Is Cedar Flooring A Good Softwood Flooring Option?

February 24, 2017

Is cedar flooring a good option for you? While many sellers of flooring may try to steer you toward hardwoods like red oak, which has selling points like better durability and the ability to protect or increase the value of your home, these hardwoods are mostly suitable for areas in your home that get a lot of traffic. We usually recommend a softwood flooring option like cedar for areas in your home that usually don't get as much everyday wear and tear, like a bedroom.

Advantages Of Cedar Flooring

Cedar is Inexpensive

Like most softwoods, cedar flooring is less expensive than comparable hardwoods. Cedar is also native to North America, which basically means that you're also saving the expense of buying an imported wood flooring option. Depending on your preferences, you can usually get high quality cedar softwood for as low as $4 per square foot.

Cedar is Aromatic

Many people like brand-new cedar flooring for their bedrooms because it gives off a pleasant smell. While this may not always be a good thing if you have any allergies like hay fever, this is a common reason to invest in a softwood floor like cedar.

Cedar Has an Attractive Color and Gives Most Rooms a Rustic Look

Softwoods like cedar are popular with people who like a traditional or rustic look in their homes. Cedar varieties like southern red juniper have a warm red hue. If you prefer a paler color, you might choose Eastern white cedar.

Cedar is Easy to Install

Its lower hardness rating means that it's a bit more flexible than most hardwoods, so it can be installed more easily with less risk of damaging the ends of the boards. While you may still wish to hire a qualified professional to install your cedar flooring, the professional can usually handle installation of a cedar floor in an average sized bedroom in less than a day.

Cedar is Easier to Repair than Engineered Hardwood or Laminate

If cedar is damaged, the damage can usually be sanded out and the lower density makes refinishing the flooring relatively easy. Engineered hardwood has limits on the number of times it can be sanded and professionals will usually just recommend replacing damaged laminate.

It's a Relatively Eco-Friendly Wood Flooring

Like most softwoods, cedar grows fast, so it's possible to keep up with the demand in a more sustainable fashion than with slower growing hardwoods.

Disadvantages of Cedar Flooring

Cedar is Highly Prone to Dings and Scratches

For this reason, you shouldn't put it in rooms where you might rearrange furniture frequently or engage in any other activity that can be hard on a floor. If you own a commercial property that gets a moderate to high amount of traffic, you may also wish to avoid softwoods like cedar.

Cedar Has a Medium Density

A lower Janka hardness rating usually goes hand in hand with a lower density. This makes softwood flooring options like cedar more vulnerable to the absorption of water if the finishing is allowed to deteriorate. Besides dings and scratches, exposure to water or excessive moisture is one of the major causes of deterioration in softwood floors. If you place a small droplet of water on your cedar floor and the droplet is completely absorbed, call a refinishing professional promptly because this means your floor is very vulnerable to possible water damage.

It May Be Prone to Attach From Pests

This is especially true if the cedar flooring came from the sapwood. The common furniture beetle is attracted to the sapwood of softwoods like cedar. While some cedar flooring options may be advertised as being pest-resistant, usually what this means is that it comes from a part of the tree that is less attractive to pests or it's been prepared in a way that makes it able to repel pests. For this reason, it's usually recommended to coordinate with a certified pest control professional to protect your flooring against pests.

Cedar flooring is popular with people who are looking for a rustic style wood that they can put in their bedrooms or any other part of their home that they don't use as often. The only thing to really remember about it is that it's more vulnerable to minor damage than most hardwoods are. On the flip side, most buyers like that they can get an inexpensive natural wood instead of buying laminate or engineered hardwood for low traffic areas in their home.

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