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Hardwood Flooring: What to Consider When Evaluating Durability

One of the major concerns most homeowners have when choosing the right floor for their house is durability. When it comes to the durability of a wooden floor, the first thing a buyer should consider is the hardness. The hardness of a wooden floor contributes a lot to the overall durability of a wooden floor but there are also several other things that factors be considered as well. Some of them are the sheen, the color and the finish of the wood. 

With all these factors in mind, homeowners will be able to choose the right floor and one that will last for years to come. In this article, we will discuss more about these factors and how they contribute to a long-term conditioning of the hardwood flooring.  

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The Hardness 

Different wood species have different hardness levels, which are determined using a test known as the Janka Hardness Test. This Janka rating is used to measure the amount of force needed to embed a steel ball in the wood. The Janka rating has become a very important test because it determines the dense resistance of wood species. For instance, some of the most popular hardwood flooring options considered to be “hard” are either Brazilian Teak (Camaru) or Brazilian Walnut (Ipe). The two of these species are more than twice as hard as the common Red Oak, which makes a lot of dent resistance.  

Hardwood Flooring Finish 

Despite the fact that the hardness of the wood limits the dents, the finish is just, if not more important when determining the durability of that wood. Some of the more widely used finishes include oiled polyurethane finishes. With polyurethane, the products have an advantage of having a very strong top layer because the finish sits on the wood directly. Most manufacturers are now choosing to add aluminum oxide to polyurethane, which results to additional hardness and even abrasion-resistant qualities.  

Oil finished wooden floorings, on the other hand, have been around for many years and they have seen a resurgence in recent years. The oil finished wooden floors are much different from those that are polyurethane finished. This is because when oil is applied to the wood, it penetrates the pores hardening the wood even more and preserves its natural grain texture. Wooden floors with oil finishes are much easier to repair because all that is needed is reapplication of the oil to any affected area.  


Most people tend to overlook the importance of the sheen level, or the gloss of the wood when determining how durable it will be. Most homeowners choose to go with high gloss hardwood floors because they have a pristine appearance. While it’s true that the high gloss appearance is very good and actually gives the “wow factor,” it requires a lot of maintenance in order to keep looking that good. 

Regardless, more and more manufacturers are coming up with more ways to offer more options when it comes to lower sheen as well as matte finishes. This is in both the oiled finished wood and the polyurethane wood products. Matte finishes help a lot at disguising light dents and surface scratches because less light is reflected and transmitted by any affected areas.  

Hardwood Flooring Color 

Most of the time, the color that homeowners choose has something or everything to do with the existing style of their home. Most homeowners are usually concerned about finding the right color that will complement their walls, furniture, cabinets, et cetera. When considering color in wooden floors, one of the most overlooked things is whether the color can hide or at least camouflage abrasions or scratches. In general, light colored floors help to reduce any chances that a scratch will be visible.  

In addition to that, the color variations between planks usually help the floor to appear active, eliminating any chances of imperfections being seen. Some of the best wood species that have great color variations are domestic Hickory, the Yellow Birch and some other exotic species are Acacia and Amendoim.  


When homeowners are considering installing hardwood flooring for their home, these are the factors that should be considered. With them in mind, it is quite easy to get the floor with the right durability that will last as long as it should.  



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