If you’ve done your research on the advantages and disadvantages of hardwood flooring, you’ve come to the conclusion that you need some gorgeous wood floors—but not just any wood flooring will do.
You require the finest long-lasting wood flooring available.
Perhaps you have children; perhaps you have hyperactive animals; perhaps they are one and the same (if so, we sympathize).
Whatever the case, your hardwood floors must be able to withstand daily wear and tear for many years to come.
Where do you go from here, you might wonder.
What is the best way to determine which wood species are the most durable?
We’re here to assist you, so you can relax. In this tutorial, we’ll walk you through everything you need to know about selecting the best durable wood flooring available on the market.
In this lesson, we’ll discuss the differences between engineered and solid wood, the Janka Hardness Scale, and various finish options for your wood project.
After that, we’ll show you our top options for the most durable wood flooring available.
Because we’re here to assist you!
What Is The Best Hardwood Flooring For Dogs
If you’re reading this, it’s likely that you’re looking for robust hardwood flooring that can withstand the abuse of dogs and other pets.
When we wanted to find out whether hardwood flooring is the best for dogs, we turned to the local experts for guidance.
So you want hardwood flooring, but you’re worried about what your four-legged friends might do to them if you get them.
It is a legitimate source of concern.
There is a lot that your dog may do to ruin your lovely wood floors, including clattering claws, muddy paws, and puppy accidents.
You shouldn’t start looking for a different type of flooring right away!
Having wood flooring in a home with dogs can be a problem, but with a little forethought and preparation, it is definitely doable.
We spoke with David Cribb, the proprietor of Dodgson Floor & Window Coverings, for a long time in order to get the true answers to these questions.
His advice was tremendously valuable in compiling the list of the most durable hardwood alternatives available.
For your convenience, we’ve put up this useful guide to assist you in your quest for the ideal hardwood option that meets all of your specific requirements.
In the first piece, we discuss seven distinct considerations to consider when choosing your flooring, and then we go through five of our top hardwood flooring options for pet owners in the following section.
Your Canine Companion
Naturally, the first thing to consider when installing hardwood flooring is the presence of pets in the home.
Are you more of a fan of large dogs or small dogs? (Or a combination of the two!) Is your dog a ball of energy?
Is he or she prone to tearing around the house like a crazy, barking at things he or she has no idea about? (At least, mine does.)
The obvious rule of thumb is that the bigger and more energetic your dog is, the more probable it is that they will scratch and mark your furniture.
And let’s not forget about the adorable canines.
Having a cute little companion around the house is enjoyable, but having a family member around increases the likelihood of unwelcome stains.
When choosing on the best solution for your home, it’s important to understand how your dog’s particular breed may cause damage to your floors.
What is the Hardest type of Wood flooring?
In terms of premium woods, mahogany is a timeless classic, conjuring up visions of gorgeous paneled walls and stately mansions.
Mahogany is often a darker wood with warm, reddish-brown tones, and it is used to make furniture.
With a Janka hardness of 2200, Mahogany is 71 percent tougher than northern red oak, which is where it is typically harvested in South America.
Because of its striped grain pattern and little color variation, mahogany has the potential to survive more than a century if properly cared for.
What is the Janka hardness scale for hardwood flooring and what is it used for?
When selecting a hardwood floor, one of the most important considerations to make is how durable the floor will be.
Due to the fact that wood is a natural product, different wood species have varying degrees of strength and durability.
The Janka hardness test is the most often used method of determining the hardness of a wood species in the United Kingdom.
When a steel ball with a diameter of 11.28mm is pushed into the wood, the hardness of the wood is measured by the instrument.
The measurement is then taken in relation to the force required to push the ball into the wood by a depth equal to half of the ball’s diameter and hold it there for one second.
It essentially compares the hardness of a wood species to that of other wood species to determine its hardness.
The greater the number, the more difficult the floor surface is to walk on.
According to the table, oak flooring, which is a very popular choice, has a medium hardness, however, walnut flooring, which is another popular choice for hardwood flooring, has a lot of softer hardness, which means that it would dent and scratch more easily.
Lapachio is one of the most durable flooring materials available, but it is also one of the most difficult to come by and one of the most expensive.
A good option for hardwood flooring if you require a very hard surface is bamboo, which is quite durable. Strand woven bamboo is more than twice as robust as oak, is more environmentally friendly than wood, and still retains a natural and beautiful appearance while still being durable.
When selecting a floor, the hardness of a certain species of flooring should not be the only element taken into consideration.
