There’s nothing like a growing family for road testing the durability of a floor. High chairs scrape across the surface as a growing baby wriggles, toddlers race bikes up and down, and as for teenagers… let’s not go there.
There can be a trade-off between flooring that is “green” and flooring that is durable. Some consumer tests have found that renewable green options, such as bamboo and cork, may not be as robust in family use as more traditional options.
However, the same tests also found that even vinyls and laminates were prone to scuffs, scratches and stains. While some vinyls are certainly durable, unless the pattern is chosen carefully, they can show dirt and therefore need frequent cleaning. For busy families, this can be an extra burden. Even worse, some very high-end flooring needs to be cleaned with specialist cleaners that are not available from local supermarkets. Instead, it requires a trip to a specialist retailer or DIY shop. This is not what a busy family needs at the weekend when it is racing between the supermarket and children’s activities.
Engineered wood becoming more popular than real wood
Surprisingly, more and more busy households are opting to install engineered wood flooring http://www.ukflooringdirect.co.uk/engineered-wood-flooring rather than stripping their real wood floors. This might seem counter-intuitive because you would expect a solid wood floor to be the most durable floor there is. However, engineered wood scores on several counts over real wood, including environmental friendliness, sustainability and durability. Engineered wood uses a layer of hardwood over other layers of fast-growing, sustainable woods, so it is very economical in its use of limited natural resources.
Furthermore, it can be sanded like real wood so that as the family grows up, there is no need to install a completely new floor. If the rigours of family life have taken their toll on the floor, a light sanding will restore it to excellent condition without the expense of taking up the existing floor covering and buying a new one.
A healthy choice
Engineered wood does not emit any toxic chemicals, so is a very good choice for families that are looking to reduce their exposure to chemicals. It doesn’t harbour allergens, so it is also a good choice for family members who are sensitive to dust.