Interior Flooring

12 Reasons Hardwood Floors Might Not Be Right for Your Home

Hardwood floors have become so popular in recent years that they are now almost ubiquitous in new homes. But they're not necessarily the best choice for everyone. Check out these 12 reasons why hardwood floors might not be the right option for your home.

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They’re Not in Your Budget

There’s no doubt about it—hardwood floors are beautiful. They are also pricey. Hardwood is among the most expensive flooring options, more than double the cost of carpeting. So, if your budget is tight, you may want to skip the hardwood.

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You Have Pets

Pets—particularly dogs—are rough on hardwood flooring. They track in mud and dirt from outside, and their nails scratch the finish. Pets are also prone to accidents, especially when they’re young, that leave stains and smells that are very difficult to remove. If you share your home with pets, you may not want to put hardwood at the top of your flooring list. 

Related: 15 Reasons to Think Twice About an Open Floor Plan

You Have Kids

Kids, especially little ones, run a close second to pets on the hard-on-hardwood-floors scale. Children tend to drag cleats, tap shoes, scooters, and all manner of other floor-damaging paraphernalia around the house, in the process nicking, scraping, and scratching those beautiful boards. As well, hardwood floors are not that comfortable to roll around and play on. 

You Don’t Want the Maintenance

Hardwood floors are not low maintenance by any stretch of the imagination. They require regular sweeping and cleaning to prevent surface damage and to keep them looking nice. And you need to clean them with products that won’t damage the finish, and be extra careful with water. If you don’t have time to take care of hardwood, look for a different flooring solution.

You Need Some Soundproofing

Sound bounces off hardwood floors and gets amplified, which means everything is louder—musical instruments, voices, the TV. If you need quiet spaces in your home, consider carpeting, cork, vinyl, or another more sound-absorbing option.

Related: Soundproof Your Floors

Your Joints Can’t Take the Stress

Hardwood flooring does not have nearly the give of carpet or vinyl. Standing on a hardwood floor for a lengthy period can be uncomfortable, especially for those who suffer from joint issues. If your physical needs require a more cushioned flooring surface, look to something other than hardwood.

It Can Feel Generic

Maybe it’s because they get so much play on real estate and home improvement shows, but hardwood floors have become so popular that they’re seen as must-haves in new home construction. For this reason, they’re starting to seem generic. If you really want your home decor to pop with originality, hardwood floors may not be the ticket.

Related: 8 Ways to Stop Hating Your Floor—Without Replacing It

They WILL Squeak

No matter how expensive or new they are, or how well they’ve been installed, all hardwood floors will eventually squeak. It’s the nature of the beast. Unfortunately, the fix is not always easy. If a little squeaking down the road is going to drive you crazy, think about carpet instead.

They Won’t Necessarily Increase Your Home’s Value

Don’t install hardwood floors just because you think they’ll make your home more valuable. That’s often the case, but there are no guarantees. Because they’re almost expected in new homes, they’re not as highly valued as they used to be.

Related: The Cheapest Ways to Boost Your Home’s Value

They’re Cold

Hardwood floors aren’t cozy. As a matter of fact, they can be downright cold, especially in winter.

Dust Bunnies

Let’s face it: Hardwood floors get dirty fast. You sweep in the morning, and before the day’s over you can see your footprints in the dust that’s settled since. If you want your hardwood floors to look good all the time, you have to keep up with them every day.

Related: 8 Cleaning Mistakes Everyone Makes

You Still Need Area Rugs

Yes, you still have to buy rugs, even if you have hardwood floors. Rugs help absorb sound and bring visual and actual warmth to a room. An undressed wood floor can be cold and uncomfortable, particularly if you like to stretch out and relax on the floor. So, if area rugs are not your thing, then hardwood floors probably won’t be either.

Related: 10 Area Rugs You Can Actually Afford

The Hard Truth

Hardwood floors are beautiful, but they’re not the right answer for everyone. Luckily, there are plenty of other excellent flooring options out there.