When it comes to choosing hardwood for your floor, you want something that will last a long time, look its best, and be able to withstand pressure and wear. This is why it’s important to choose durable hardwood flooring. By doing your research into different hardwood flooring options in advance and choosing the most durable, you’re helping yourself out in the long run. There are many different hardwood flooring options out there, but when it comes down to it, the durability of the floor comes from the species of tree it comes from and its finish, which is the stain and the topcoat used on the flooring.
To help homeowners figure out which woods are the most durable, there is an industry-standard scale that measures wood hardness. This is called the Janka Hardness Scale, and it measures the pounds of force that would be needed to shove a ball made of steel halfway through the piece of wood. The measurements range from 0 to 5,060 pounds-force (lbf). The higher the rating on the Janka scale, the more durable the wood.
Ebony is extremely high on the Janka scale, with a rating of 3,220 lbf. This number alone shows you how durable ebony flooring is. However, this isn’t the only aspect of ebony that makes it very sought after. It’s also the only wood that is jet black in color. Because of this, ebony can be difficult to find in the quantities needed for flooring in a home, making it a luxury.
It’s important to note that ebony is currently endangered and/or protected due to the limited quantities. There is a species, Brazilian ebony, that is used for flooring, but this is more of a dark-brown color than a black.
Jatoba (Brazilian Cherry)
Much more easily accessible than ebony is jatoba, sometimes known as Brazilian cherry. This wood has a Janka rating of 2,350 lbf. Part of the appeal of its durability is that this wood is resistant to termites and other pests that can cause serious damage.
Jatoba is a great choice if you’re looking for wood flooring that’s also considered sustainable. Its beautiful reddish-brown grain will complement your home.
You may automatically consider bamboo a grass, which it technically is, however, it’s a common hardwood flooring option. In fact, it’s one of the most durable hardwood flooring options, as it can score over 3,000 lbf on the Janka scale.
There are many different types of bamboo that you can choose from, such as strand-woven, horizontal, vertical, or carbonized. As if this isn’t enough, there are also engineered bamboo flooring options, meaning that if you choose to have bamboo flooring in your home, you can truly make it your own. Plus, bamboo is a great eco-friendly option that has become much more popular and common in the past few years.
One of the highest-ranking woods on the Janka scale is hickory, measuring 1,820 lbf. Hickory can withstand high traffic, damage, and moisture much better than many other hardwoods. Because of this, it’s more durable and longer-lasting.
Another perk of hickory is that it’s a light wood and easily stained to any shade you desire. It also has the ability to be waxed, which will not only give it a warm appearance but also improve its moisture resistance.
Maple doesn’t rank as high as the above options on the Janka scale. However, it does rank higher than many other wood species, coming in at 1,450 lbf. Due to its open grain pattern, gorgeous finish, and light texture, it has become a very popular choice for modern homes. It’s also readily available.
In terms of durability, maple is especially resistant to minor damages such as dents and scrapes you might get from chair legs or other furniture.
Falling just slightly behind maple on the Janka scale is ash, measuring about 1,320 lbf. One plus of choosing ash for your hardwood flooring is that it’s flexible. This wood can tolerate fluctuations in both temperature and humidity. It also ages well.
Ash is one of the most comfortable woods you can walk on. It doesn’t splinter and it’s shock-absorbing, making it an even safer option for your home.
When it comes to oak, the hardness varies by the subspecies of the oak that you choose. For instance, a common white oak falls at 1,360 lbf on the Janka scale, but a live oak is much higher on the scale, measuring 2,680 lbf. The color of oak flooring can range from a bleached white to dark red, meaning you can choose whichever color oak will be a match to your décor.
One thing that all oak hardwoods have in common is that they age well. There are also many DIY repair kits out there that are specific to oak floors if you do have minor damage to your floor.
As you can see, there are many great hardwood flooring choices out there for you to choose from. However, if you’re looking for the most durable hardwood flooring options, the above types are a great place to start looking.
If you’re looking for hardwood floor installation or simply for more guidance as to which hardwood flooring option you should choose, Wall 2 Wall can help. When it comes to flooring, we believe that you deserve the best and will ensure that in all the recommendations we provide and in our installation. Please reach out to us today. We would love to hear more about your home and your family’s needs so we can provide you with a personalized recommendation for the most durable hardwood flooring option that will work best in your home.