My wife and I installed a beautiful hardwood floor in 2007. The first week we had the floor my teenage son dropped a soup can from the kitchen counter onto it! He picked it up and went about his business. I watched my wife’s jaw drop as her flawless floor had taken its first (and inevitable) hit. She looked at the flooring guy (me) across the counter for some comfort and a solution. I tried to explain that the beauty of hardwood flooring is that it tells your family’s life story. While she thought that was a nice response, she still wanted someone to fix the dent in her new floor. Over time her expectations have changed along with her appreciation for the floor and its character marks. Whether it is that dent, the gouges from the my youngest coming in the house with baseball spikes or a friend wearing heels, the scratches and dents all have a story to tell.
I am often asked the question “Are there any hardwood flooring products that won’t scratch?” The answer is no. Retailers may claim that their products are scratch proof but the truth is, with the right amount of weight and pressure all hard surface flooring will scratch. However, with advancements in technology we are seeing flooring that is more abrasion resistant than ever. Prefinished hardwoods, with finishes applied at the factory and dried with UV lights, have tested up to 10 times higher in surface durability than hardwoods finished on site. They also offer a non-disruptive installation (the homeowner can stay in their home, with no bad odors and little mess). The floors look better longer, and they don’t require the regular maintenance and refinishing of traditional on-site finished flooring.
The species of a floor will also determine its durability. When choosing a hardwood floor for durability, it is helpful to refer to the Janka Hardness Scale. The Janka scale is a test that measures the resistance of a wood to denting and wear performance. Harder, more durable woods have the highest Janka rating. Below you will see a list of some of the more popular hardwoods sold as flooring and their Janka scores:
My wife and I chose a Cherry floor for its beauty, but it has a relatively low Janka score, so over the years our floor has gained many character marks (dents).
Whatever your choice, hardwood flooring is always a great investment. It is beautiful and will provide many years of enjoyment. Remember hardwood is more than a floor it is a journal of your family’s time in the home.