For anyone investing in beautiful hardwood floors, longevity is always going to be an important consideration. Trampling feet, playing children, or excitable pets can all put wooden surfaces to the test! This means that the right floor must marry gorgeous aesthetics with ultimate durability if it is to make the cut. Happily, resilient solid or engineered wood flooring and durable parquet wood flooring are readily available to today's consumers. Here, we will outline what to look for when selecting a dream hardwood floor that will truly be built to last.
How Is the Durability of Wood for Flooring Measured?
Understanding the toughness of wood types can get a little confusing—especially when we think of the terms “softwood” and “hardwood”. In reality, some softwoods can be very hard, and some hardwoods can be very soft! The true meaning of these terms actually has nothing to do with durability, but instead the type of tree species. Softwoods are cone bearing trees—like pine or cedar—and hardwoods come from deciduous trees. When we want to understand how robust different wood species are, we only need look to the Janka Harndess Scale for answers.
The Janka Scale serves as a universal guide for measuring how well wood can resist wear and tear. Each type of wood is ranked through a test, which involves measuring the force required to embed a 11.28mm steel ball into the wood's surface to a depth of half its diameter. The resulting score gives us a great idea of how stunning board or parquet wood flooring made from that particular species will perform over time. Although, there are other factors to consider too, such as the moisture or temperature resistance needs of the interior in question.
Durable Oak Wood Flooring: The Industry Standard
While some exotic woods offer astronomical hardness on the Janka Scale—such as Teak or Brazilian Cherry—these types of wood tend to come with a similarly elevated price tag! Thankfully, oak is a far more accessible species, and its hardiness rating of around 1300 on the Janka Scale means that it is plenty tough enough for the creation of wonderfully durable engineered wood flooring, solid wood flooring, or parquet wood floors. When we consider that some of the most revered and ancient hardwood floors in the UK, and indeed the world, are made from oak, it becomes easy t
Ash Keeps Oak Company on the Janka Scale
Keeping oak company on the Janka Scale—with a score of 1320—we find ash wood. Also native to the European continent and the UK, European Ash provides a wonderful spectrum of properties. These include being both resilient and fast growing, and tolerant to coppicing—making it an environmentally friendly choice too. Alongside its toughness, ash wood is also flexible and shock resistant. This makes it an optimal choice for both durable engineered ash wood flooring or solid ash wood flooring, parquetry, and indeed just about any kind of woodworking!
For Durability and Resistance: Solid or Engineered Wood Flooring?
Many imagine that solid wood flooring is the only choice to make when seeking longevity. However, the truth is a little more nuanced. Because each board within a solid wood floor is made of a single piece of timber, these types of floors can withstand near unlimited sanding and refinishing. That said, a high quality engineered wood flooring topped with a generous layer of aesthetic and resilient hardwood will withstand refinishing one or two times if necessary. Of course, when a suitable hardwood is chosen such as oak or ash, and diligence is applied, the need for this type of refinishing should be a rare occurrence indeed!
Balancing that equation, quality engineered wood flooring can offer some additional rewards that may lead some to consider it favourably. Because of the multi-directional construction of durable engineered wood flooring, it can be far more resistant to temperature fluctuations and moisture. This makes it a good choice for kitchens, basement rooms, and for pairing with underfloor heating.
Seeking Guidance on the Perfect Wood Flooring for Your Needs
If you are left wondering if durable oak wood flooring is the perfect choice for your envisioned interior, or if you could use a little advice on how to navigate the ins and outs of parquetry, the expert team here at Unique Bespoke Wood are always happy to provide guidance. Not only can we help you pin-point the wood species and finish that will meet your vision for both beauty and resilience, but we can also advise on the best wood flooring solutions to pair with the unique characteristics of the space at hand. Discover durable parquet wood flooring solutions, contemporary wide planks and creative finishes that are all ready to stand up to the tumble of every day life. Allow us to realise the resistant and resplendent floor you imagine!