Color, pattern, grain, style, finish, and cost should all be taken into consideration.
In addition, it’s important to remember that dents and scratches are unavoidable with any type of flooring, regardless of how hard it is according to the Janka hardness scale.
When selecting hardwood flooring, the scale should only be used as a guide to assist you in making an informed decision on which hardwood flooring to purchase.
Considerations to Keep in Mind When Choosing Flooring
The three ingredients that make up the hardest wood floors are as follows:
Solid hardwood, not synthetic wood, is used in this project.
Engineered wood features a thin veneer of actual hardwood on top of a layer of dimensionally stable plywood, giving it its distinctive appearance.
Even if the veneer is made of the hardest wood conceivable, such as Brazilian walnut or ebony, the veneer will not be thick enough to ensure that the flooring is genuinely resistant.
Solid hardwood flooring will always be more durable than engineered hardwood flooring made of hardwood veneers.
Hardwoods outperform softwoods in terms of durability.
While the comprehensive Janka hardness lists will indicate that there are some fairly hard softwoods and some rather soft hardwoods, the identifiers for hardwoods and softwoods in the species most typically used in flooring remain true: hardwoods are harder and more durable than softwoods.
Hardwoods such as oak, walnut, ebony, maple, ash, and pecan will be the most durable flooring woods, while softwoods such as maple and ash will be the least durable.
Softwoods such as fir, pine, and hemlock are rarely used as flooring materials unless they are in a shop or utility area where they are required to be durable.
Exotic woods, rather than domestic woods, are required for the toughest woods.
Originating in places like Indonesia and South America, exotics are a specialty.
The majority of domestics are sourced from Canada and the United States.
It is not always the case that exotics are more expensive, especially when you buy at discount wood flooring retailers such as BuildDirect or Lumber Liquidators for your flooring.
What is the most difficult type of wood flooring to install?
When it comes to the toughest hardwood flooring, there are a few options to choose from when researching.
Because all of the possibilities are highly rated on the Janka scale, your decision should come down to which floor is the best fit for you.
Hickory is one of the most durable domestic hardwoods available for use in hardwood flooring production.
With a Janka score of 1,820, it is considered to be fairly high.
It’s a good alternative that outperforms the industry norm in terms of hardness, but there are numerous other, even harder, possibilities to take into consideration.
While hardwood from the United States is commonly used for flooring, it is not the toughest wood available on the market.
Exotic species are the best choice if you’re looking for the most durable floors available.
It is a type of hardwood that grows in the Garapa region of Brazil.
Garapa is a hardwood that is also known as “Golden Teak” because of its golden hue.
The golden tint of Garapa hardwood floors is one of their most appealing characteristics.
The exotic wood has a Janka rating of 1,700, which makes it one of the softer options available when it comes to exotic wood.
Garapa is frequently used outside for decking, thus it is accustomed to dealing with some of the most difficult scrapes.
As a result, it is an excellent choice for hardwood flooring in the home.
In addition to providing brightness, it can withstand high traffic.
The Garapa brand may be the best alternative for you if you’re seeking for a low-cost, yet long-lasting option.
Are you looking for a one-of-a-kind hardwood floor that has a lot of character?
Tigerwood can provide you with all of these benefits and more!
You might be more familiar with the term Brazilian koa or African walnut.
For a variety of reasons, it is a popular choice for hardwood floors.
The use of this product is highly recommended if you want your flooring to stand out while also protecting them from stains and scuffs.
It has a Janka grade of 2,160, which means that it is harder than most domestic woods, which is impressive.
This means that it is an excellent choice for flooring because it is resistant to dents and damages.
One of the most outstanding characteristics of tigerwood is its long life expectancy. That one-of-a-kind tiger print pattern will be remembered for many years to come!
It is a type of hardwood that grows in the Cumaru region of Brazil.
Cumaru is sometimes referred to as Brazilian Chesnut in some circles.
This is consistent with the gorgeous brown color that distinguishes this wood from the rest of the forest.
Cumaru has a Janka hardness rating of 3,540, making it one of the most difficult hardwood flooring selections now available.
When you combine its endurance with its gorgeous patterns, it’s a fantastic choice if you’re looking for some of the most durable wood available for your flooring.
If you’re looking for the strongest and most durable flooring available, Ipe or Brazilian walnut is the best choice for you.
It has a Janka grade of 3,680, which means that it is exceedingly difficult to dent.
