Which Floors Are Most Durable?

Dec 1, 2022Flooring

For most people, part of selecting the perfect floor for your home is making sure it lasts. Durable flooring is important! Maybe your family is large, you have children, or pets. Maybe you want a floor that you will not have to worry about replacing often, or one that will not scratch. There is a lot to consider. Here is more information on the most durable floors out there.

1. Bamboo

Most off-the-shelf bamboo flooring is made by laying the bamboo grass stalks cross-direction. Strand bamboo flooring is often called woven strand bamboo flooring for good reason: Strands of the bamboo stalks are pulled apart and more tightly integrated with adhesives. The element that truly makes a bamboo floor hard is the adhesive. More adhesives mean a tougher bamboo floor.

Unfortunately, the quality of the bamboo is difficult, if not impossible, to determine when shopping for bamboo floors. Better-quality bamboo that is harvested at the right time will be more durable than bamboo that is rushed to harvest or harvested too late.

2. Resilient Flooring/Vinyl

While resilient flooring may be a term invented by companies to market their products, the term describes this type of flooring well. Also known as vinyl flooring, this classic product is 100% moisture-resistant and laboratory-engineered to last for a very long time.

Sheet vinyl is your best bet if pure resilience is your priority. In small rooms, you can skate by with just one seam or, if the room is small enough, no seams at all. Because seams are one factor that contributes to flooring deterioration, the reduction of seams becomes an important point. Plank resilient and tile resilient flooring run a close second in terms of durability because of the greater number of seams.

3. Ceramic And Porcelain

Durable in some ways—but categorically not in other ways—ceramic and porcelain tile win out over other types of flooring largely because of their appearance. Tile holds up very well against scratches and spills. But drop something heavy on it, and it will undoubtedly crack. Still, tile looks good and offers many design options. So many homeowners are happy to take the chance with the occasional dropped item that could crack it; one cracked tile can be replaced without disturbing the rest of the flooring.

Expert installation helps with durability. An improper underlayment or voids remaining below tiles can contribute to cracking. Lack of underlayment or poorly grouted tile grouted tile too, will introduce moisture below the tiles, swelling the subfloor and creating movement that cracks the tile.

4. Laminate

Laminate is becoming more durable as manufacturers improve its wear layer and base. That top layer—the transparent wear layer—can be amazingly resistant to scratches from dog claws and furniture. AC, or Abrasion Class, ratings tell you how durable a laminate floor will be. Ranging from AC1 (moderate) to AC5 (heavy), these numbers—usually found in the specs section of a product description—let you know how well the laminate will hold up against traffic.

5. Solid Hardwood

Solid hardwood is some of the longest-lasting flooring largely because it can be restored to perfect condition. Hardwood, even the hardest, will scratch. Are the scratches and gouges part of solid hardwood flooring’s character and natural beauty? It all depends on the eye of the beholder.

However, should the floor become scratched, it can be deeply sanded with a drum sander. After a pass or two with a drum sander, most solid hardwood floors can be brought back to their original smooth appearance. Then, they can be stained and sealed again to look like new.

6. Engineered Wood

Engineered wood flooring lasts as long as its thin veneer top lasts. Engineered wood’s veneer will scratch just as much as solid hardwood, yet it cannot be sanded as frequently.

To help engineered wood last longer, use plenty of throw rugs, area rugs, and runners. Reconsider using this flooring if you have large-clawed pets. Or take precautions to protect your flooring in the key areas where the pets spend most of their time.

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