hardwood-scratch visibility by wood species?


Old 07-11-09, 08:24 PM
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hardwood-scratch visibility by wood species?

Planning to put 3/4" engineered hardwood in addition. Wife likes the look of Maple over Oak. Doesn't like the grain on oak. but the salesperson did mention that since Maple doesn't have the grain, it is more likely to show any scratches. I do Have a 4year old and 6 year old, so scratches are going to happen I am sure. While it may show more scratches, isn't it true that Maple is very hard and more scratch resistant. And aren't the finishes on the prefinished hardwoods much more scratch resistant than older varnish finishes? I just hate to buy the Maple and have it look like crap from all the scratches in few years, which is what salesperson seemed to imply.
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Old 07-13-09, 02:24 PM
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Bottom line, all hardwoods will scratch and dent, no matter how hard the wood or the finish. And hardness of the wood really doesn't matter, especially in an engineered floor. You're only dealing with a thin veneer of the oak, maple, or whatever species it is, and it is usually attached to a softer wood that makes up the core, so dents are definitely going to happen.

That's where graining comes in. Maple, birch, etc, any woods with light subtle graining will show dents more readily than heavy close grained woods like oak, ash, etc. And the issues is most often dents, not scratches.

Particularly with pets, people constantly report "my maple floor is scratched", when actually what happens is the wood dents under the pressure of the pet nails....you have all of these long, narrow linear dents, and the finish (if it is a good one) contours to them, so the light reflects and looks like a scratch.

If you are going to have hardwood, be prepared to live with dents and scratches, and plan on having the floor recoated or refinished periodically.

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