Since durability is one of the biggest concerns of homeowners choosing a new flooring material, it stands to reason that the floors considered most durable are those which often have the greatest appeal to buyers. Among all durable floors, hardwood floors are the most popular, but only partly because of their long-lasting quality – they are also beautiful to behold, if properly maintained, and they add a great deal of value to any home. The factors which contribute most strongly to the durability of your hardwood floor are discussed below.
Often ignored when considering durability, the sheen or gloss level of a hardwood floor is a significant contributor to overall durability, although it is a bit of work to maintain that high level of gloss over the life of a hardwood floor. Manufacturers today are now offering more sheen options with some of their polyurethane finishes, including a lower gloss matte finish which hides scratches and nicks quite effectively.
Although the color of your hardwood flooring is generally chosen so as to synchronize with the rest of interior decor, it is also often chosen with a view toward providing contrast with other wooden furniture in the same room, for example cabinets or bureaus. Color can also effectively disguise abrasions and small cuts as well though, with lighter colors being best for hiding scars that you don’t want others to notice. Subtle variations in the coloring of adjacent planks also provides a focal point for observers which tends to deflect attention away from abrasions. Some examples of hardwood flooring with such color variations might be yellow birch, hickory, and acacia.
Finish just might be the single most important factor when determining the durability of your hardwood floor. The most popular finishes used today on hardwood floors are oil finishes and polyurethane, which provides an extremely tough layer that rests directly on the wood itself. Some makers of polyurethane are now making their finishes even more durable by adding aluminum oxide, which imparts even more toughness to the finish. Oil finishes are somewhat different in that they penetrate into the wood and making it tougher. If repairs should become necessary, oiled finishes are generally easier to repair, because you can simply apply more oil to the damaged area.
The hardness of any specific kind of wood can be determined by using the Janka Hardness Test, which is a measurement of how much force would be required to lodge a steel ball into any type of hardwood. This is a great method for estimating the amount of dent resistance which exists between various species of wood, because it provides a measurement for receptivity of the several wood layers, and especially the outermost layer.
Using the Janka Test, it can be determined that some of the hardest woods used commercially are Brazilian Teak and Brazilian Walnut, with both of these species being approximately 2.5 times harder than ordinary red oakwood. This amounts to an awful lot of dent resistance, and it’s one of the reasons that both of these Brazilian woods are often chosen by homeowners, when they are available.
Elegant Hardwood Floors was founded to help home and business owners transform their visions into reality. Elegant Hardwoods Floors ensures top quality service at every stage of the installation process. Materials are carefully selected so our customers remain within budget and see fast results. With a sharp eye for design and commitment to luxury, our company continues to be recognized as an industry leader in hardwood flooring. Get more information to see how we can help with your project today.