Hardwood is one of the most elegant and aesthetically appealing flooring choices on the market, but there are other things you should take into consideration when selecting the right flooring for your space – factors like durability, scratch resistance and moisture resistance. 

Durability is just as crucial as aesthetic appeal. You should expect your floors to last a long time and withstand regular wear and tear with ease – especially if you have pets and kids running around the house!

Another thing to keep in mind is hardwood’s water resistance. Choosing wood with natural water-resistant properties is key in areas where moisture could present a problem. 

Untreated hardwood flooring and engineered hardwood flooring can withstand droplets of water; however, large quantities of water destroy the structural integrity causing swelling, warping, and bloating. 

Without further ado, let’s take a look at the most durable hardwood flooring options on the market.

What is the Janka Hardness Scale?

Before we start talking about wood hardness, we first need to establish how it’s measured. 

The Janka hardness test is an industry-standard assessment that measures the resistance of wood to denting and wear on a scale from 1 to 4000.

It quantifies how much force is needed to embed a small steel ball into the wood – or in simpler terms, the higher the Janka rating, the higher the wood resistance to dents and scratches. 

Another thing that can greatly impact the visibility of wear and tear is a wood’s finish and grain pattern. Some woods’ natural grain pattern allows them to hide scratches and dents better than others. 

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Comprehensive Overview of Hardwood Options

We’ve singled out eight different hardwood options in no particular order, based on their water resistance, durability, finish and grain pattern: 

1. Hickory (Janka Hardness: 1820)

Known for its rugged appearance, hickory comes in a lot of different color variations and complex grain patterns. 

This makes it an ideal aesthetical choice for most households, while also being highly effective at hiding scratches and dents. If you have a busy home with pets or kids, you should definitely look into hickory flooring.

2. Maple (Janka Hardness: 1450)

Maple features a pale, understated color and a fine, consistent grain that offers a clean, modern look. 

With a 1450 Janka rating, it’s highly suitable for areas that endure regular wear, such as kitchens and hallways, while its minimal grain helps maintain a uniform appearance despite everyday use.

3. White Oak (Janka Hardness: 1360)

White oak’s dense grain provides excellent resistance to water and decay, which makes it a good option in places with higher moisture levels. 

Its sturdiness and subtle grain texture gives it a universal appeal, making white oak a solid choice in most rooms.

4. Red Oak (Janka Hardness: 1290)

This hardwood type offers a traditional color look with a warm tone and pronounced grain that can complement a variety of decors. 

Its resilience makes it well-suited for main living areas and dining rooms where design and durability are the deciding factors when choosing which type of hardwood flooring to get.

5. Ash (Janka Hardness: 1320)

Ash’s light color palette and bold grain patterns are good at brightening up spaces. This hardwood also goes well with contemporary household designs.

 It’s slightly more elastic than oak, providing a comfortable underfoot experience while still maintaining good dent resistance.

6. Strand-Woven Bamboo (Janka Hardness: 3000-4000)

Although technically not wood, Bamboo still looks and feels like hardwood while being one of the strongest hardwood flooring options.

It usually comes in three different varieties: horizontal, vertical, and strand-woven, with strand woven being by far the strongest of the three. 

The material is also known for its unique, knotty appearance, offering a distinct style that differs from typical wood patterns

7.   Brazilian Cherry (Janka Hardness: 2820)

This exotic hardwood is not only visually striking with its rich, deep hues but also incredibly durable. 

Brazilian cherry flooring can withstand impact from heavy objects such as furniture with relative ease, so it’s no surprise that regular foot traffic shouldn’t cause any problems if you choose to go with this option. 

8.   Teak (Janka Hardness: 1155)

Teak is perhaps best known for its natural oils that repel water and pests, which makes it highly sought after for both indoor and outdoor use. 

Its resilience in humid or wet environments coupled with its attractive golden-brown color has made it one of the most popular flooring choices, rightfully earning its nickname “the king of woods”.


When selecting the perfect hardwood flooring, it’s essential to consider how the specific characteristics of each wood type align with the needs of your space. 

For instance, if durability against heavy foot traffic is your top priority, hickory and strand-woven bamboo are standout choices due to their high Janka ratings and robustness. 

On the other hand, for areas prone to moisture, such as kitchens or bathrooms, white oak offers the best protection with its superior water resistance. 

Understanding these nuances ensures you not only choose a floor that enhances the beauty of your home but also one that upholds its integrity against everyday wear and challenges. 

By focusing on these specific attributes, you can make a well-informed decision that marries functionality with aesthetics, ultimately leading to a satisfying and long-lasting investment in your home’s flooring.

About The Author

Fredrick Otto Jr.

April 27, 2024

Fredrick is a writer that loves providing a good story. If he's not on his couch working, he can be found gaming in his man cave.