You love the look of hardwood flooring and the natural warmth and beauty it adds. But when finding the right hardwood floor, are all woods created equal?
There are three things to consider when finding the right hardwood floor:
- Hardness, and
Is glossy good?
When it comes to finding the right hardwood floor for your needs, shininess may matter more than you think. “What we call ‘gloss level’ or ‘finish’ is one of the most important things when it comes to long-term durability,” explained Greg Gaylord, Sales Manager at Gaylord Hardwood Flooring. “Floors that are high gloss show every dent and scratch; floors with a low sheen or distressed finish are far more forgiving.” While a glossy floor does look great, there are options for floors with heavy use that will wear better:
- Gaylord Hardwood Flooring offers two types of finishes: Standard and Dog finish. Dog finish is a low gloss finish that’s ideal for people with animals, whose claws can leave fine scratches on wood floors over time.
- The distressed line of flooring has a more rustic look that brings out the grain of the wood. This pattern, particularly when paired with the dog finish, makes dents and scratches all but disappear.
Choosing the right hardness
It looks best to have continuous wood flooring instead of different types in each room. This means that, as much as choosing the right finish can make a big difference, you still need to choose a type of wood that matches your needs and lifestyle. “Putting a hard finish on pine won’t change the fact that pine is a softer wood,” Gaylord explained. “Wood is a natural product, it’s going to dent and scratch with use. However, the harder the wood, the more resistant it will be.” Wood hardness is indicated by its Janka hardness scale
number, a scale that measures how tough a variety of wood is; the durability of different varieties is tested and graded on a scale that goes up to 5,100. The hardest flooring Gaylord Hardwood Flooring sells is the exotic Brazilian Teak (Cumaru)
, with a rating of 3,540; most types of hardwood flooring rate between 1,000 and 2,000. (You can see the rating for our woods on each flooring type’s page under “properties”.)
Why colour matters
While Gaylord says wood can be stained “any colour you can imagine”, there are three basic tones: light, medium or dark. “The lighter the wood, the less maintenance it will need,” he explained. “Darker floors tend to show more, whether that’s wear and tear or dust and dirt.” For example, he noted, a shiny dark floor isn’t a great choice for a family with kids or pets. “A glossy finish won’t hide marks, the dark floor will make any marks even more visible, and any dirt left behind will be obvious. You’ll constantly be cleaning; it will be a lot of work.“ Not sure what combination of options suits you best? Contact us
and we’ll help you make the right decision.