What's under your feet (or however you get around) is as important as anything when it comes to home. That's why this fall, we collaborated with The Home Depot on an A to Z guide that'll give you the confidence to make flooring choices you'll love. Check out the A to Z handbook here.
When it comes to hardwood flooring, different styles possess varying levels of durability and sturdiness. Hardwoods (and so-called “softwoods,” which are sometimes used in homes or for outdoor porches) have a vast range of hardness that can profoundly impact their functionality and longevity in your living space. So how do you find out which woods are the hardest? The Janka Scale, of course.
Pronounced “yanka”, the Janka Scale was created by an Austrian-born wood researcher named Gabriel Janka. It assesses a wood’s resistance to wear and denting by measuring the force required to embed a BB-sized steel ball halfway into a sample. The “score” each type of wood receives is then recorded in “pound force” (lbf) on the Janka Scale.
Rule of thumb: 1, or above
The rule of thumb when shopping for hardwood flooring is that a Janka Scale score of 1, or above is the level of durability one wants in their home, and consulting the Janka Scale graphic makes it easy to see which woods rank where in the hierarchy. (If you plan to DIY your flooring, it’s also a great resource for understanding out how difficult it will be to nail into the wood when laying your boards.)
Knowing your hardwood’s rating on the Janka Scale comes in handy when you’re buying for a high-traffic room where a softer wood underfoot might be damaged by rowdy puppy paws or the crash of sporting equipment hitting the floor after practice.
Hickory and oak score high
Hickory and oak, as well as their variants, are two common hardwoods that score high on the Janka Scale and can easily withstand the pressures of an active household while still providing a timeless look. Hard maple is also a hardy option, but, as general contractor Joe Truini points out, it’s the type of wood used for basketball courts. That is to say: Unless you’re trying to give off a real March Madness vibe inside your home, it might be worth skipping.
Softer hardwoods like ash, cherry, and birch tend to have more subtle variations in their color and gradation, which can create a more sophisticated look, with a higher price tag. These hardwoods are ideal for flooring adults-only, low-traffic spaces, or homes where everyone respects the “no shoes in the house” rule. (This writer likes to think about putting down cherry hardwood as “retirement flooring.”)
Plano Natural Hickory 3/4 in. Thick x /4 in. Wide x Random Length Solid Hardwood Flooring (22 sq. ft. / case)
Red Oak Natural 3/4 in. Thick x /4 in. Wide x Random Length Solid Hardwood Flooring (18 sq. ft. / case)
High Gloss Birch Cherry 3/4 in. Thick x /4 in. Wide x Random Length Solid Hardwood Flooring ( sq. ft. / case)
Bay Point 7 mm T x in W x in L Waterproof Engineered Click Bamboo Flooring sq. ft. sf/case)
The Janka Scale can even reveal subtle hardness differences between woods that appear to be quite similar. “The most popular hardwood flooring out there is red oak, and it has a rating of about 1,,” says Truini. But he also notes that white oak, which people don't often consider, looks similar to red oak and has a rating of about 1,— points higher than its cousin.
But hardness isn't everything
Hardness, however, isn’t everything in a floor, and Truini recommends considering about the Holy Trinity of hardwood—aesthetic appeal, price point, and durability—when making a decision. “If you fall in love with American black walnut boards, which have a rating of 1,, you should get them even though they don’t have a super-high [Janka] score,” he advises. Additionally, Truini lives in New England and sees pine floors in many houses. “They don’t have a rating higher than 1, It might dent a little more and it might wear a little more, but if you like the look of pine or walnut, you should do it.”
Consider the Holy Trinity of hardwood—aesthetic appeal, price point, and durability.
When it comes to durability, though, even the Janka Scale has its limits. The rating system doesn’t have any bearing on how well hardwood floors can stand up to stains from spilled Pinot Noir and marker accidents. That all comes down to the finish. “Whether you choose ash, oak, maple, or even walnut, they're all hardwood,” Truini says. “They're all relatively hard as far as just walking across it day-to-day. Even if the floor is bamboo [which has a hardness of 1, or more] and the finish is worn off the top, it's going to stain.”
