When looking for the perfect hardwood floors, each person has their own priorities set. For some, it’s design. For others, it might be price. Many people do have one common priority: practicality. No one wants to break their back trying to keep their hardwood floors looking new and clean.
With the range of options out there, it might be hard to know where to begin when looking for hardwood floors that are easy to keep. But there are a few aspects that you can take into consideration when picking the right hardwood floors for your home.
Even if you have a design in mind, the color wood you’ll pick can play a big role when it comes to practicality. Darker colors can scratch more easily, and any stains or dirt will be more visible without the right finish. They would be better picks for rooms where there is not a lot of walking around, or where furniture is not moved around too much.
Lighter colors, on the other hand, can hide dust or dirt very well because of the grains, and the color tone of the wood. They would not be so visible in Ash White hardwood floors, for instance. Another great option would be multi-tone hardwood floors, since it already has a naturally “stained” look to it.
One big issue with anything made of wood is dealing with humidity. It can make wood wear out really quickly by contracting and expanding, losing its shape, form, and/or color. While there are many types out there that are resistant, some of the best options are engineered woods. The interior of these woods are produced to prevent warping. But it is important to pick an option with thicker wear layers, as they are more resistant to scratches.
Janka Hardness scale
This scale was made to identify and classify the density of the wood. The reason why this is important is because, the denser it is, the more durable it can be. This means it won’t dent or scratch so easily, making it perfect for most businesses or social spaces. The softest wood ever measured, Balsa, ranked 22 lbf (pounds-force), while the hardest one registered was Australian Buloke, at 5,060 lbf.
The finish on your hardwood floors can help keep them for longer depending on your choice. Look-wise, there are matte, satin, and gloss finishes. Glossy finishes, while not as popular anymore, are great for maintenance.
There is another way to classify hardwood floor finishes, which is by its base. Oil-based polyurethane adds a glow to the wood while also being able to withstand the natural movement of the wood. On the other hand, acrylic urethane (also called water-based) makes the resin more resistant to wear such as scratches, but it is not as resistant to heat or solvents. Therefore, an oil-based finish can make keeping the wood easier in the long term.
It is possible to find a common ground between the design and color you have in mind and a hardwood floor option that won’t be too hard to keep! Just try to check as many items off this list, and you’ll be able to pick the option that best suits your priorities.