Q: What finish is best to prevent denting?
A: There isn’t a finish I know of that will prevent denting. Each species of wood has a different resistance to denting, and there is some variation from floor to floor and piece to piece within the same species.
Note from Rachel: Here’s a link to the Janka Hardness Scale and similar charts FYI.
Would it be best to use solid 3/4“, or is the engineered as good on the hardness scale?
Q imported from our old site, Face Lift Floors: We are considering replacing carpet with a real wood plank floor in our family room. This room is on the first level of a 2 story house and is above grade. My concern is that even though we plan to use hardwood, hickory to match our cabinets, wood still dents pretty easy. Would it be best to use solid 3/4“, or is the engineered as good on the hardness scale? Also, is hickory a good hardwood or, is something a lot better?”
A: The best engineered I have ever worked with is Mirage. The solid wood surface is about as thick as the wear layer on a solid 3/4 board, which means it could be sanded as many times. Having said that, I don’t believe that the product is any harder on its surface just because it is engineered. If the elevation is good for solid wood and there are no other reasons to consider anything different, I would go with the solid 3/4 floor.
I have never had the opportunity to sand a hickory floor. It is only recently that I have seen it appearing in my supplier’s showroom. My kitchen cabinets are hickory with a light stain, and if my timing was a bit better, I would have gotten the Hickory to match. I went with Birch instead, and I like the look but, and it has, as I expected, proven to be a little too soft for that room. I have to live with it now. Hickory is very hard though. Harder than Maple, I believe. I would just make sure when you get the product that it is not a low grade and that the milling is good, and that there are not many severely bent boards. Anything wider than 3″ and up is hard to straighten.
Harder is not always better. Maple is harder than oak. However, it shows marks much more severely than oak does since it has a very tight grain which shows all. The wide grain of oak tends to hide little scuffs, dings, etc. Each type of wood species has its own characteristics, plus, and minus, but this does not make one type better than another in all situations. Personal taste and your environment play a big part too.
Original / moved link at https://faceliftfloors.com/q-and-a/hardnessscalehardwood.php