Pros and Cons of Hardwood Flooring

June 19, 2023

Share Post:

One of the most important features of any remodel or new building project is flooring. Not only does flooring impact the aesthetics of the room, but it also needs to be functional for the space it is in. In this article I will discuss some of the pros and cons of hardwood flooring choices. There are many great flooring options, but for any remodeling project, none of them are perfect.

Hardwood flooring is a very popular option for new builds as well as remodels in the northeast. There are many types of hardwood to use for your flooring: mahogany, poplar, oak, maple, and even bamboo. In New England, the most popular wood floor choice is red oak.

Oak flooring can be chosen in a variety of different widths ranging from 2.75” – 5” and usually ¾” thick. Choosing the width is mostly a function of taste. Look at pictures of the different widths of planks on finished floors to establish your preferred taste. Oak is hard, strong, timeless, and when taken care of correctly could certainly outlast you. There are many floors still around in New England that are well over 100 years old.

Hardwood flooring comes unfinished or pre-finished in a variety of stain colors. Hardwood is one of the more expensive flooring choices and is perfect for those seeking a very distinguished look. If you are planning on installing hardwood flooring here in CT and MA, you should budget at least $15 to $24 per square foot.

Choosing unfinished hardwood floors leaves the option to finish naturally, or to stain a certain desired tint before finishing. This provides a wide variety of color options to accent any space. Stains exist in a full color spectrum from light honey to a dark stout tinge. There are even ways to create various shapes or patterns by using different hardwoods to accent the floor. Each type of hardwood will receive stain differently, and therefore display a different tint enhancing the pattern.

Using an unfinished floor requires proper climate acclimation, installation that staggers joints properly, and a strong subsurface. Next an initial sanding is required, a stain is added if a color is desired, and lastly a minimum of three coats of quality polyurethane designed specifically for hardwood flooring. A very light sanding should be applied between each coat of polyurethane as well as giving sufficient dry time. This will protect the floor from spills, foot traffic, and other wear.

It is best to leave floor installation and finishing to professionals with a good amount of experience. If the floor is improperly installed, it will creak and possibly warp and separate. If the polyurethane is not applied correctly, it will be uneven, show spots, and there could even be areas that are improperly protected. 

The flooring step needs to be carefully managed within the full remodeling project to factor in dry times and fumes from the polyurethane which cannot be avoided. When finishing an unfinished oak floor, the area must be vacated for a certain timeframe, and fine dust is unavoidable. Even a so-called dustless sanding will produce fine dust in the air that will settle on furniture, counters, and walls. 

A prefinished hardwood floor is a good choice when the space can’t be vacated. This hardwood product comes already stained and polyurethaned. The prefinished flooring comes in sections and is laid down just like unfinished, but sanding and coats of polyurethane are not required because they are done in the factory prior to your purchase. A drawback to this option is that there will be small joints in each joining floorboard where dirt will collect over time. This is because there will not be three coats of uninterrupted protectant over the entire floor as there is when installing the unfinished hardwood. In addition, the polyurethane that is factory applied may not hold up as long, causing an earlier need to refinish the entire floor.

Although all hardwood flooring is tough, if a large object is dropped and a dent or divot is implied, the repair can be difficult and costly. You should get into a habit of wiping up standing spills to reduce the potential for staining. Your polyurethane on the hardwood floor should protect from this, but it is best not to take a chance. You should be cautious with pets and other objects sliding across the floor because this can scratch the finished surface. High traffic areas will begin to show additional wear over time. 

Hardwood flooring must always be cleaned properly, using only products that are specifically formulated and designed to do so. By using proper care techniques, you will get the most longevity from your investment. One great thing about hardwood flooring is that once it begins to look tired and show wear, it can be sanded and refinished several times. This provides a fresh new look and resets the life of your floor. You can also choose to change the look by adding a different stain or tint. Hardwood flooring is popular for bedrooms, kitchens, hallways, and living rooms. However, it can be used in any climate-controlled space where humidity is low. We have even used hardwood flooring to build custom bar tops.

Although there are pros and cons to using hardwood flooring, the distinguished and timeless look of a hardwood floor is unparalleled. It is a classic look in New England remodels and new house builds, and it is certainly one of our favorites at Platinum Construction LLC. If you live in North Central CT or the Greater Springfield MA area and are interested in hardwood flooring, or any other type of home remodeling project, please contact us.


Send us a brief description of what you are considering and we will contact you for a free consultation.

© All Rights Reserved To PLATINUM CONSTRUCTION LLC (CT HIC.0663599 MA HIC.203578)
Pioneer Valley MA - North Central CT