Having all the information possible at your fingertips before you make a major flooring decision is empowering, and will ensure the best decision for your family’s unique lifestyle. So let’s give a round of applause to Gabriel Janka, the patron saint of helping even the least math-inclined person grasp the complexities of hardwood hardness.
How To Clean Hardwood Floors
If properly maintained. hardwood flooring will last for decades. Hardwoods need to be kept clean and free of the dust and debris that can scratch and dull the surface. High traffic areas should be swept as often as possible. You can either sweep the floors with a broom or use a disposable electrostatic mop. Using a vacuum is also an option. However, you should only vacuum if your model features an on off brush roll, No and ring out most of the water so it is just damp. Avoid leaving any standing water on the floor. This can damage the wood. This is Espero True for pre finished hardwood floors unless the surface was sealed with polyurethane. After installation, the water will sip between the boards. If your floors are well sealed, you can add a wood cleaning product diluted to the manufacturers instruction when mopping avoid using harsh detergents. Theyll dull the surface. The Home Depot offers a wide variety of wood care products both in store and online. There are products that allow you to simply spray and mop. These products dont require a bucket. They dry quickly and remove dust, dirt, and grime. for an even quicker Clean. there are disposable wet pads These are perfect for touch up cleaning but be sure to select the wet pads specifically formulated for cleaning hardwoods. There are also floors polishes that help restore the shine and offer protection against wear. These products will also help fill small scratches and are available in low and high gloss finishes to revitalize worn Floors use a floor wax. These not only provide a deep clean but they leave a satin finish that protects and beautifies hardwoods. Regardless of which product you choose, always apply them with the grain of the wood. If your product requires a mop application. Rinse the mop often and ring it dry. Although many products will dry pretty quickly, you can speed the process by turning on a ceiling fan or the floor can be dried using a soft microfiber cloth no matter how often you clean your hardwood floor scratches are inevitable especially if you have pets. There are liquid scratch concealers that when dry form a permanent seal that wont come off during cleaning. Eventually, your floors sealed surface will wear but fortunately, real hardwood flooring can be lightly sanded and new finish applied to restore the floors natural beauty. For more detailed information about this and many other projects, check out the DIY projects and ideas section of Homedepot.com or talk to one of our store associates
Here’s How the Flooring Forecaster Can Help You Plan a Flooring Project in Your New Home
As you scroll through listing photos on your search for a new house, you probably find yourself thinking about all the ways you’d make that house your home: noting the reading nook that’d be perfect for your favorite cozy chair, planning the great barbecues you could throw in the sunny backyard or imagining ripping up that old carpeting to finally get the hardwood floors of your dreams.
Now, your imagination has a new partner: The Home Depot and realtor.com have teamed up to create the Flooring Forecaster tool, which makes it easy to find the floors that speak to you—so you don’t have to simply imagine undertaking those flooring projects, you can start planning your project right from a real estate listing (and right on this article!).
Give it a try! Head over to the right side of your screen in the News & Insights Home Improvement section and look for the Flooring Forecaster tool. You’ll be able to choose a room you’d like to renovate and browse your options for the flooring designs and finishes that match your style and needs. Plus, you’ll get recommendations for tools you can rent from The Home Depot or Home Services professionals to take your project across the finish line.
And later, as you’re searching through listings on realtor.com to find your perfect place, look out for The Home Depot’s logo. When you spot it, click to launch the Flooring Forecaster—and start getting excited about stepping over the threshold onto new floors on move-in day. Take note of the square footage calculation as you interact with the tool too—the Flooring Forecaster is fine-tuned for the home you’re looking at, so you’ll be able to quickly get an idea of how much product you’ll need for your project and how it fits into your overall reno budget.
Maybe you’ve always wanted bright, bold tile in a fun bathroom, or known your kitchen floors need to be durable enough to hold up against muddy paws or toddler chefs. Maybe you have absolutely no idea what you’re looking for and could use some expert help to figure out what would work best in your new space. No matter your needs, The Home Depot, realtor.com and the Flooring Forecaster are here to help put you on the path toward flooring-project success.
