Hardwood floors are extremely durable, and if properly taken care of they will last many years. However, if the need arises to replace them or cover them, look to engineered oak flooring. It is an extremely versatile option that with a proper moisture barrier may be used in many areas of the home, including below grade, and may even be installed directly onto concrete. Engineered oak flooring is made by gluing layers together in a cross-grain pattern, making it much sturdier than solid wood, yet not prone to buckling, and gaps. This strength allows a longer lifespan in the home, especially compared to carpeting. It is common to see a finish warranty for engineered oak flooring that is 20-25 years in length, as compared to the 10-15 year warranties found for most carpets. Hardwood flooring is also much easier to clean when spills occur, and is more stain resistant.
By itself, wood is a natural, renewable material. It is a very environmentally friendly option and there are several sealant and finishing options that release less volatile organic compounds (VOC’s) into the air. The construction process of engineered oak flooring uses about half as many trees compared to solid wood. Another way to look at it is that for every square foot of solid flooring, there is about four times that amount of engineered flooring.
Though flooring is one of the more expensive renovations that can be completed to your home, it can greatly increase resale value. An article by USA Today says that 54% of home buyers are willing to pay about $2,000 more for homes that have hardwood compared to homes with carpet. Carpeting remains the cheapest option for flooring, but the cost of solid hardwood on average is twice the cost of engineered hardwood flooring.
Engineered flooring remains cost effective compared to solid hardwoods, yet a much more durable option than carpet.