Durability refers to the ability of a flooring material to withstand wear and tear, and maintain its appearance and structural integrity over time. It is an important factor to consider when choosing a flooring type for your home, as it can impact the longevity of your flooring investment.
The importance of choosing a durable floor
There are several reasons why durability is important when choosing a flooring type for your home. Firstly, it can help to reduce the need for costly repairs or replacement in the future. A more durable flooring option can also withstand heavy foot traffic, spills, and other types of wear and tear without becoming damaged or worn out.
The importance of durability may vary depending on the conditions of your home. For example, if you have young children or pets, your flooring may be subjected to more wear and tear than in a home without these factors. Similarly, if you live in a high-humidity or high-temperature environment, certain flooring types may be more susceptible to damage or wear.
What makes a flooring material more durable?
There are several factors that can make a flooring material more durable. Here are some key factors to consider:
- Hardness – The hardness of a flooring material is measured using the Janka hardness test. The higher the Janka rating, the more durable the material is likely to be. For example, hardwoods such as oak and maple tend to be very durable due to their high Janka ratings.
- Wear resistance – Wear resistance refers to a material’s ability to resist scratches, scuffs, and other types of wear and tear. Materials with a high level of wear resistance, such as ceramic tile or luxury vinyl flooring, tend to be more durable.
- Water resistance – Water can cause many flooring materials to warp, crack, or stain. Materials that are naturally resistant to water, such as porcelain tile or some types of vinyl flooring, tend to be more durable in areas with high moisture or humidity.
- Maintenance requirements – Some flooring materials require more maintenance than others to stay durable over time. For example, hardwood floors require regular refinishing and sealing to maintain their durability, while laminate flooring requires very little maintenance.
Installation method – The way that a flooring material is installed can also affect its durability. For example, flooring that is glued down tends to be more durable and stable than flooring that is floated over a subfloor.
Durable Flooring Options
When it comes to durability, some types of flooring are generally considered to be more durable than others. Here are some of the most durable flooring options:
While hardwood flooring may require more maintenance than some other options, it is known for its durability and longevity. With proper care and maintenance, hardwood flooring can last for decades and can be sanded and refinished to restore its appearance.
Types Of Hardwood
Some species of wood are considered to be more durable than others, such as:
- Hickory – Hickory is a domestic hardwood that is known for its durability and strength. It has a unique grain pattern and can be stained to achieve a variety of colors and finishes.
- Brazilian Cherry – Brazilian cherry, also known as Jatoba, is another highly durable hardwood. It has a distinctive grain pattern and a deep reddish-brown color, and is resistant to scratches, dents, and other types of wear and tear.
- White Oak – White oak is a popular hardwood for flooring because of its durability and resistance to moisture. It has a subtle grain pattern and can be stained to achieve a variety of colors and finishes.
- Brazilian Walnut – Brazilian walnut, also known as Ipe, is one of the hardest and most durable hardwoods available. It is highly resistant to scratches, dents, and other types of wear and tear, and can last for decades with proper care and maintenance.
- Maple – Maple is another domestic hardwood that is known for its durability and strength. It has a light color and a subtle grain pattern, and can be stained to achieve a variety of colors and finishes.
Porcelain or Ceramic Tile
Tile flooring is extremely durable and can withstand heavy foot traffic, spills, and other types of wear and tear. It is also resistant to scratches, moisture, and stains, making it an ideal option for high-traffic areas like kitchens and bathrooms.
Engineered wood flooring is made up of multiple layers of wood that are fused together to create a strong and durable flooring option. They can also be quite comfortable, particularly if you seek out the following qualities:
- Thicker Top Layers – Engineered hardwood floors with thicker top layers tend to be more comfortable because the real hardwood layer provides more cushion and a more natural feel underfoot. A top layer that is at least 2-3mm thick is recommended for maximum comfort.
- Underlayment – Some engineered hardwood flooring options come with an attached underlayment, which can help to provide additional cushioning and reduce noise. Underlayment can also help to insulate the floor, making it warmer and more comfortable.
Vinyl flooring, and especially Luxury Vinyl, is a popular choice for high-traffic areas because of its durability and water resistance. It can withstand scratches, spills, and heavy foot traffic, making it ideal for families with young children or pets.
When choosing vinyl floors, there are specific features that you should look for if you want the most durable option available:
- Wear layer thickness – The wear layer is the topmost layer of the vinyl flooring and is designed to protect the floor from scratches, stains, and other types of wear and tear. A thicker wear layer generally indicates a more durable flooring option.
- Type of wear layer – The type of wear layer used in the vinyl flooring can also affect its durability. For example, some wear layers are made with urethane, which is a highly durable material that can withstand heavy foot traffic.
- Core construction – The core of the luxury vinyl flooring can also affect its durability. Some vinyl flooring options have a solid core, while others have a multi-layered core that provides extra stability and strength.