The best part of the Flooring Forecaster? It makes it possible to completely plan your flooring project before you move. Some design decisions—like finding the perfect artwork or starting your garden—are easier to think about once you’ve settled in. But by installing new floors before move-in day, you can avoid having to move furniture twice or find temporary shelter during the installation.
When it comes time to execute your flooring project, you can easily plug the square footage for your project into one of The Home Depot’s project calculators. Then the app can let you know what materials are in stock at the store near you and help you rent the tools necessary for your job. Finally, schedule deliveries straight to your door and check out step-by-step videos to walk you through each part of the process.
And if you’d rather not make floors a DIY job, The Home Depot can still be your go-to partner. Along with offering you the latest designs and materials, The Home Depot’s Home Services can connect you to trusted professionals in your area who have seen it all—from herringbone-patterned hardwood to the most intricate tile patterns and everything in between.
Ready to get started? Let’s go! With a few clicks, you can turn a house for sale into a home for you, starting from the ground up.
This content was paid for by an advertiser and created by the realtor.com advertising department. The realtor.com News & Insights editorial team was not involved in the creation of this content.
Related topics:The Home DepotThe Home Depot Flooring ForecasterSours: https://www.realtor.com/sponsored/introducing-flooring-forecaster/
How long did your Home Depot, lumber liquidators wood floors last?
I had Bruce pre-finished solid hardwood (not engineered) from Lowe's $ a sq. ft. for gunstock oak. Most was installed by a very good floor installer who then retired. He said it was very good flooring - many long pieces and only a few flawed ones. The second installer said the same thing. I have only had the floor less than a year so i cannot yet comment on how it holds up, and it is upstairs in the bedrooms which gets little wear.
Because these are solid hardwood, they should not need to be replaced for decades. However, the refinishing of some prefinished floors can be expensive because it is a lot of work to sand off the factory applied finish.
Prefinished floors have a slight bevel on the edges so they fit together correctly. I thought this would bother me but it does not. My main level floors are site finished solid oak - check out the price of that too. Here is a pic of the Bruce:
Hardwood floors homedepot
Home Depot Floors
American Carpet South installed our carpet for Home Depot. (They are a subcontractor for Home Depot, and then they subcontract to other installers.) We had a total of 8 visits from them to address the poor installation. They even delivered a replacement carpet with a hole in the middle of it. For weeks we had to live with just padding and tack strips while they reordered the carpet. They finally replaced the carpet, but we are back at square one with a poorly done job (poorly done seams and creases in places). One team even stole towels from us, which ACS reimbursed us for. They have lied to us repeatedly throughout the process. All told, the installers burned our carpet all the way through to the pad because they used the iron improperly, damaged walls which had just been painted in our brand new house, piled furniture into closets causing scratches, and broke a lamp. These damages have not been reimbursed.
We did get a partial credit from Home Depot because of the time it took from ordering to the final installation (4 months) and the trouble of being home for so many visits. However, American Carpet South has not reimbursed us for any of the damages. They are stalling and we may end up needing to take action in order to have the lamp replaced and the walls and furniture repaired. Buyer beware!
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Home Depot Flooring installation has been epic failure. The installer did not show up after waiting 3 months. I paid in full over 6K upfront. Now, a week overdue and no floors. Disorganized! Terrible service once we discovered installer didn't show up. Home Depot 3rd party install company Superior Installations is incompetent. Do not seem to care or make priority. Never pay in full up front. Go find a good flooring company recommended. It's not worth using Home Depot to save a few bucks. My floors still are not in after months. Disaster, headache, stress and now my home sale is at risk. No go Home Depot.
I contracted the installation of hardwood floors with Home Depot end of July. I had been debating working independently or with a major company, and ultimately decided to go to Home Depot because I thought the work would get done in a quality and professional manner. When I purchased my new floors, I was never informed of the situations where the contractors would be unable to install the floors. Home Depot had multiple opportunities to do this: during the initial transaction, when the technician came to measure the rooms, or when the contractors came to begin work this morning.
