Hardwood Flooring is Overrated! :: Alternatives to Hardwood & More
I’ve helped install hardwood flooring in my parents house, my house and, my good buddy, Fred’s house. Everyone talks about how beautiful the floors look but it’s time to say enough is enough! Hardwood floors are over-rated and ultimately not worth the trouble. In this post, I’ll explain why.
I actually do love hardwood flooring but this post will be a fun change of pace. I’m going to make my argument against them and I hope you’ll respond in the comments below. :)
Why You Shouldn’t Choose Hardwood Flooring
Expensive Tools & Materials
Installing hardwood floors takes, at a minimum, several tools that can cost you a pretty penny. Most homeowners I know don’t own them all and renting them will quickly become just as pricey. Here’s a quick run-down of the necessary tools, materials and estimated cost. Let’s assume the room is 20′ x 15′.
- Tongue & groove flooring: $4.00 per sq ft = $1200
- Red rosin paper: $8.00 per roll = $8.00
- Staple pack: $45.00 per pack = $45.00
- Duo Fast 200-S: $359.00
- Miter Saw: $250.00
- Table Saw: $350.00
Sure subsequent rooms are cheaper, but the main costs are materials. Hardwood floors are an expensive option!
I’m not foolish enough to argue that tree harvesting isn’t a sustainable process but consider this. Linoleum floors are durable, biodegradable, non-toxic and a much more responsible choice. So while hardwood flooring isn’t a bad choice, it’s also not the best.
You’d think hardwood flooring would be… well hard. But depending on the species you choose, dropped keys, pets and even small children can really damage the surface. UV light, through every single window, also changes to color of the wood. Moving furniture or a rug can really reveal the color difference.
So what do you think? Do hardwood floors still seem like a worthwhile choice?
Note from the hosts: Thanks to Ethan at One Project Closer for throwing down on this interesting topic. He can be found blogging at http://www.oneprojectcloser.com. Also on twitter @OneProjCloser. A nice little write up of OPC (if I don’t say so myself) here >> Building Moxie with One Project Closer.
For more from Building Moxie on Working with Hardwood Flooring, there. For much more other flooring types, please see our Flooring category.
5 thoughts on “Hardwood Flooring is Overrated! :: Alternatives to Hardwood & More”
Dare I ask what you think of laminate flooring?
I found wood flooring to be one of the more economical options for the DIY’er…especially when you consider long term viability. And IMO, scratches and dents add character.
My first choice for flooring would be polished concrete but that wasn’t an option for us since we’re in a raised house. We considered linoleum but it was too expensive…maybe if it was used more often the prices would decrease.
I love hardwood flooring and will never change my mind. I have had relatives and pros do the installation. I’d rather save my money and get hardwood than go with linoleum, which brings back bad childhood memories for me! And maple (pine and bamboo are okay too) is just so darn beautiful!
I tend to agree with all the previous comments. For me, linoleum is fine in utility areas (kitchen, pantry, mud room, etc.). But for living spaces, I’d prefer wood. Especially reclaimed wood, and when it comes “prepackaged” with lot’s of character! And the one thing I cannot stand is wall-to-wall carpeting. Yuck! :-)
Sorry for the slow response everyone! I appreciate the comments.
@Amy- I like laminate. My in-laws had a Pergo floor and it’s great for high-traffic areas.
@Katrina- I’ve seen some polished concrete too and it’s really cool.
@John- I agree about the wall-to-wall. I haven’t seen any reclaimed floors but they sound beautiful.