As I’m sweeping my kitchen floor, readying it for the vinegar-and-water mop I use to clean them, I wonder why I love hardwood floors so much. They are more work to keep clean, for sure! They get scratched by shoes, falling toys and un-manicured dog paws and they fade with too much daylight! In my case, with dark (almost black) hardwood, they also display dust, dirt and crumbs at all times.
So why do I love them? Because they bring character, warmth and charm to any room that carpeting, in my opinion, can’t match. Ever! My entire main level is covered in hardwood, including the family room. “Are you sure you want to do that?” well-meaning friends lamented when I tore up the new, beige carpeting of my living areas when I moved in 10 or so years ago. “It is so warm and cozy to have carpeting in the family room,” they continued.
But rather than cozy carpeting, I imagine the stuff that in all likelihood is hiding underneath the carpeting and padding. Nasty stuff like old food, dead (or alive?) bugs, germs, dust mites and other items that, over time, settle nicely into the fibers of the carpeting; items that my kids would roll around on. No – a hardwood floor can be cleaned, and though more work to keep up, nothing can hide therefore providing a healthier indoor living environment.
And with today’s choices in hardwood (a quick search revealed more than 90 wood choices ranging from alder to willow) there is something for any style or design. And hardwood floors come from a natural resource that’s sustainable. In fact, according to U.S. Forest Service statistics, almost twice as much hardwood timber is added every year through new growth than what is harvested.
One word of caution though; in my experience, don’t clean your floors with Murphy’s Oil Soap. I tried it, and in certain spots, my floors became dangerously slippery. Just ask my dog who took a serious nose-dive as he came around the corner, and I think he has yet to recover. Serves him right however, since he has put his fair share of scratches on my gorgeous dark hardwood floors!