As a customer, I should be informed of all the variables at play so I can make an informed decision. The contractors came this morning, tore apart half of my carpet, tore flooring in appropriate places, and then said “sorry we can’t do the work, you need to find someone to level the floor”. As a customer that spent 10k, I wish someone from Home Depot would have informed me of issues with installing the floor if the house was not leveled. This is necessary information that Home Depot should bring forward to all their customers. The contractors left my place a mess, and uninhabitable. I contacted the store manager, and the response was unacceptable. I am writing this to give others fair warning. Home Depot is truly a scam.
My hardwood flooring project began in Feb when I put down a deposit. Sept and it still isn't professionally finished to satisfaction. Communication and scheduling with the flooring installation company, ACS, is very poor. I have also contacted HD Corporate. The stress, frustration, disappointment of a 7 months experience cannot be told here! It's a nightmare! I have fully paid for this project but HD should readily refund my money.
The man and women that came to my home today were excellent to work with! They were quick, clean and very respectful in my home. These two make a great team in getting the job done nicely!!! I would highly recommend the people that came to my home.
Bought carpeting from Home Depot and the installer came. The bedroom closet was not supposed to be carpeted but he went in and did it anyway. Several days later I went to the closet and realized he stole a brand new still in box Fire Stick. I will never do any business with Home Depot again.
After 3 years the carpet we had installed showed some wear. We bought a carpet with a good warranty (life proof) 25 year wear warranty. We are only home 6 months of the year, so it is only a year and a half old. I called Susann (the expediter) on their warranty and they said, because it is in front of a chair there is no warranty. BUYER BEWARE.
Our experience with this HD was a nightmare and we ended up canceling our flooring job a month and a half into it. The people in the flooring department do not know how to process their orders and installs correctly and wasted a lot of our time. We got a measurement done and I received a 22 page PDF estimate that only stated, "Let me know if you have any questions." I waiting 2 days thinking they would call and go over the 22 pages they sent but no call, so I called HD and talked to Sasha, the lady who helped us originally. She said she didn't know why I got that and that we had to come in and go over it and pay for the order.
My landlord and I went in the next day and it took an hour to pay for it because neither Sasha nor the customer service ladies knew how to process a payment correctly for $! Isn't this what they do every day! We were then told they had to order the flooring and they would call us when it was to be delivered. We were told the install would take a day, that we could leave the product in the garage once it was delivered and that we only needed the threshold delivery for this reason. We were also told that the installers would move 6 items per room. (This is random but important later.)
We were then ghosted for a month until they told us the trim we wanted wasn't available so we had to pick a new color out. It took them a month to tell us this! My wife went to the closest store where the flooring associate was rude to her to the point that she left and went to the next closest store. They picked out the new item and the associate called the Truxel store to let them know. The Truxel store never even added that item to our order after my wife wasted 2 hours doing what they asked. I tried following up with the flooring department 3 times, the first time customer service bounced my call around for 20 minutes, the second time I was on hold for 30 minutes then the last time I was on hold for 10 minutes before I gave up.
I called corporate on a Friday to see if they could help because we were having nothing but problems. The man took my info and said someone would call me back in 30 minutes. The next day I called again as I didn't hear anything back and I was told they had no record of my call, but that she would enter my info and have someone call me back on Monday. Tuesday I once again called corporate and was told the lady from Monday did not process my call correctly and that it would still be another 24 to 48 hours before I received a callback.
We then finally got a call for delivery and set it for Monday June 28th and the Install was set for July 14th. The installers stated we had to keep the product in the house, that it would take 3 days to do the install and that they would only move 2 items per room. This was a major issue because it contradicted what we had been told and my wife and I both work and cannot just take 3 days off to babysit the installers. Also, if my wife was home in the morning when they came, as we had planned for the one day, she would not be able to move all the items out by herself as we were told 6 would be moved per room.
At this time I was still waiting for a call back from corporate hoping we could resolve some of these issues but still had heard nothing back. I received an email on Sunday stating we had our set delivery for the next day and that it was a threshold delivery and it defined a threshold delivery, to the outside of the house. Again this was a problem because I work mornings and only my wife is home and she is not responsible to bring all of this in the house.
