Kermans Blog

Wood flooring for high traffic areas

Published: September 3, 2015

There’s a reason hardwood floors last in some houses for decades. Wood is durable, strong and wear-resistant. Top wood flooring with the right finish, maintain it properly and you’ll have a floor that will outlast nearly any other.

Unique pattern of wood flooring (close-up)

Not all woods are created equal, however, when it comes to durability. Which wood flooring is best for high traffic areas? Indianapolis wood flooring store, Kermans has some recommendations.

Janka Rating System

Rustic family room with hardwood flooring and stone wallsThe relative hardness of woods is measured by the Janka Rating System. The Janka System measures the force required to drive a .444 inch steel ball into the wood so that half of the ball is embedded. The higher the scale number, the harder the species of wood. A few common examples:

  • Maple: 1450
  • White Oak: 1360
  • Walnut: 1010

All three of those species are good candidates for a hardwood floor that will stand up to traffic. The hardness of the wood is only one factor though, let’s take a look at finishes.

Wood flooring finish options

The most common type of wood floor finish is surface finishing. After staining the wood a top layer of polyurethane or varnish adds a protective, durable coating. This finish is easy to maintain and increases the wear resistance of your hardwood floor.

Penetrating finishes soak into the wood to form a protective seal. When done in a factory setting, these finishes are the most durable on the market and can even include abrasion-resistant qualities.

Types of wood flooring

The final factor in determining the durability and ability to withstand wear and tear is the type of wood flooring:

  • Solid hardwood flooring: each piece is made from a single piece of wood and nothing else
  • Engineered wood flooring: made from several layers of woods glued together to form a plank. Layers of veneers can be stacked with the wood but the top layer is natural hardwood.
  • Laminate wood flooring: made in a similar way to engineered wood, the key difference is that the top layer is a laminated veneer which typically provides more wear resistance than natural wood.

Learn more about types of wood flooring.

Which wood flooring is right for you?

The flooring experts at Kermans will listen to you describe your setting and then be able to recommend the species, finish and type of wood flooring that best meets your needs. There are many variables to wood flooring but they all add up to a beautiful, long-lasting floor.

Schedule a free flooring consultation »

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