How Durable is Wood Flooring?

Hardwood floors have a timeless beauty that lends to every type of décor. Each species has inherent characteristics, such as grain patterns, smooth or closed textures and specific hardness or density. Over time, wood floors become susceptible to scrapes, dents and other imperfection, but knowing how durable wood flooring is allows you to refinish the wood multiple times.

The ability of a wood floor to sustain active children, dog nails and other wear depends more on the hardness and density of the wood rather than the durability of its finish. Most scratches are actual dents into the wood. If you select a wood with higher density, you have a better chance of averting scratches and unwanted blemishes.

How Durable Is Wood Flooring – The Durability Rating

wood flooring durabilityThe durability, “hardness” or “density” of wood is measured by the Janka hardness test. This measurement assigns a hardness rating to species of wood based on its resistance to indentation and wear.

This is determined under a controlled force administered in an independent laboratory testing environment. The scale has a numerical range of hardest to least hard, hardest being 5060 (Australian Buloke) to the softest being 22 ( Cuipo).

The hardness range for hardwood starts with Brazilian Walnut, which rates 3680 to Douglas fir at 660 and yellow pine at 690.

Common hardwood products and hardness ratings

Property owners have a wide variety of hardwood species to choose from when attempting to construct a wonderful and durable floor that can accommodate any lifestyle, active children and pets. When evaluating the different choices of hardwood flooring, keep in mind each species has its own unique characteristics along with durability.

Red Oak: This species serves as the benchmark, used to measure other wood species for hardness. This hardwood has a rating of 1290 and represents a median standard since it’s a hardwood with an abundant supply. The wood makes an excellent flooring choice because it is easy to saw, nail and will not dent easily. It finishes nicely and is dimensionally stable which makes it a good choice for areas with humidity changes. Hardwoods with lower ratings suffer indentations more easily.

Red Mahogany: The grains in this wood are fairly simple. The species comes in dark brown and red tones and provides a good level of wood floor durability. Rating: 2697

Brazilian Cherry: As one of the hardest woods on earth, Brazilian Cherry (real name Jatoba) is a very popular choice for property owner seeking wood flooring durability. As the wood ages, the cherry color deepens. Rating: 2020

Hickory: This wood is extremely tough and is perfect if you have young children or pets. It works well in a commercial environment subjected to high traffic flow. The color of hickory varies from light to dark. Hickory has heavy grains and can be stained to complement deep rich color tones. Rating: 1820

Hard Maple: This light color wood can be stained to most colors. It’s better stained in factory settings. It has a soft appearance and very subtle grain features. Rating: 1450

Brazilian Teak: This wood ranks as one of the hardest in the world(real name Cumaru). Tight, beautiful grain, its natural color is spectacular. Rating: 3540

Investing More in Hardwood Flooring for Higher Durability

Selecting a top rated species to attain a higher level of wood flooring durability requires a willingness to invest more money upfront. However, you offset the expense because hardwood floors add immediate value to your home. In addition, durable wood floors last the lifetime of a residential or commercial structure. Wood floors with a higher level or durability will also require less refinishing, which will in turn save money as well.

If you are ready to take the next move to install new hardwood floors in your home or commercial property, or have any other question about hardwood or other flooring products, contact Just Around the Corner Flooring and speak to a flooring expert for a no-obligation consultation. We are here to answer any wood floor durability questions you may have!

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