New Hardwood Flooring: Making The Right Choices To Reduce Dent Concerns

14 April 2015
 Categories: , Articles

If you need new floors in your home, then hardwood flooring may be a good option for you.  Hardwood floors are both beautiful and durable.  The flooring material can wear over time though, and scratches and dents may start to appear across the surface of the wood.  Sanding and other types of restoration methods may then be required to fix it.  You can prevent dents before they show up though, as long as you make the right decisions before and during the flooring installation process.  Keep reading to find out what these things are.

Pick the Right Type of Wood

When you purchase your wood flooring material, you will have a variety of different woods to choose from.  These woods will vary in price, but you should not choose the cheapest type of flooring you come upon.  Cheaper hardwood materials are often not made out of solid wood.  They are instead engineered materials that consist of a veneer over a plank of wood.  

The veneer is glued in place, and the top layer of wood will be between .6 and 6 millimeters thick.  The engineered wood often looks as natural and beautiful as solid wood, but it cannot retain as much pressure and stress as solid wood.  This means that dents are more likely to occur.  If a dent does occur within the engineered wood, it may need to stay in your flooring, because the veneer may not be thick enough to sand down during restoration.

Hard Wood Varieties

Look for solid wood flooring materials to reduce dent problems.  Once you locate the solid varieties, make sure to choose a wood species that is considered hard.  Consider looking at the Janka hardness rating to pick the best wood for your flooring.  This rating is based on a test where a steel ball is forced into the wood.  The force needed for the ball to make it halfway through determines its hardness.  This type of test directly correlates to the amount of stress it takes to dent the wood, so a high value is best for your flooring material.  Some common woods with a high Janka hardness rating include red mahogany, Brazilian cherry, Brazilian chestnut, southern chestnut, and teak.

The hardest wood flooring materials are expensive, so look for options towards the middle of the scale if your budget will not allow for very hard materials.  Some of these woods include tallowwood, sweet birch, white oak, and hard maple.  Just make sure to stay away from soft woods like silver maple, African mahogany, red cedar, and juniper.

Use the Right Subfloor

Hardwood flooring is installed over an existing flooring material in your home.  This type of floor is called the subfloor, and it may be made up of concrete or old linoleum or vinyl materials.  Sometimes, a new hardwood floor can even be placed directly over an old one.  Unfortunately, these materials are extremely hard and they allow for very little movement from the flooring placed above.  This means that any direct force or stress will be retained by the hardwood floor.  When the force is concentrated, a dent is more likely to occur.

You can prevent dent issues by making sure there is a shock or stress absorbing material underneath the hardwood flooring.  Ask your installation contractor to place an underlayment material underneath the flooring.  A foam or rubber pad that is made for this purpose is a good choice.  If you want the subfloor to reduce sound as well, then consider a cork or synthetic fabric material.  Just make sure that you understand that the padding may add a small amount of height to your floor.  

If you want a hardwood floor installed inside your home, then you need to make the right choices when picking out your flooring materials.  These choices will help you to reduce dent concerns across the wood material, so you can enjoy the floor for years to come. You can check out this related site to learn more.