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Best Floor Options for Heavy-Foot Traffic


When deciding on the type of flooring for your home, it is crucial to consider how much activity each room experiences. Areas such as kitchens, hallways, and common spaces such as dining, and family rooms tend to have a higher volume of foot traffic than other areas, so determining which flooring is best for these heavy-traffic zones is necessary. 

Multiple flooring options cater to diverse preferences and spatial requirements that are available in the market. With so many options available, it can be difficult to determine the best flooring solution for heavy-traffic areas. Here are some of the best floor options for heavy traffic, including their pros and cons, to help you make an informed decision for your space.

Best Flooring Options

Here are some high-traffic flooring solutions that are among the most durable options available to accommodate your lifestyle.

Ceramic and porcelain tiles are considered durable flooring options due to their resistance to scratches and spills and aesthetic appeal, although they are prone to cracking when subjected to heavy impact. Despite this limitation, tiles remain a popular choice for homeowners because of their attractive designs and the ability to replace a single cracked tile without having to replace the entire flooring. Proper installation by experts is crucial to maximizing their durability, as inadequate underlayment or grouting can introduce moisture and create a movement that can damage the tiles.

Laminate flooring has been enhanced in recent years to become more resilient and long-lasting, particularly in high-traffic areas with pets. With advancements in the wear layer and base, the transparent wear layer of laminate is now impressively scratch-resistant, even against sharp dog claws and heavy furniture. Still, it’s important to note that while laminate flooring is abrasion-resistant, it may not hold up well against moisture

Concrete is considered the best flooring for high-traffic areas and pets due to its durability, resilience, and low maintenance requirements. It can be used elegantly for both residential and commercial purposes, making it a popular choice. With concrete flooring, you can expect it to last a lifetime and not break apart even when heavy objects are placed on it, making it safe for pets and children to walk on. 

However, one downside is that it can feel cold to walk on as it doesn’t retain heat well. Another potential issue is that if it’s continuously exposed to water, it may crack and need costly and complicated repairs.

When it comes to durability, natural stone flooring is considered an excellent option due to the long-lasting properties of stone materials found in nature that can withstand thousands of years of wear and tear. This is a testament to the ability of natural stones to endure any challenge that may come their way. So, if you want to know what type of flooring will support heavy loads and equipment? Natural stone would be your best option.

While materials like travertine and other natural stones compete with concrete in terms of durability, some stones such as marble may appear worn sooner than expected, particularly in high-traffic areas.

Bamboo is a tough grass that can be used for flooring due to its durability. The strength of bamboo flooring depends on the placement of stalks, the adhesive used and the quality of the bamboo. Ready-made bamboo flooring is usually made by placing stalks crosswise, while woven strand bamboo flooring uses tightly integrated strands with adhesive. The key ingredient that gives bamboo flooring its hardness is the adhesive used. The more adhesive applied, the harder the bamboo flooring will be.

Unfortunately, it’s often difficult to assess the quality of bamboo when shopping for bamboo flooring. Superior quality bamboo, harvested at the right time, results in more durable flooring.

The durability of engineered wood flooring is dependent on the longevity of its top layer. While its veneer can get scratched just like solid hardwood, it can’t be sanded as often. To extend the life of engineered wood, it’s advisable to use rugs and runners and be cautious if you have pets with sharp claws. If you can’t take measures to protect the flooring in areas where the pets spend a lot of time, you may want to reconsider using this type of flooring.

Hardwood floors can be restored to maintain their durability

Solid hardwood flooring is known for its durability and longevity, primarily because it can be restored to its original condition. While being a strong material, hardwood is still prone to dents and scratches. It depends on the individual whether these imperfections enhance the solid hardwood flooring’s inherent beauty and charm.

If the flooring becomes scratched, it is possible to remedy the damage by using a drum sander to sand it deeply. After one or two passes with the drum sander, most solid hardwood floors can be restored to their original smooth texture. Also, the floor can be stained and sealed once more, resulting in a brand-new appearance, making it the most durable flooring for the living room.

Hardwood Species for Heavy-Foot Traffic

Hardwood floors can withstand heavy traffic, even in your home’s busiest areas. There is a hardwood floor for every area in your house, from busy dining rooms to crowded halls. Here are some of the best hardwoods you can choose from.

Oak slightly falls in the medium range according to the Janka rating alone, but with the right maintenance and care, it can provide flooring longevity. The main reason why oak appeals to so many people are that it is more reasonably priced than other hardwoods. For a reasonable cost, you can purchase floors with durability that is assured.

Maple is a popular choice among customers when it comes to hardwood floors. Solid maple wood can easily handle the pressure of constant foot traffic and still maintain its timeless and sophisticated look, making it a popular choice for basketball courts. Although maple is harder than oak, any dings and dents are more noticeable since there is no grain in maple to conceal them.

Hickory is the perfect choice for high-traffic floor areas due to its combination of strength and attractiveness. Hickory is one of the toughest and most resilient woods for floors, with a Janka hardness rating of 1820, making it roughly 41% harder than the conventional red oak. In addition, the grain and knots of hickory are often darker than the rest of the wood, producing stunning contrasting colours that complement various stain options

Mahogany is one of the most popular hardwood floor species.

Santos mahogany is a highly sought-after exotic hardwood for flooring purposes due to its exceptional durability. It is one of the most prevalent species used for this purpose, with a Janka hardness rating of around 2200 and a tight grain structure that contributes to its deep red colour. If you’re looking for an even harder wood than hickory, Santos mahogany is likely to be your choice. Additionally, here’s a professional tip: most flooring labelled as “mahogany” is typically Santos mahogany wood.

Teak has a Janka rating of 2330, making it one of the most durable hardwood flooring options available. When considering the pros and cons of teak flooring, you’ll discover that its durability is not its only advantage. Teak contains abundant natural oils and resins that give it a lustrous and stunning appearance, even without any finish applied. These oils make teak an excellent choice for water-resistant wood flooring, which is why it’s frequently used in boat building. Despite its many benefits, teak may not be the best choice for something like mudroom flooring due to its relatively high cost.

Ash flooring is an attractive option for modern designs, featuring a light and trendy grain, and it also boasts an excellent Janka rating of 1320. However, the ash tree species is currently facing a severe threat from the emerald ash borer beetle, which causes blight, making it less environmentally friendly as a flooring choice.

If durability is your primary concern when selecting wood flooring, Brazilian walnut should be among your top choices. Although it may not be the hardest wood globally, among the commonly used woods for flooring, it ranks number one with an impressive Janka rating of 3680. Brazilian walnut also features a beautiful grain and a rich colour. 

An increasing number of homeowners in recent times are selecting eco-friendly flooring materials that have minimal impact on the environment. Engineered hardwood flooring in Toronto is designed for sustainability and has emerged as a favoured ecological choice for both residential and commercial building owners. At Capital Hardwood Flooring, we offer high-quality flooring products, installation, customized staining, and finishing to cater to all your design preferences. Call now at 416-536-2200.

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