Tips & Advice
What are the benefits of hardwood flooring?
Nothing catches the eye like gleaming hardwood floors, which are very durable and can last for decades. Hardwoods can be easy to maintain, and, when they lose their luster or get scratched up, they can be sanded down and refinished, but doesn’t need to happen often. With the abundance of woods available, and with no shortage of contractors to get the job done, hardwoods can be an affordable option and a smart investment.
Which hardwood flooring is most durable?
The most durable hardwoods are going to be the strongest woods, so oak, cherry, and ash are considered among the most durable woods in the United States. Those are also among the most readily available woods. Patagonia Rosewood and Brazilian Walnut are more durable, but are imports, and therefore more expensive. Bamboo, while not technically a wood (it’s a grass), is even more durable, but not necessarily as aesthetically pleasing.
Which wood is used most commonly for flooring?
The most common wood used for hardwood flooring in the United States is oak. Oak trees grow in abundance across large areas of the country making them abundant and a prime source for a strong, affordable wood. It’s is believed oak makes up about 50 percent of the hardwood flooring market. After oak, ash is the next most popular, followed by cherry and alder.
What is the hardest wood floor?
In the flooring world, the Janka scale is used to rate woods for hardness. According to the Janka scale, the hardest woods used for flooring are Patagonia Rosewood (3840), Brazilian Walnut (3680), and Brazilian Ebony (3585). Are you ready for a great twist? Bamboo, which is technically a grass, tops them all with a 5,000 hardness rating. The Douglas fir comes in at 660 on the Janka scale, the lowest and softest wood. There are other woods, and some exceed the 5000 Janka rating, but they are not used in the United States for flooring. Hard does not always translate to durable or practical.
How much does hardwood flooring cost?
As with all projects, the cost to install hardwood floors relies on several factors to determine cost:
Expect lower end softwoods to run around $5 a square foot, plus another $3 to $5 for installation. High end hardwoods will be double that, with medium woods in the middle. These are averages; prices will fluctuate in different areas, so get quotes to know exactly what to expect.
- How many square feet are you covering?
- What kind of wood are you using?
- How much is your contractor charging for installation?
What is engineered hardwood?
Engineered hardwood is when a veneer made of real wood is laid over a base wood, like plywood which can give the appearance of a lush hardwood floor, and is a strong and durable option.One downside to engineered flooring is the limitations of refinishing them when they wear. Due to the make-up of the veneer, you can only resurface or sand them once or twice in their lifetime--they are not a singular piece of wood like standard hardwood floors. The veneer is usually less than one inch thick, and as thin as 1/40 of an inch.
What are the types of hardwood flooring?
The most popular types of hardwood flooring are also some of the strongest and most readily available woods. These include oak, cherry, maple, walnut, ash, mahogany, and bamboo, although technically bamboo is a grass. Oak, maple, and cherry are the sturdiest of woods on this list and are prevalent in the United States, making them cost effective. There are exotic types such as teak and mesquite, but they do come with a higher price tag . There is also reclaimed and salvaged flooring, also called “preowned,”, which are fancy terms for used flooring, that can be reconditioned and reused at an affordable price.
Which hardwood is best for flooring?
The best hardwood flooring depends on your wants and needs. If you need lower cost floors, go with a slightly softer wood, recycled wood, or even wood veneer. They are reasonably sturdy options for a budget. Sturdier woods, like oak and Brazilian Walnut, will last a long time and look awesome, but will be pricier. Ultimately, the sturdier woods are going to be the best fit for durability and aesthetics, but they might be out of your price range. But, there are plenty of options to fit any budget. You may end up wanting bamboo--which isn’t technically a wood (it’s a grass), but it’s the strongest plant based flooring you can buy. There are harder woods around the world, but they are generally not used in the United States for flooring.