I called the Truxel store and asked for a manager. I spoke to Butch and explained everything in detail also stating that we don't even have a delivery time, we had a 14 hour window and that was not going to work. He worked everything out for a set time on Monday and we also discussed compensation for all of this hassle. I asked for half of the install to be completed, about $ or I wanted the order canceled because this had been a nightmare. He stated he would only comp up to $ and that he would have to get with his manager and get back to me.
Monday comes around, ready for delivery and they only delivered part of the order. I didn't call HD at this point because I was just tired of dealing with this and it wasn't worth it at this point. Shawn called me back later on Monday and said all they can do is $ off my order. I told him they didn't even deliver the whole order and he said, "We had the rest coming on Tuesday." I explained to him that I knew nothing about this and if that was the case they could have just delivered it all on Tuesday instead of coming twice!!! He didn't seem to be bothered at all by the incompetence of his employees. I told him $ was not close to being worth it and at this point I wasn’t dealing with HD and wanted to cancel the order.
They set an appt for Tuesday (the next day) to pick up the flooring. He was supposed to get back to me on how the refund would be processed, if we needed to go in or if it would go back onto the card automatically. Thursday rolls around and still no call back from Shawn so once again I CALLED HOME DEPOT and asked him how the refund would be processed. He then told me they already issued the refund and emailed me a receipt. In this whole process I must say that the only thing that went according to schedule with no hassle at all was canceling the appointment and having the flooring picked up. They were professional and even called to tell me they would be a little late. I don't know if anyone will actually read this or even care but I care. This should not have happened.
I have been a loyal HD customer my whole life, I have spent thousands of dollars there and with the refinance on the house, planned on spending thousands more fixing things up. After this experience, I will never shop at a HD again. My hard earned money will not go to a company that treats their customers this way and are so unprofessional. I now drive the extra 10 minutes to Lowe's and will be going there tomorrow to get the process started on our flooring along with the bathroom remodels. Originally I tried to post this review on the HD website but it was denied saying it did not meet their ‘guideline’ requirements. After reading the requirements, that was a load of bull and nothing I said was on their list of things not to say. They don't even want honest feedback from their customers!
I had a great experience with the Johns Creek staff and management. I only needed to re-carpet a stairwell, 16 square feet. The install company that Home Depot Contracts with is called U.S. Installation Group. They not only cancelled my installation but did not respond to me or the store management who I got involved. When I finally reached a supervisor at U.S. after holding for 20 minutes, not only was she condescending but acted as if she was doing me a favor by talking to me. Needless to say I've wasted 1 1/2 months on this project and cancelled. I cannot believe that a great company as Home Depot would be doing business with this shoddy company.
Top 5 Brands for Solid Hardwood Flooring
The Woods Company
Best for reclaimed solid wood flooring
So many reclaimed wood flooring companies do not instill trust with consumers. From pre-millennial websites to outdated price lists to incorrect product descriptions, it's a wasteland out there, which provides more opportunities for reputable reclaimed wood flooring companies, such as The Woods Company (TWC), to gain traction.
Even though new wood flooring has been added to TWC's stock, reclaimed wood is still their forte. TWC is located in the right place (south-central Pennsylvania) for sourcing wood from old barns.
No, your flooring does not come from flooring. Only a small percentage, mostly maple, started as flooring, but you don't want it to begin with flooring. Better to begin with "beam stock" as Pete Mazzone of The Woods Company says.
It cuts the distressed grade flooring from the sides of the beams, where the wood has been authentically distressed for over a century. Inner cuts allow for a lighter patina and "a less rustic character than the distressed, less saw kerf, knot, nail hole, and checking," says Mazzone.
Reclaimed wood flooring is expensive; most niche flooring is, TWC included. For eagle-eyed shoppers, TWC does have an enticing "Specials" list that provides bargains of limited quantity reclaimed and new flooring. If the quantity is right and your credit card is handy, you might just score a great deal.
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