These days, the decision to replace your floor is typically followed up with lots of research into all of the different flooring materials available. You'll find all sorts of options, from engineered hardwood to painted tile. But you'll also find that, among these modern options, solid wood flooring is still available. It may not be as common as it once was, but it has stuck around. Why? Well, solid hardwood offers some things that even the highest quality, modern materials do not. Here are those qualities that have kept wood flooring on the market all these years
You can refinish it again and again.
Solid hardwood flooring, as the name suggests, consists of hardwood planks. These planks are thick enough that you can sand them down and refinish them a few times without compromising the integrity of the floor structure. And that is exactly what people do!
You may decide, a few years down the road, that you would prefer your floor to have a different appearance. You don't have to get new hardwood. You can just sand the finish off your floor and refinish it. If you want another new look again in another decade, then you can undergo the same process again. You can't do this with modern flooring materials. Even engineered hardwood has a thin veneer of wood on top, and if you sand it down, you might sand through it or weaken it too much.
It doesn't off-gas.
So many of the compounds used to make and finish other flooring materials off-gas. In other words, they release compounds into the air, many of which you probably don't want to inhale. Even engineered hardwood can contain some components that off-gas. They're present in the adhesives that hold the various layers of the flooring together.
Solid hardwood could certainly be finished with products that off-gas, but there are plenty of finishes that don't. So, installing solid hardwood floors in your home will expose you to fewer of these potentially harmful compounds. It's probably better for the atmosphere and for the planet, too.
Solid hardwood flooring is just one of the many types of flooring you can get these days. But if you think you may want to repeatedly refinish your floor, or if you're really worried about off-gassing, then solid hardwood is the way to go. Talk to a flooring company to learn more about your options in terms of wood species and finishes.