Hardwood Flooring Now the Standard of Excellence in the Finest American Homes

DENVER, CO – Time was when a hardwood floor in a home was a sign of a lower socio-economic level, believe it or not. People coming of age in the post-WWII era thought wall-to-wall carpeting was an expression of higher status, and in many of the earlier suburban homes built in the late 1940s and into the 1950s featured plywood treatments for floors that were meant to be covered by carpeting or linoleum.

But when the next generation came of age in the late 1960s they lifted the carpets in older homes to discover the beauty of hardwood oak flooring that had been the standard of home design in the early part of the last century. They sanded them, polished them, bought area or oriental rugs to accent rooms and created a new standard of excellence in housing.

Indeed, hardwood flooring has become de rigueur in the finest homes, so much so that a study commissioned by the National Wood Flooring Association shows real estate agents, by a four-to-one margin, say a house with hardwood floors sells faster and brings a higher price than homes without the hardwood.

Evidence like that is hard to argue with.

Hardwood floors are very beautiful, extremely durable and come in such a wide variety of species and colors that they can meet the needs of any décor. There are up to 50 species of trees from around the world used for flooring in homes, with red and white oak, cherry, hickory, pine, ash, and maple leading the domestic choices, and such exotics as bubinga, teak, cork, curmaru, iroko, jarrah, mahogany, bamboo,  and many more from around the world finding a place in American homes.

Plus, with expert artisans creating beautiful blends of wood in often intricate parquet designs, hardwood floors in homes can feature museum-quality designs unique to each property.

When considering food flooring for a home, there are essentially three types available from manufacturers and wood flooring contractors: 1)solid wood, which is exactly what it sounds like; 2) engineered wood, which is a layer of wood as a veneer over a sub-base made of other materials; and, 3) laminate floors, which use a photographic process to look like wood but aren’t actually wood at all, but rather a combination of resins and fiber board materials.

At Chase Custom Homes our experience is that the overwhelming choice is solid wood. Many of our customers select solid wood flooring options throughout the home, often with different types of wood and varying colors from room to room. Sometimes, but not always, these customers will select a type of stone or tile floor treatments for kitchens and bathrooms, but we are discovering more and more all the time that hardwood floors in the kitchen are the most popular choice.

Hardwood floors, as stated earlier, are quite durable and last a long time, and they offer the simplest maintenance: regular sweeping with a broom or dust mop, and the occasional vacuuming with a brushless vacuum is all that is required.

However, hardwood floors do require some attention. One of the first things is to work with your builder or installer on the proper finishes for the floors to ensure they will retain their luster and protect from moisture over the long haul. Homes with a lot of hardwood floors, particularly in a dry climate like Colorado, will benefit from the installation of a humidifier in the HVAC system to protect from premature drying of the wood. We have also found that wood is not the best flooring option in below-ground-level rooms like basements where moisture collection or flooding might be an issue. And homeowners should be advised that wet mopping wood floors or allowing spills to stay on the floor for extended periods of time is not a good idea.

Hardwood floors, while beautiful and durable, can also be easily dented. Experts advise people to keep rugs by outside doors for shoe-cleaning to prevent grit and grime to get ground in, and to avoid walking on hardwood floors in sports shoes or spikes. Oddly enough – and important to note – one of the main culprits in damaging wood floors are spike high heels, so ladies should be particularly diligent.

As mentioned above, parquet flooring is a popular choice because of the ability to create unique designs. Perhaps the most famous parquet wood floor in the world is (or was) at the Boston Garden where the Celtics have held court for decades, but have you seen the Ram’s horn designed built into the parquet in the Colorado State University basketball arena? It proves that with wood flooring anything is possible, from the whimsical to the elegant.

There are two other basic types of wood flooring to be aware of: Strip flooring, which is considered the “traditional” type of hardwood flooring, features strips a wood from 1-1/2” to 3” in width laid out in a linear pattern that adds depth to a room; and, plank flooring, which is generally from 3” to 7” in width, which has a more casual, even sometimes rustic look. Elegant rooms and décor usually call for either parquet or strip hardwood flooring, while activity rooms or period designs like Early American or Farm, House might be enhanced by plank flooring.

Here at Chase Custom Homes we find hardwood flooring so popular and so versatile that some form or another meets the needs of nearly every décor design and every budget. Even basic ash, pine or maple floors, which are very economical, offer a timeless beauty and range of color choice, and of course with exotics and unique parquet designs anything is possible.

When it comes to building a true dream home – and discovering the wonders of hardwood flooring – call on Chase Custom Homes at 303-204-9254. A Chase Custom Home is an address for a lifetime.