Wood flooring is one of the most desired choices for homeowners in the USA. This has ensured that the industry has grown by $3 billion dollars in the last five years.
If this is enough evidence in favor of hardwood flooring as a choice for your home, the next question is, ‘which are the most durable hardwood floors’.
That way, you’re assured you can enjoy the benefits of hardwood floors for many years to come.
Basic Types of Hardwood Floors
There are two ways you can bring the beauty of durable hardwood floors into your home. The first is by installing solid hardwood flooring.
Engineered hardwood offers the same beauty and many of the benefits of hardwood flooring at a more affordable price. This type of hardwood flooring comprises a thin layer of hardwood atop a base of plywood.
You can get an idea of how engineered wood flooring’s made up on the Baird Brothers website.
Solid hardwood flooring consists of thick planks of wood installed over a subfloor.
How Are the Most Durable Hardwood Floors Rated?
Several factors impact the durability of hardwood flooring. These are:
The industry standard for hardness in all types of wood relies on the Janka test.
This test records the amount of force needed to embed a 444-inch steel ball into a piece of wood by half its diameter. The higher the Janka rating of the wood, the harder it is.
A polyurethane finish provides the hardwood with an extra-strong top layer which increases the natural durability of the wood. Oiled finishes penetrate the wood to increase its hardness.
Of the two, polyurethane provides greater protection, but it’s easier to repair an oiled floor if scratches do occur.
Wood Color and Sheen
It makes sense that scratches and dents blend in more on a matte floor. So while sheen doesn’t affect the durability of the wood, high sheen floors can look worse for wear quicker than their duller counterparts.
Like sheen, the color of your floor can help disguise any damages. Scratches tend to blend more into lighter floors than they do on darker wood.
How Do The Most Popular Hardwood Floors Measure Up?
Whether you choose engineered or solid hardwood flooring, you’ll have a range of woods to choose from. These are the most durable wood floors available:
Brazilian cherry has a Janka rating of 2350, making it the hardest species of wood available for flooring. The wood’s tight, flowing grains and lovely reddish hue make it a popular aesthetic choice among homeowners.
Most Brazilian Cherry flooring carries a transferable warranty spanning 100 years.
Hickory wood’s hardness rating of 1820 makes it another good choice for flooring.
What’s more, this type of wood provides a characterful finish to any home with its unique mineral streaks and knots. While these unusual markings might not appeal to every homeowner, they do hide the occasional scratch very well.
Hard maple is the second most popular hardwood among homeowners thanks to its predictable pattern and color.
It’s lighter in color than oak with a less-pronounced grain and has a hardness rating of 1450. Some of the most popular styles of maple include ‘fiddle-back’ which resembles rippled velvet and ‘bird’s eye’ with its peacock-feather look.
Red and White Oak
Oak is the top-selling type of hardwood flooring in the USA. It’s readily available and reasonably priced.
It’s usual yellowish-brown appearance blends in with the most design styles. Other options include lovely whitish-gray boards as well as hues close to that of redwood.
This attractive wood falls somewhere in the middle of the Janka scale. Red oak has a hardness rating of 1290 while white oak comes in at 1360.
From a cost perspective, it’s one of the best hardwood floors for low to medium traffic areas. With only basic care, oak may last over 100 years.
Ash Hardwood Flooring
Northern white ash falls just beneath white oak on the Janka scale with a rating of 1320. It also looks similar to oak with a light tan to dark brown heartwood and creamy white sapwood.
In addition, ash flooring boasts above-average dimensional stability. That means it doesn’t warp easily when exposed to water.
On the Janka scale, American beech comes in only slightly higher than red oak, at 1300. The wood boasts an attractive pale white sapwood and reddish-brown heartwood.
In addition, the wood features a fine, straight grain with a uniform texture.
Manufacturers produce engineered varieties of all the most durable wood floors.
These engineered floorboards have the added advantage of increased resistance to warping due to their high-quality plywood backing.
In terms of durability, engineered hardwood cannot measure up to solid hardwood, which lends itself to continued refinishing. At most, you can refinish an engineered floor once in its lifetime.
Protecting the Durability of Your Hardwood Floors
Even the hardest wood floors need a little care to ensure they last as long as possible.
Fortunately, it’s easy to take care of your hardwood floors. It involves little more than regular sweeping and mopping with an approved cleaning solution and water.
Experts recommend resealing your hardwood floor every three to five years to ensure it lives up to its potential.
Pets can wreak havoc on hardwood floors with their nails, spills, and wet, muddy paws. You can limit this damage by keeping their nails trimmed short, placing a protective mat underneath their water bowls, and by drying their feet after they’ve been outdoors.
The Finer Points of Making Your House a Home
Now that you’ve got more insight into the most durable hardwood floors available, you can base your choice on your preference with regard to more aesthetic factors.
For more information on how to go about making the best decisions for your home, your health, and your family keep reading our blog.