When I bought my house, it didn’t come with hard-wood floors, but I longed for them and finally, about six years into ownership, I bit the bullet and had hard-wood floors installed on the main level.  I agonized over the many choices of wood but finally settled on Brazilian Koa Wood, in an engineered hard-wood product. The seller assured me this thickness had at least one full sand-and-refinish worth of surface on it.  So far, I have not needed to experiment with that promise.  

Today, you can get the look of hard-wood in dozens of different products each of which offers special attributes that, in your particular space, might be even better than the traditional products you’ve known and loved forever. Here are just a few. . .

  • Flexible wood-look vinyl flooring (not your mother’s linoleum) that ranges in thickness and flexibility so that standing or even dancing on this product can be gentler on your joints (or those of your frequently toppling toddler).
  • Porcelain tile in wood-look patterns which can offer a range of colors and textures that tease the eye and offer scratch-resistant surfaces that real wood could never match.
  • Laminate products which have been around for decades but have gotten better in recent years and come in a wide range of price points, depending on your needs and the area you’re covering.
  • Bamboo, which is technically a genuine wood-product but highly resilient and in the wild, highly renewable (less deforestation).

Each of these wears and lasts differently and can fill different needs for different customers. So which sort of customer (or end user) are you?

What stands between you and stunning wood-look floors?

  • If it is your large but puppy-like canine, you might want to consider the resilience of tile.
  • If it is your kids who can never remember to take off their shoes when they enter the house, you might want to consider the benefits of vinyl or laminate flooring.
  • If you want style and the opportunity to feel good about making a “greener” decision, then bamboo, in one of its many stunning colors or patterns might be your perfect cup to tea!

Don’t let the nostalgia of hard-wood floors as you knew and loved them as a kid limit your choices now. Your options are many and your needs may be very different that those of your mom and dad decades ago.  Choose wisely and enjoy the benefits of truly modern living.