What is the hardest wood flooring?

What is the hardest wood flooring?

This entry was posted on January 28, 2019 by Chris Elliott

As wood is a natural product, it can vary quite significantly in hardness. Wood flooring is only made from hardwood.  This means that it is hard and durable enough to be used as a floor covering.  However, different species of hardwood all have different hardness levels.  If you are looking for a hardwood floor for a busy area, then you may want to read the following:  

Which species is the hardest wood flooring?

Hardwood is scientifically tested to determine its hardness.  The test is called the Janka Hardness Scale. Each hardwood species is tested and then added to the scale of hardness. Here are some of the more popular species of wood and their Janka ratings:

For more details about this testing, please see our article: What is the Janka hardness scale for hardwood flooring?

Generally speaking, the hardest wood for flooring is Ipe (or Lapacho).  However, this is very hard to find, due to its rarity.  This also makes it a very expensive flooring product.  Therefore, more widely available, and hardwearing are Hickory and Maple flooring. These are commonly found, but can be a slightly higher price and not many options of size or style. They are both slightly harder than Oak flooring.  However, Oak flooring is by far the most popular choice of flooring and has a good level of durability. It can be found in many different styles, plank sizes, surface finishes, and at a reasonable price. On the lower end of the Janka scale is Walnut flooring.  This is softer than Oak flooring so will need more care and attention to prevent damage. If you are looking for a durable and hard natural floor covering, why not have a look at Strand Woven Bamboo.  It ranks highly on the Janka scale and is a fantastic alternative to hardwood. Read our Guide to Strand Woven Bamboo Flooring.

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