What is the downside of wood flooring?

Wood flooring is a popular choice for many homeowners, but it also comes with some drawbacks, such as high cost, maintenance, and susceptibility to damage. In this article, we will explore some of the disadvantages of wood flooring and how to overcome them.

High Cost

One of the main drawbacks of wood flooring is its high initial cost. Wood flooring can range from $3 to $14 per square foot, depending on the type, quality, and finish of the wood. This is much more expensive than other flooring options, such as carpet, vinyl, or laminate, which can cost as low as $1 per square foot.

Moreover, wood flooring also requires professional installation, which can add to the overall cost. Installing wood flooring can take several days and involve labor-intensive tasks, such as cutting, nailing, sanding, and staining. The average cost of installing wood flooring is $4,240, with most homeowners spending between $2,311 and $6,115.

To reduce the cost of wood flooring, you can consider some alternatives, such as engineered wood, bamboo, or cork. These materials are cheaper than solid wood, but still offer a similar look and feel. You can also shop around for discounts, compare prices, and negotiate with contractors to get the best deal.


Another downside of wood flooring is that it requires regular maintenance to keep it in good condition. Wood flooring is prone to scratches, dents, stains, and fading, especially in high-traffic areas or places exposed to sunlight, moisture, or heat. To prevent these issues, you need to follow some basic care tips, such as:

  • Sweep or vacuum the floor daily to remove dust, dirt, and debris.
  • Use a damp mop or cloth to clean the floor with a mild cleaner designed for wood floors. Avoid using harsh chemicals, vinegar, or steam cleaners, as they can damage the wood’s finish.
  • Apply a protective coating or wax every few years to restore the shine and durability of the wood. You can also refinish the floor by sanding and staining it, but this is a more costly and time-consuming process.
  • Place rugs, mats, or pads under furniture, appliances, and heavy objects to prevent scratches and dents. You can also use felt pads or casters on the legs of chairs and tables to reduce friction and noise.
  • Avoid wearing shoes, especially high heels, on the wood floor, as they can cause marks and gouges. You can also trim your pets’ nails to prevent them from scratching the floor.
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Susceptibility to Damage

A third drawback of wood flooring is that it is susceptible to damage from various sources, such as water, insects, mold, and fire. Wood flooring can warp, buckle, crack, or rot when exposed to excess moisture or humidity. This can happen due to spills, leaks, floods, or high humidity levels. To prevent water damage, you should:

  • Wipe up any spills or leaks as soon as possible.
  • Use a dehumidifier or an air conditioner to control the humidity level in your home.
  • Avoid installing wood flooring in bathrooms, kitchens, basements, or other areas prone to moisture.
  • Choose a water-resistant wood species, such as teak, cedar, or oak, or a water-resistant finish, such as polyurethane, lacquer, or varnish.

Wood flooring can also attract insects, such as termites, carpenter ants, or beetles, that can eat away the wood and cause structural damage. To prevent insect infestation, you should:

  • Seal any cracks, gaps, or holes in the floor or the walls.
  • Use insecticides or baits to kill or repel the insects.
  • Hire a professional pest control service to inspect and treat your home regularly.

Wood flooring can also develop mold or mildew, which can cause health problems, such as allergies, asthma, or respiratory infections. Mold and mildew can grow on wood flooring due to moisture, poor ventilation, or lack of sunlight. To prevent mold and mildew growth, you should:

  • Clean the floor with a mold-killing cleaner or bleach solution.
  • Increase the air circulation and ventilation in your home.
  • Use a fan or a heater to dry the floor after cleaning or mopping.
  • Avoid using carpets or rugs that can trap moisture and dirt.
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Wood flooring can also catch fire easily, especially if it is not treated with a fire-retardant coating or finish. Wood flooring can ignite from sources such as candles, cigarettes, electrical appliances, or cooking accidents. To prevent fire hazards, you should:

  • Keep flammable items away from the wood floor.
  • Install smoke detectors and fire extinguishers in your home.
  • Follow the safety instructions and precautions when using electrical appliances or cooking equipment.
  • Use a fire-resistant wood species, such as maple, cherry, or walnut, or a fire-resistant finish, such as aluminum oxide, ceramic, or titanium.


Wood flooring is a beautiful and durable flooring option, but it also has some disadvantages, such as high cost, maintenance, and susceptibility to damage. By being aware of these drawbacks and taking the necessary steps to prevent or fix them, you can enjoy the benefits of wood flooring for a long time. If you are looking for a professional and reliable wood flooring service, contact us today for a free estimate and consultation. We have the experience, expertise, and equipment to install, repair, and maintain your wood flooring with quality and care.