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Currently my home has mostly tile and carpet and I am looking at changing out some of the carpet in the living areas for hardwood floors. But do I need hardwood floors or wood floors? What’s the different? There are so many varieties of wood floors I think we need to discuss this.

When homes are for sale in the Multiple Listing Service there is a place to put the flooring types. One of the types is “wood.” Right now, buyers want wood. But what does “wood” mean? You see, there are so many types of wood floors it’s hard to talk about all of them.

First of all, there are hardwood floors. These are the wood planks that are thick and solid. They are used in many parts of the country, but not so good for our Houston area. Due to the humidity in our area, the hardwoods don’t hold up as well. So there are other options.

Second, there are wood floors where the “wood” is glued (or floated) on a pressed material. These are real wood floors, but not solid hardwoods. Most consumers would not be able to tell the difference between these and the “real” hardwood floors. They come in many colors, styles, wide and think planks, and even hand scraped and rippled looks.

Third, there are laminate wood floors. These can even have some PVC or other “plastic” material to them that will help them hold up and make them more scratch resistant than most other wood or hardwood floors. Now, maybe you think PVC on wood is a cheap substitute…but let me tell you that Louis Vuitton uses a PVC coating on most, if not all, of their products and that’s why their leather purses and luggage hold up so long. BMW also offers a coated leather material that holds up much longer than the authentic leather interiors.

So my point is this…just because a home does not have authentic hardwood floors, they may be more durable wood floors that actually hold up better in our Houston climate than real hardwood floors. Visit your local flooring showrooms to inquire about the different flooring options available. They may even have cork floors that are great for media rooms and bamboo floors that are better for the environment, but look the same as a traditional wood floor. When you purchase a home, you will need to know what type of flooring you are getting because each requires different care to maintain them.

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