Why Wood?

Man’s relationship with trees can produce a Zen like feeling with many people. The very trees that supply us with shelter, shade and beauty while living, continue to provide for us after harvest by way of homes, furniture & warmth. In many people’s eyes, trees never fully die. Within each piece of hardwood, we can see the successes and struggles of each tree. We can witness the dry years when virtually no growth appears and the years where rain was abundant. The knots show us where branches previously flourished while the mineral color within each piece can identify which part of the country or continent the tree originated.

The "Green" Movement has been instrumental in showcasing the benefits of hardwood as an environmental choice. The mining, milling and production of hardwood flooring has the smallest environmental footprint of all flooring choices as there is minimal water & energy usage during production. Carpet, vinyl, ceramic and other flooring options use large amounts of resources to produce. In addition, many of these products use chemicals in the manufacturing of the end product. Most end up in a landfill when they are no longer of use. Hardwood remains viable, even when tore-out, it can be re-milled into additional products or can be burned as fuel.

There are very few flooring materials that have stood the test of time as long as wood. Wood floors that are properly cared for can last for hundreds of years as witnessed in Asia and Europe. While natural stone and granite are also extremely durable, they do not provide the warmth and relaxed feel associated with hardwood.

Most all homes built up to 1958-1964 have hardwood throughout areas of the home. Prior to this time, it was difficult to obtain a home mortgage without hardwood flooring due to the structural benefits wood produced. By the early 60’s, plywood was approved as an alternative to hardwood and builders were quick to eliminate the extra cost of installing solid wood floors. By 1981 hardwood flooring represented only 3% of the total flooring market.

During the late 1980’s several factors helped change this trend:

  •  Strong desire to build quality back into homes. The home of the 70’s, while comfortable and convenient, was very mediocre, incorporating mass produced building materials.

  • Technological advances in both sanding equipment and floor finishes.

  • Increase in breathing related health issues among both adults and children. While carpet was about 30% the cost of hardwood, studies found that carpet was also the breeding ground for mold & dust mites, while trapping in pollen and pet dander.

So, why wood?

  1. Longevity – Solid wood floors last for hundreds of years. Over the centuries, wood has proven itself to be a durable floor choice. Newer synthetic materials have been unable to stand the test of time. 

  2. Increased Home Value – Hardwood floors add real value to the home, as well as structural stability. Solid wood is a permanent flooring solution rather than a simple floor covering. Potential home buyers desire hardwood in homes because of the durability & aesthetic value. 

  3. Coziness & Warmth – Wood is naturally warm, holds the surrounding temperature and is an excellent insulator. There are thousands of air channels within each piece of hardwood which hold in the surrounding heat.

  4.  Hypoallergenic – For people with environmental allergies, hardwood is a must. Unlike carpet, wood does not harbor mildew, mites & pet hair.

  5. Easy to Clean – Sweep, mop a little and you have a spotless floor. While hardwood floors are easy to repair, if you do get a gouge or a scratch in the floor, it often adds to the character. Modern polyurethane finishes eliminate the need for waxing & hand buffing.