Trying to convince your stubborn spouse to go with hardwood for your remodeling project? He thinks it’s too expensive. She thinks it’s too high maintenance. He prefers the plushness and warmth of carpet in the winter. She would be fine walking barefoot on the same concrete that covers our interstate highways.
Whatever their reasoning, some people just need more convincing in the matter of hardwood.
If you’re pro-hardwood, here’s our list of arguments to use on your spouse:
Longevity: Hardwood lasts. And lasts. In 2014, when someone says, “I have the original wood floors in my turn-of-the century brick and brownstone rowhouse,” you need to clarify, “Turn of what century? Was the house built in the early 1800s? The early 1900s? The early 2000s? A good guess might seem to be the early 1900s, but with hardwood, don’t be so sure. Old wide planks and parquet from a century or more ago can be in bad condition but are capable of being restored to their original glory. And hardwood becomes more charming and interesting with the passage of time— with a 200-year-old patina and marks that resulted from actual distress and not manufactured “distress.” Something is lost with today’s manufactured marks, as “realistic” and attractive as they may be; mimicking the archaic. Well-cared-for hardwood can last for centuries, thus justifying the higher initial expense of hardwood compared with carpet. Carpet’s lifespan is 10 rather high-maintenance years.
Affordability: If you think of affordability as money spent in the long term, reread “Longevity” and you’ll realize that hardwood flooring offers an excellent value. And when and if your spouse gets transferred to a different state for work, your house will sell for more and quite possibly in less time. Hardwood is in high demand and will always be desirable.
Sustainability: Reclaim, refinish, reuse is the green refrain. An organic material, solid hardwood is a responsible choice in flooring material if you’re concerned about conservation. If you bought that early 1800s rowhouse mentioned earlier, you might decide to replace sections of wood flooring that are gouged or warped. In that case, your old flooring could be donated and recycled. Even warped flooring can be recycled if its water content does not surpass a certain level. Your wood flooring could be reincarnated in another form and be around for generations.
Health Benefits: According to the AAFA (Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America) and the Mayo Clinic, hardwood is the recommended flooring choice for people with asthma and allergies. Carpet holds more dust and dirt particles. Although a dust mite census was never officially done, carpets are inhabited by a heavy mite population. And if you suffer with these health conditions, the experts at the AAFA and Mayo Clinic suggest you will have an improvement in your symptoms with hardwood.
Aesthetics: Solid hardwood is born, not made, so to speak. Although today’s carpet offers broader choices than in earlier times (e.g. low pile, thinner carpet, low VOCs), the fact is, carpet is manufactured; this is a turnoff to people who tend to be purist in their tastes. A purist might think nothing of spending $30 per square foot of reclaimed old wood. The recliamed stuff goes for two to three times the cost of wood, which sells for roughly $9 to $12 per square foot. Carpet sells for an affordable $3 to $5 per square foot.
Now armed with your list of pro’s, go back to your spouse and argue your case for hardwood.