So you’ve finally decided to do something about the flooring in your home or business, and you’ve decided to go with wood flooring. It’s a great choice, something that will last for quite a while and comes in so many different types and colors that the possibilities are endless. One thing you might have noticed is that many of the types of woods are classified as hardwoods, and others are classified as softwoods. They are both woods, how much of a difference can there be? After all, all wood is hard, right? Well, yes and no. When compared to other flooring materials, such as cork or bamboo, all types of wood are going to be harder, but there are varying degrees, and each type of wood has its pros and cons. Let the professionals here at Ozburn-Hessey guide you through this trying decision.
What’s the Deal?
The difference between hardwood and softwood has very little to do with the actual density of the woods themselves, although it is true that hardwoods tend to be harder and softwoods tend to be softer. Rather, the difference is in the way the tree blooms. Hardwoods are flowering plants, known as angiosperms, such as oak and walnut, while softwood plants are gymnosperms, which produce needles and cones, such as pine trees and evergreens. When it comes down to it, both types of woods are usually used for the same things, but at the end of the day, softwoods are generally easier to work with, while hardwoods will last a bit longer. Of course, this is not always the case, as there are examples from both subsets that run contrary to the popular ideas, like yew. Yew is a dense, strong softwood, to contrast with balsa, which is a very soft hardwood.
Applying it to Your Home
So what does this mean for you? When choosing between softwood and hardwood, there are some things to consider. One of the big ones is the cost, as hardwoods tend to be a bit more expensive than their needle-based counterparts. To counter that, however, hardwood will handle the general wear and tear that being in a home brings, as it’s generally more durable. Hardwoods also come in a variety of colors and finishing options, whereas softwoods are usually in the yellow or reddish areas of the color spectrum. On the other hand, softwood trees grow back faster after being harvested, so they’re better for the environment. Softwoods are also rarely finished, allowing you to take the material you like and turn it into something you love. They are usually a lot cheaper, sometimes as much as half the price of a comparable hardwood floor.
When you work with the professionals here at Ozburn-Hessey, you’re going to get a floor that’s great for you at a price you can work with. There are a lot of flooring options to love regardless of whether you go with hardwoods or softwoods. If you’re interested in learning more about the differences, or looking at some samples, give us a call today and we will help you achieve the next level of understanding.