Hardwood floors have long been the standard of beauty and excellence when it comes to warm, long-lasting and classic looks for home or work. Of course hardwood flooring comes in an array of colors, plank sizes and more. Most clients are also concerned with durability when it comes to hardwood flooring and may ask a flooring contractor or installation company what type of wood flooring wears best.
Harder wood is less susceptible to denting and scratching. Different species have varying levels of hardness so the industry has created a set of standards known as Janka Ratings. Of course, hardwoods rate higher on this list than softwoods, but within hardwoods there are some that are higher than others and some species wears better than others. In general, most exotic wood (not domestic to North America) are generally higher on the scale.
Examples of exotic wood include Patagonian Rosewood, Brazilian Walnut, Brazilian Cherry, African Pedauk and Red Cumaru. Domestic examples include White Oak, Hard Maple, Hickory and Pecan. Although bamboo is not considered wood, it is a popular natural material for floors, so the flooring industry gives it a Janka Rating.
While the harder the wood, the better it will resist scratching and dents, there is no substitute for proper care and cleaning of a wood floor to make it last a long time. A lower rated hardwood floor can last much longer than a higher rated wood floor if it is cleaned regularly and dirt and grit are swept up frequently. Keeping children’s toys and dog toenails to a minimum will also help a wood floor last longer. Improper care of a hardwood floor is the biggest indicator of whether or not it wears well.