Laying down a new hardwood floor upgrades the appearance of any room, but if you are installing it in a high-traffic area, you need floorboards which can withstand scrapes, moisture, and excessive wear. Get the facts you need to know before investing your time and money in a project. Our guide will help you select a durable hardwood floor which looks stunning today and will still look great ten years from now.
A Guide to Choosing Hardwood Floors to Stand Up to Foot Traffic
For toughness, one of the most common tests for determining if a hardwood floor has what it takes is by using the Janka Hardness Scale. The Janka Hardness Scale ranges from a very soft 70 for Balsa to an extremely hard 5,060 for Australian Buloke wood.
For the majority of homeowners who want new floors for a busy area, choosing a hardwood with a rating of 1,200 or higher is ideal. Wood with a higher rating is more expensive to purchase and much more difficult and costly to install. More common hardwood flooring choices for high-traffic areas include Hickory (1,820), Maple (1,450), White Oak (1,360), Ash (1,320) and Red Oak (1,290).
While the Janka rating gives you a strong foundation for choosing the right hardwood flooring for your project, it is far from being the only deciding factor. Other considerations you need to think about is how the floorboards are sawn and how you plan to finish your floor.
The method the lumber mill uses to saw your floorboards matters. There are many ways to saw lumber into floorboards, but the most common are quarter sawn and plain sawn boards. Many homeowners prefer quarter sawn floorboards to less expensive plain sawn boards because they have a straighter grain and are more resistant to warping and absorbing moisture. Those who want a superior look may want to consider rift sawn floorboards, but the beautiful appearance comes with a high price tag.
Don't forget to think about how you will finish your floor when you are making your purchase. While unfinished floors can give your home a welcoming rustic feel, you can increase it durable with a good finish. Different hardwoods respond to finishes in their own way so, if you have your heart set on a particular finish, make sure it works with the species of wood you select.
UB Hardwoods and Flooring in Plymouth, MN offer a wide selection of hardwood and other flooring options. Visit our showroom or schedule an in-home estimate online.