When we fitted our oak floor last year I'm sure to some people thought that it was a little extravagant to people that preach about frugality, but to us it was an investment.
And looking back on it six months later I can safely say that it was a good investment.
If we had fitted a new carpet instead then we would be replacing it again about now. We have a very lovely baby that is sick a lot (for the first four months she'd be sick at least 4 times a day) and a very messy two year old, between them they could wreck a carpet in a little under a day.
There are some disadvantages to having wooden floors. They're harder if you slip, fall or drop something (our two year finds this out quite often (the slipping and falling - not being dropped!)). And although a wooden floor is easier to clean it need to be done more often and it never feels as cosy under your toes as a carpet (we all wear slippers all the time so don't notice this one).
For me, having an oak floor was an easier decision to make. Being a carpenter I can fit it for nothing, this reduced the price to the point where it was only going to be an extra £500 pounds for oak compared to having a good quality carpet and underlay fitted, this also meant that it was within our budget for the room. Another advantage was that as I fitted a solid oak floor, rather than a laminate, if the finish is ever looking a little tired, scratched or worn I can just sand it all back and completely refinish it saving even more costs in the future.
I think in our situation we made the right choice with the floor and although it was expensive at the time it will be here for a lot longer than a carpet or a laminate substitute, meaning that over time it will save us a lot more than it cost us.
Anyone else made an investment that someone else thought was a bit of an extravagance?