There are a couple of other advantages of using diamond aside from its great hardness: One of the reasons is because it is available in a variety of hues.
This makes it an excellent choice for you if you want a certain appearance to go along with extreme endurance.
It is also fire resistant, which makes it a great choice for outdoor furniture.
Mahogany is a rare and long-lasting hardwood.
Santos mahogany is one of the most commonly used exotic hardwood species for flooring, and it is a highly durable wood flooring alternative.
Janka scale places Santos mahogany at roughly 2200, and it has a deep red hue and a tight texture that makes it desirable.
If you’re looking for something a little more difficult than hickory, you’ll probably want to look into Santos mahogany.
And here’s a little secret: the majority of “mahogany” flooring are actually constructed of Santos mahogany!
Ebony is extremely rare, but it is quite durable.
Ebony flooring has a Janka rating of 3220, which is extremely high on the scale.
But ebony isn’t just tough; it’s also the only wood on the planet that appears to be completely black in appearance.
Unfortunately, because of these distinguishing characteristics, ebony has become somewhat overpriced. In truth, the wood is endangered, and it is quite difficult to obtain in the quantities required for flooring.
As a result, the majority of “ebony” flooring you’ll encounter are actually ebony-stained wood, not the real thing.
However, if you are able to obtain ebony that has been sustainably harvested, it is one of the most durable wood flooring options available.
Bamboo flooring, like any other type of flooring, has its advantages and limitations, just like any other material.
Having said that, the advantages exceed the disadvantages by a wide margin.
A material with strength and hardness comparable to exotics such as eucalyptus (4000 – 5000 Janka rating), strand woven bamboo is ranked as one of the strongest materials on the Janka Scale at any time during its existence (see table below).
The greatest bamboo flooring goods might cost anywhere between 3,800 and 5,000 dollars, depending on the quality of the production.
Which wood flooring finishes are the most durable and long-lasting?
As previously said, the durability of your wood floor is influenced by the finish you choose.
How? Flooring options such as tile and wood are compared.
Wood and tile can be purchased with or without a finish, and glaze can be purchased with or without a finish on ceramic tile.
Glaze strengthens the water-resistance of tile, makes it tougher, and reduces the porousness of the tile.
Furthermore, while not all types of floor tiles are glazed, the ones that are are often more durable in comparison.
That holds true for the finish of a wood floor, as well!
The Most Frequently Used Wood Floor Finishes
These days, a large range of wood floors are available with pre-finished surfaces (especially at retail).
That means you should inquire with your flooring retailer about the durability of any finish you want to select.
Some of the most frequently encountered are as follows:
1. Oil-based polyurethane
It is one of the most widely used coatings (and one of the most durable).
Polyurethane with a water-based base—Another extremely prevalent finish, this one is a little less durable than its oil-based counterpart. However, it is still a high-quality product!
2. Lacquer and Shellac
This is a pair of more classic finishes that are more commonly found in woodworking than on floors.
Having said that, they’re well-known for their glossy sheen, so do as you please.
If you decide to go with a natural oil finish, bear in mind that you’ll need to reapply your finish on a regular basis if you want your floor to remain as durable as possible.
Natural oils and hardwax, on the other hand, can be incredibly durable if they are cared for properly.
4. Aluminum Oxide
This chemical can be found in many pre-finished floors because it provides protection against scratches and UV fading while providing a glossy appearance.
Make certain to inquire about the presence of aluminum oxide in your floor’s finish in order to ensure optimal durability!
Our Final Thoughts
Finally, the best durable wood flooring is determined by your personal preferences.
To be sure, if you’re judging only on the basis of the Janka Scale, strand-woven bamboo and Brazilian walnut are among the top contenders.
However, we hope that we have demonstrated to you that the endurance of a wood floor is dependent on much more than that!
Whether it is solid or engineered is dependent on the finish, and even what “durability” means to you is dependent on your definition of the term.
Frequently Ask Questions
What type of flooring is the most durable?
Concrete is the most long-lasting flooring material you can use in your home.
Concrete floors are often stained to order and may be extremely beautiful when done correctly and with care.
What type of wood flooring is the most difficult for dogs to maintain?
Ipe (Brazilian Walnut) is a type of hardwood.
When it comes to finding the hardest hardwood, domestic species are almost always the best choice.
Brazilian hardwood flooring, on the other hand, is uniformly hard and dense. Ipe, often known as Brazilian walnut, is a hardwood that is so hard that it can even be used on outdoor decks.