Durability ratings

Q: Would you please advise me of the ratings for hardwoods as far as durability is concerned?

A: www.woodfloorsonline.com has a hardness table whereby you can compare the relative hardness of a number of species.

However, when asking about “durability” then hardness is only one factor to consider. For example, maple is harder than red or white oak. However, it is very tight grained, and therefore is prone to showing scratches or indents/ impressions much more so than oak, which has a much heavier grain.

Some exotics coming on the market are extremely hard and dense and may contain a lot of resins. How well a finish will remain on such a hard surface before it gets ripped off the surface is yet to be seen. Pre finished floors in most if not all cases are coating with aluminum oxide or ceramic coatings. These are very abrasion resistant, but not indestructible. Serious issues can arise when it comes time to recoat these floors.

To answer your question requires more than a simple answer. I don’t think a person can go wrong when they stick to North American species such as various oaks, ash (which has a very similar oak type grain, except more so) which is a little harder than red oak, and even hickory which is harder than maple. All 3 stain and finish well.