As we’ve talked about before here at Ozburn-Hessey, there are a lot of things to consider before purchasing and installing a new wood floor in your home. The most fun decision, and probably the one everyone looks forward to making, is picking out the actual wood itself. There are a lot of species to choose from, but the first thing to consider is the difference between hardwood and softwood, the two most common types of flooring.
Do You Want Hardwood or Softwood?
What is the difference between hardwood and softwood flooring. Contrary to what their name implies, the differences have little to do with the hardness of the woods themselves, but rather with the biology behind the trees. Hardwoods are deciduous trees that lose their leaves during the autumn season, while softwood trees are evergreen. Usually hardwood species such as mahogany or oak are a good deal more durable, which is why they are used more in flooring. But like anything else in life, it isn’t that simple. Softwood does tend to be a bit softer and definitely lasts shorter, but the wood grows back quicker, making it a lot more sustainable.
The Best Options for Softwood Flooring
Softwood flooring is a good deal cheaper than your average hardwood flooring and can be even cheaper in some cases than vinyl or laminate plank flooring. The appeal of the materials is understandable. Something to keep in mind, however, is that softwood flooring isn’t as widely available, especially when compared to traditional hardwood flooring. If you have your heart set on a nice pine floor, then you might have to search a bit for a retailer who sells it. Also, softwood flooring usually isn’t finished, which might be a good thing if you have a specific color or finish in mind.
Softwood flooring is probably not the best option for any and/or every room in your home since it does scratch and ding easily, but it does make for a nice change of pace in a room that doesn’t see a lot of traffic or in a room that could use a little extra bit of panache or class. In situations like this, go with something like cedar, a wood that is just rare enough to look very unique in a room. It also smells really nice.
Pine Flooring is Like the Best of Both Worlds
Pine flooring is another softwood option. Although it isn’t as popular as it once was, pine flooring still has a place in the modern world thanks to its vintage feel, its high density, and the way that it hardens over time. If you install a new pine floor correctly and take care of it by resurfacing it when necessary, it can last just as long as its hardwood cousins. It also holds in heat, making it a perfect option to have in your home on those cold Nashville nights that seem to be getting more and more common.
Picking out the right floor is tricky, but if you want to save a little money without resorting to residential carpeting on all of your floors, you can’t go wrong with a nice new softwood floor. Whether it’s soft, hard, carpet, or anything in between, Ozburn-Hessey can help you find the right floor for your home.