If you've ever visited a historic business or home, the floor upon which you walked could have been the original solid wood. You may have enjoyed the house’s ambiance, appreciating the beauty and longevity of the floor. For these and other reasons, wood floors are still among the most favored luxuries for a home and for some businesses. They’re also among the most expensive, and you may well wonder if they’re really worth the cost.
What It Costs
Maybe you’re thinking about replacing the floor at your business or home. Either activity will no doubt be guided by a budget. It will pay to comparison shop because there can be a considerable difference in pricing for different types of wood. For example, depending on thickness, you can find solid oak for about $3.60 per square foot.Other types of wood, such as maple, can cost $14.60 or more per square foot. Installation costs will vary, and can amount to additional thousands of dollars. They are typically based on a number of considerations, including room size, hourly rate of workers, removal of old flooring and prepping the sub-flooring.
What It's Worth
The cost of wood flooring isn’t the only measure value. What it's worth to you personally factors in, too. Wood floors add both perceived and real value to a home. The first thing potential buyers notice when entering a home is the floor. In a home or business, a wood floor implies value and quality. Your own personal impression is a critical consideration when weighing the worth of wood flooring.
It’s important to look at the tangible pros of wood flooring as they relate to your business or lifestyle. They're fairly easy to maintain, requiring sweeping and a once-in-a-while application of a wood floor product. Wood floors trap less dust, dirt and pollen than do some other flooring choices. When cared for, wood floors last a long time -- sometimes for decades or even longer -- and treated wood flooring can also be water-resistant. Wood floors can be refinished, if necessary, and offer a clean, warm ambiance.
The “cons” to wood flooring should also factor into your thought process. If not treated properly, wood can be damaged by liquid, humidity, scratches or burns, and may show wear in high-traffic areas, possibly requiring refinishing. Dirt can sometimes lodge between crevices. Wood floor planks can shrink or swell, warping over time.
Michelle Reynolds has been writing about business, careers and art since 1993. She was the publisher of a newsletter, “Working Parents Monthly," as well as a graphic design guidebook. Reynolds also served as human-resources director at a resort/spa for eight years. She is an artist and promotes the arts and other artists through ElegantArtisan.com, a website she developed and maintains.