most durable type of hardwood flooring

How do you understand and differentiate between different hardwood floor types? The ageless elegance of wood can be found in practically every interior space, but if you’re looking to furnish your first home, you may be rightly confused by the variety of available hardwood flooring types. These come in many varieties, depending on both the chosen type of wood and the processing it undergoes before arriving on the market. These will influence its quality, cost, durability, and a range of other factors. We cover the entire subject comprehensively in the rest of the article below.

From the article you will learn:

What to Consider When Choosing Types of Hardwood Floors

Some research estimates that around 73,000 different species of trees exist on our beautiful planet. Of course, not every one of these works as a viable flooring option. Even despite that, cutting down this number significantly may not make your between different types of hardwood floors easier.

So, let’s bring you up to speed on the most important factors that will determine your choice. 

  • Intended use: Where you intend to lay your hardwood floor matters just as much as the tree from which you source it. Entryways, living rooms floors in large family homes, stairs and other high-traffic areas are best outfitted with durable wood flooring options. In more secluded spaces in your home, like the bedroom, a gentler choice, like pine or cedar, will absolutely suffice.
  • Cost: The primary factor driving the cost of different types of hardwood floors is their availability. Generally speaking, the more exotic the tree, the more expensive it will be to have it installed in your home.
  • Sustainability: Somewhat related to the previous point, but the more exotic and/or stylish hardwood propositions, like mahogany or ash, may not be the most sustainable construction materials. Therefore, if you value lowering your environmental impact, do enough research ahead of time and make sure your hardwood is sourced from a certified supplier.
  • Aesthetics: Undoubtedly the most subjective point on this list, the appearance of your hardwood flooring dramatically influences the overall ambience of your home. When completing your interior design project, consider each room’s style and mood to pick the right colour, grain, and finish.

hardwood flooring types

Solid Wood vs Engineered Wood – What’s the Difference?

Put simply, solid wood planks are made from 100% wood. The utilisation of pure timber for their manufacturing is what makes them retain their fully natural, authentic grain patterns.

On the other hand, engineered hardwood undergoes a range of processes, including compression with the use of wood slats and veneers, to both reduce the cost of production and provide superior durability. Ultimately, however, as less high-quality wood needs to be produced per plank of engineered wood, the end product may not look as elegant or satisfying, though that largely depends on the chosen manufacturer.

Regardless, engineered wood trumps solid wood as both the more environmentally- and budget-friendly option. However, if you’re truly committed to sustainable home design, another option worth considering is reclaimed floorboards. These are rescued from wood installations in abandoned or decommissioned buildings and repurposed to then go through rigorous restoration processes, oftentimes with a more desirable final appearance than modern types of hardwood floor.

How to Maintain Your Hardwood Floor?

For all their renowned beauty, which made hardwood floors a staple in our homes, the material still requires care and preventative maintenance to ensure longevity and prevent damage. Below, we’ve outlined a few general principles, but you’d be advised to consult with your manufacturer’s instructions for specific guidelines for your hardwood floorboards.

Regular Cleaning

Your hardwood floor requires routine cleaning to preserve its look and prevent dust and minor debris from penetrating deep between the individual boards. Sweep with a soft to medium-soft bristle broom and vacuum your floor regularly to keep it neat and tidy.

Additionally, for hardwood floors, it’s especially important to clean up spills as fast as possible. Natural wood surfaces are prone to warping and bending due to excess humidity and moisture buildup. Engineered hardwood handles spills significantly better, making it generally a more apt choice for kitchen floors. However, it’s still advisable to exercise caution and not use too much water when mopping the floor.

Use Furniture Pads

This tip is easy enough: attach felt furniture pads to table and chair legs and other furniture. Excess pressure through these points of contact could scrape the hardwood and leave permanent marks.

Avoid Harsh Chemical Treatment

Abrasive materials or other common household items on the more potent side, like bleach or ammonia, can cause irreparable damage or discolouration on your wooden floor. Opt for gentler cleaners designed for wooden surfaces instead.

The Takeaway

The sheer variety in hardwood flooring types can easily overwhelm, but understanding the difference between solid and engineered hardwood and their respective best applications should help you make the right choice for your home. Also, don’t forget proper care and maintenance to ensure the longevity of your floor – even the most durable type of hardwood flooring will show signs of wear if not properly cared for.

You may also read: Art Deco Flooring Ideas – Recreating Vintage Glamour in Modern Homes

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