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Hardwood flooring has been used for generations and gives a warm and inviting look to any home.

We can say “any home” because these floor coverings range in style from elegant to rustic.

You can install hardwoods in a contemporary home as easily as a traditional one. Wood always emits a feeling of homeyness, so covering the floor in wood will naturally create a welcome emotion.

There are those who are afraid of using wood as their flooring throughout the house. Perhaps you’ve heard some of the arguments.

Solid hardwood is a natural material. This means that it will react to changes in its surroundings such as moisture and extreme temperatures, which can cause shrinkage or expansion. As a result, solid hardwood is not recommended for kitchens or bathrooms.

Hardwood floors require maintenance. All solid hardwood can be sanded and refinished if needed over the years, so they do last forever. But the reality is some work may be involved.

Using wood on stairs is beautiful but noisy. Wood stairs can send the sound of footsteps echoing upstairs to the bedrooms. In addition, wood stairs are slippery. A carpeted runner up the middle of the staircase will solve both problems, but you’ll be paying for the wood and the rug.

Looking for some pros to balance the cons? Consider these facts:

Hardwoods are better for allergy sufferers. Allergens like pet dander and dust tend to build up in carpets, and even with frequent vacuuming they can still be present. Those allergens don’t have as many hiding places in hardwood floors.

Hardwoods are more attractive to potential homebuyers. A house with hardwood floors is considering more appealing to home shoppers than other flooring.

There are alternatives to sold-wood flooring that may be worth considering.

Engineered-wood flooring is made with up to 10 layers of wood that are glued together. This provides superior stability and reduces concerns associated with shrinking and expanding when temperature and humidity changes. Engineered wood can be installed in kitchens and bathrooms.

Laminate flooring has four layers: a wear layer, a design layer, an inner-core layer and a backing layer. This type of construction makes a laminate floor especially durable, and it looks like a regular hardwood floor.