Most of the time, timber flooring is made from a hardwood species. However, you shouldn’t view hardwood as your only option; in fact, there are a whole host of benefits that come along with opting for a softwood instead. Softwood flooring isn’t ideal for all applications, but it might just be ideal for your home.
The cost issue
First and foremost, softwood flooring tends to be substantially less expensive than hardwood flooring. This is often a deciding factor in itself since timber flooring can be one of the most costly renovations you can make to your home, especially if you’re going to use it across a larger area of the property. Of course, softwood flooring is never going to be as cheap as laminate wood flooring, but it still retains that genuine appearance that makes people gravitate towards authentic wood in the first place.
The environmental issue
One of the main reasons why timber taken from a softwood tree is generally less expensive than timber taken from a hardwood tree is that softwood trees typically grow a lot faster than hardwoods. If the tree grows faster, it can be replaced faster, so the costs of growing it are a lot lower. This also means that softwood trees tend to be more sustainable than hardwood trees. Additionally, the lighter weight means that softwood timber doesn’t demand as much fuel to be used while it is being transported.
The weight issue
If there’s one thing that homeowners often fail to take into account before having timber flooring installed, it’s weight. The weight of timber really adds up, especially when you compare it against the weight of a material like carpeting or engineered wood, and that can mean having to reinforce the underfloor. Softwood species have a lighter, looser grain, so weight won’t be something you need to worry about as much.
The durability issue
Some homeowners will be worried about laying down softwood flooring, with concerns generally revolving around durability. As you might have guessed, softwoods are indeed generally a lot softer than hardwoods. However, the difference shouldn’t matter too much in a residential environment. After being treated, softwood floors are still very durable against everyday damage.