What type of hardwood to purchase

Q: I am trying to decide on what type of hardwood to purchase. In a previous home I installed dark cherry-stained oak. I have a dog and of course the scratches were very visible and after only a few months looked terrible. I also found it very hard to keep clean.

I have been shopping around and have been considering natural stain oak. I have a chance to purchase a Grade 2 at 2.99 sq. foot (Canadian). I was also advised Brazilian cherry (Jatoba) would be a good choice for me since the wood does not scratch as easy and scratches would be less evident since the colour is natural and throughout the wood. I can get this for 4.99 sq. foot (Canadian) which I’m told is “a deal”…

A: Under the circumstance, I would consider any pre finished floor to be a poor choice. Especially if this is Jatoba. Woods such as oak, with a heavier grain pattern will do a better job of hiding claw marks, especially with a satin finish. Maple is harder than oak, but given the tight grain tends to show every mark. Another good choice might be ash.