The Pros and Cons of Solid Wood Floors

Solid wood flooring creates a beautiful look in any room. Elegant and natural, it is a classic choice for many homeowners. Each board is cut from a single piece of natural timber, making them a simple floor, but they are one of the oldest flooring options. Although they are simple, this flooring type has a range of benefits and can create a stunning look in many rooms. However, this floor is not suitable for all areas of the home. Let's take a look at the pros and cons of solid wood flooring, to help you decide if this is the right flooring for you.

The advantages of solid wood flooring

Solid wood flooring has a range of advantages. Solid wood has a timeless beauty to it, it's also a durable and versatile choice that's easy to keep good care of. Here's a bit more information on the benefits of solid wood flooring:

Easy to install

Installing a solid wood floor is fairly easy to do. A properly laid wooden floor can create a beautiful look in a room. As wooden boards tend to be thick, small differences in floor height can be managed, making an even floor.

For installation you can either hire a professional, or you can do this yourself. If you're planning to DIY your solid wood floor, take a look at our solid wood flooring installation guide.

There's plenty of variety

Solid wood floors come in a variety of options; don't think you've only got the choice of a "brown" floor! The different species of wood used for this type of floor come in different shades and grains, which give a beautiful and natural look. Not only that, but each board itself will vary in shade and colour, creating variety throughout the room. You can also stain your solid wood flooring if you want a change in the future.

Each solid wood floor offers its own unique combination of grain, species and colour, so you can find your perfect style. Whichever floor you go for, each board is selected from specific parts of specific trees so that they all come together to create your chosen look. If you're looking to make a real statement in your home, a solid wood floor is an excellent choice.

Long-term investment

Solid wood floors are some of the longest lasting floors in the world - and can often outlive their owners! That's because they can be sanded down and refinished more times than any other floor, so that when scratches and dents build up over the years, they can simply be erased from the face of the floor. This means that solid wood floors are great for ‘high traffic’ areas such as hallways, where gradual wear and tear is unavoidable.

Versatile

Even though you have a range of species and colours of solid wood flooring to choose from, all of the options are versatile. Flooring tends to be one of the biggest expenses for a room, so isn't one you want to change every time you decorate. A solid wood floor will easily match a huge range of decors, from rustic to modern styles, making them a versatile flooring choice.

Easy to maintain

Solid wood floors are one of the easiest to maintain. Simply vacuum or sweep, then mop and dry and your floor is maintained. This type of flooring doesn't attract much dirt and debris, so is easy to keep on top of. The only thing you have to be aware of is ensuring you clean up any spills as soon as possible, but other than that, these floors pretty much look after themselves.

Take a look at our real wood maintenance guide for all you need to know about looking after your wooden floor.

Ageless quality

Not only are solid wood floors a long-term investment, but they will look beautiful throughout their lifetime. As long as the floors are refinished when needed, they will have an ageless quality about them. These floors won't start to look dull and worn like other flooring types, plus they never go out of style.

Adds value to the home

Having a solid wood floor can actually increase the value of your home! As this flooring is beautiful, versatile and timeless, many homebuyers like to see it in a home they are considering buying. For a homebuyer, it generally means that they won't have to plan on changing the floors (which can be an expense that many new owners won't want when they first move in) for many years. Even if they decorate, solid wood flooring is versatile, so will look good with their new décor.

The disadvantages of solid wood flooring

Solid wood flooring is an excellent choice for many homes. However, just like any flooring, there are some drawbacks to this type of floor, that you will want to consider before you commit to this flooring option. It is an expensive choice, cold on the feet, sensitive to water and can even be noisy. Here's some information on the disadvantages of a solid wood floor:

Expensive

As one of the more expensive flooring options available, the price tag for solid wood flooring can be a barrier for many. However, these floors are cost-effective in the long term as they last for years and years, but you do need the budget in place for this investment. If this is a potential hurdle to your new floors, we do offer 0% finance options.

Vulnerable to moisture

Solid wood is very sensitive to moisture, whether this be spills or humidity of a room. Wood naturally expands and contracts in response to humidity, which can cause problems with this flooring. Even the smallest spill can have a damaging effect, so any spills should be cleaned up straightaway.

 

One place you should never use solid wood flooring is in the bathroom, that's because all the splashes and steam you'll find in bathrooms - and kitchens, for that matter - can cause your floor to warp, expand and contract. When it comes to bathrooms we'd recommend LVT flooring or waterproof laminate flooring.

Cold on bare feet

If you walk around in bare feet, solid wood flooring might not be for you, especially on those cold winter mornings! This flooring is naturally hard and cold, so isn't kind on the feet like other flooring types can be. However, this can easily be rectified by having rugs and runners where you normally walk.

Easily dented and scratched

Keeping proper care of your solid wood flooring is an important factor in keeping this type of floor looking good. Solid wood can scratch and dent easily, and if you don't care for this flooring, this will show. Keep in mind, hardwood species, such as solid oak flooring, tends to show damage more easily than softwood species.

Need refinishing regularly

Although general maintenance on a solid wood floor is low, to keep it looking its best you will need to sand it down and refinish it every few years. This will keep the flooring looking fresh and shiny, removing any scratches, scuffs and general wear and tear, as well as ensuring the floor lasts for as long as it should. However, this is an extra time and money expense you need to be sure you can commit to when buying a solid wood floor.

Noisy

Unlike softer flooring options, solid wood flooring does not absorb sound. This can make them a noisy choice, and even footsteps can be loud on a solid wood floor. Not only that, but general wear and tear can alter sections of the flooring, which can cause creaking when you walk on them. On the other hand, this gives a room with wooden flooring great acoustics, so they're great for a music room!

If you're planning on combating the cold sold wood by installing underfloor heating, this is not a good idea! The changes in temperature can cause the same warping that can happen in bathrooms due to high humidity. These temperature changes will therefor cause your solid wood floor damage in the long run. Luckily, you can still have a hardwood finish to your floor by using an engineered floor which, whilst not waterproof, is designed to resist changes in temperature caused by underfloor heating.

Is solid wood flooring for you?

If the high initial expense isn't an issue for you, solid wood flooring is a long-term investment that can suit many rooms and homes. A hardwearing, durable and beautiful flooring, you can create a classic and natural look that will match any décor. Just be aware that you will have to refinish this flooring every few years to keep it looking its best.

On the whole, so long as you are not looking for flooring for a bathroom or kitchen, or planning on having underfloor heating, solid wood flooring is a great choice.

If you need more help on choosing if solid wood flooring is the right choice for you, check out our solid wood flooring guides