Carpet used to be the most popular floor covering around, but it’s always had it’s problems. Dust and dirt get trapped in carpet easily, making it difficult to clean, and likely to start looking bad and aggravating people’s allergies over time. It is also difficult to have carpet in nice colours, as light colours are much more prone to being stained by dropped food or drink, necessitating the use of expensive cleaning products that may not even work.
Hardwood flooring solves all these problems. It can be light-coloured while remaining easy to clean, as there is no way for stains or dirt to get attached to it. Wood floors also tend to have interesting natural patterns, which are usually much better than the flowery or swirly-patterned carpets they replace. Also hardwood, as opposed to softwood, will not dent or scratch if heavy objects are dropped or placed on it.
Of course, this doesn’t mean that hardwood flooring doesn’t have problems of its own. To begin with, it is often expensive, as natural materials must be used instead of synthetic ones. It also tends to take longer to lay, as it must be laid in strips instead of being cut to size and laid all at once as carpet can be. Wood floor can lose its shine over time, making it dull in appearance, yet at the same time stays slippery, making it dangerous to walk on in socks.
For most people, though, the advantages of wood floor over other kinds of flooring outweigh the disadvantages. If you’re thinking of getting hardwood flooring, it is usually best to get the highest quality floor you can afford. If you’re not convinced of the value you’ll be getting for your money, have a walk around in a house that has cheap wood flooring compared to one that has gone to some extra expensive: the worst wood floors are little better than laminate, while the best ones can be truly excellent.