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Dec 01

Tips on How to Pick The Best Scratch Resistant Hardwood

“Wood flooring” is a comprehensive category that includes different wood species, finishes and products. Not all wood types are the same and each one has unique advantages and disadvantages of its own. There’s no such term as “scratch-resistant” when it comes to hardwood. However, the choice of finish and engineering technologies implemented for processing lumber are two important factors that make wood floors scratch-resistant.

Things You Should Consider

Type Of Wood

  • Hardwood flooring is sold as engineered or processed wood and solid wood. Solid wood is carved from a single, solid piece of timber. It’s available in unfinished, refinished or factory finished forms.
  • Contrary to this, engineered wood is manufactured using complex technologies. Nine individual wooden plies are joined together, sealed, polished and veneer laminated to produce processed wood.

Benefits & Downsides Of Different Types

  • While engineered hardwood is resistant to temperature fluctuations and moisture content, it can’t be refinished when the floorboards turn old, dull or scratched. This is not the case with solid wood. It can endure multiple servicing sessions and continue to endure it for a long time.
  • Solid wood floors can be easily replaced, remodeled or redesigned when you get bored of them, which is not the case with engineered hardwood.
  • Processed hardwood is stronger, more durable and scratch resistant up to 99% due to veneer application. As opposed to it, solid wood needs reapplication of finish at fixed time intervals.
  • It’s easier to maintain solid hardwood flooring however engineered requires great care. Moreover, its maintenance process is time-taking and quite expensive.

Scores Of Janka Hardness Test

This test determines the durability, resilience and endurance power of hardwood, based on the amount of force applied on its surface, in order to embed a steel ball into it. Although the test results don’t guarantee 100% scratch resistance yet, the species that have high points (over 2000) are more resistant to dents, blemishes, coloration and deep gouges.

Wood Species

Wood species like Brazilian teak, Cherry and walnut are naturally hard whereas the yellow pine and American Beech are more vulnerable to damage. Therefore, choose the species that has long history of endurance and natural resistance.

Finish

Final finishing plays an important role in enhancing the endurance power of your flooring. Some manufacturers prepare special polishes for surface application while others inject acrylic monomers in between the floorboards to make them harder. There are plenty of options when it comes to choosing finish:

  • Polyurethane: Not much effective, at least 10 coats have to be applied to acquire the desired effect.
  • Ceramics & Aluminum Oxide: They’re not used individually but are mixed with urethane polishes to ensure greater resistance.
  • Water-based Urethane: It is durable, waterproof, hard, resistant to yellowing and superior to other finishes.
  • Oil-based Urethane: They provide best protection against peeling, water damages, chipping and pets.

Credibility Of The Provider

Always consider the market reputation and past experience of a provider before purchasing hardwood flooring from them. Opt for the companies that provide excellent customer services and warranties, offer samples or trials and have a flexible rate list.

Extra Tips

  • Scratches are not conspicuous on dark colored surfaces so avoid high-gloss finish or light colors. Moderate or neutral shades and satin finishes are the best.
  • It is impossible to achieve total scratch-resistance. Use carpets or scratch pads when pets are around.
  • Take proper care of your floor by following the right cleaning and polishing techniques to keep it as good as new.

If you’re looking for sturdy wood floors, better choose a durable and strong hardwood species along with quality finish and effective floor products. This maximizes the durability of your flooring and checks any additional money spent on its maintenance. You’ll also want to look into ways to wax your floor for even more scratch resistance.