thick waterproof finishes that can make your bathroom hardwood floor dream a reality. Keep in mind that protection efforts will be more extreme for a bathroom catering to young, splashing children than it will be for two grown adults. Added protection means added expense.


Solid hardwood floors don't like basements. Basements hold moisture and humidity. Hardwood floors gap and cave under too much environmental pressure. Floating laminated flooring with moisture barriers, vapor protection and a waterproof finish can give you the look of a solid hardwood floor. Moisture testing and household improvements will make a basement hardwood floor cost effective and long-lasting.


If you're looking at hardwood floors for a room that is not your basement or bathroom, there is little doubt that the pros outweigh the cons – but it will ultimately be your interior design preference, and your budget, that decides. No matter what flooring material you choose, solid hardwood flooring will always remain a beautiful timeless choice for any interior design.