Are you wondering what wood flooring is the most durable? Generally speaking, wooden flooring tends to be on the more resilient side, especially when proper care and maintenance practices are applied. However, it remains crucial to understand how wood floors can become damaged and whether yours is at risk of scratches, indentation, or discolouration due to heavy foot traffic or pets. We cover the most durable wood flooring options below, so keep reading to discover what option is best suited for your home needs.

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Wood Flooring Options – How to Choose the Most Durable Solution

The floor in your home or commercial establishment is by far the one element that sees the most passive usage and is, therefore, most susceptible to general wear and tear over time. Given the considerable monetary investment, it’s critical to know what to look out for when examining the available options.

Before we begin our analysis, it’s worth establishing a base understanding of how wood durability is measured in the first place. By and large, the default method used industry- and worldwide is the Janka hardness scale, which measures the resistance of wood to damage and denting.

With that said, let’s take a closer look at the most durable wood flooring types:

Oak

Kicking off our list is the tried and tested oak wood. The noble oak has been a staple wood flooring choice for centuries, and for good reason. It certainly ranks as one of the most durable wood flooring options, with a Janka score of between 1,260 and 1,360 out of 4,000, depending on the variety. As a result of its hardness, attractive looks and versatility, it often comes with a hefty price tag, though the exact costs will depend on its grade and whether it’s engineered wood, solid wood, or reclaimed oak wood flooring.

most durable wood for flooring

Bamboo

Though not strictly considered a wooden flooring option per se, bamboo flooring deserves a spot on this list because of its incredible durability-to-price ratio. Bamboo retains its wooden appearance during the manufacturing process, creating a light, glossy design that works well in high-traffic areas, particularly kitchens or bathrooms, due to its high degree of moisture resistance. Its hardness on the Janka scale will depend on the processing technique, with strand-woven bamboo flooring boasting the highest score of over 3,500.

Ash

Solid ash wood is an excellent option if you want to furnish the interior of your space with a muted, albeit classy look. It is very durable, with a score of 1,320, and boasts an additional high resistance to bending. Given its superb durability and the inherent stylishness of its grain, ash forms a noteworthy proposition, for example, as a living room flooring idea.

Hickory

Aesthetically speaking, hickory functions best in more rustic spaces, and this relative inflexibility is its only potential downside. Other than that, hickory wood flooring boasts top-notch durability with a Janka score of 1820 and resistance to all kinds of damage, like scratches and dents. Thus, it is very recommendable for houses and spaces with active children and pets. Cost-wise, hickory typically doesn’t break the bank and is considered affordable when accounting for its style, hardness, and longevity.

Mahogany

Mahogany floor interiors have long been associated with decadent, luxurious furnishings, primarily due to the difficulty in acquiring mahogany as a resource. The tree only naturally grows in Central and South America, with offshoot species also present in Africa, but overall, its limited availability makes mahogany an expensive choice, to say the least. Still, if longevity and durability are your only concerns, mahogany definitely warrants a closer look, as some varieties reach a hardness score of 2,200.

Brazilian Walnut

As the indisputable king of durable wooden flooring, the Brazilian walnut tree, also known as ipê, reigns supreme as an excellent option for homeowners prioritising durability. This exotic hardwood offers an incredible score of 3,680 on the Janka scale and will embellish your interiors with its rich, deeply brown colour palette. Its resistance to various kinds of damage combined with its hardness makes it essentially indestructible, even for areas experiencing the most traffic.

This unmatched resilience comes at an understandably high price, however. The relatively limited availability of this material, together with the processing and transportation fees to import it from Brazil, contribute to its overall cost. Still, many who seek a long-lasting hardwood flooring solution that will easily last decades should not overlook it as an option.

The Takeaway

So, what wood flooring is the most durable? Strictly in terms of durability, the Brazilian ipê scores the highest on the Janka wood hardness scale. However, if that proves too expensive, you could consider the more affordable options, such as hickory or oak. The choice largely comes down to your needs, tastes, and overall feel of the space you’re designing.

You may also read: 7 Best Kitchen Flooring Ideas to Consider

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