Hardwood flooring is an imperfectly perfect product of nature, each plank detailing varying grain patterns. Its beauty and easy care make it the top flooring choice for the home. Houses with hardwood sell faster than those with mostly carpet, according to Realtor surveys. And vacuum manufacturers have redesigned their machines because of the popularity of hardwoods.
When David and Mary Laird remodeled their Raytown home, they tore out carpeting, refinished the hardwoods and added the flooring in rooms without it. Now the kitchen, living room, dining room, hallways and bedrooms create a more pleasing visual flow.
“It feels so much more spacious,” says David Laird, vice president and controller for an insurance company. “I can’t say for certain allergies are better, but our peace of mind is. You see how dirty carpet is when you pull it out, how it collects grime.” Hardwood floors in the Lairds’ home are stained a chocolate brown. Although dark floors show more dust than lighter stains, deep browns are classic and are best for showing off the grain of the wood, designers and floor refinishers say.
When it comes to style, what’s old is new. Think European country cottages and Wild West general stores. “Random widths are popular in new hardwood floors, 4- and 5-inch planks,” says interior designer Nancy Gleason, director of the Gallery at ISC Surfaces showroom in Lenexa. “So is distressed. It’s great for people who have dogs or kids.”
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