Hardwood is an amazing material suited for so many applications and has been doing so for hundreds, if not thousands of years, worldwide. Hardwood floors can last for decades or even centuries when installed and maintained properly. However, it’s important to note that the longevity of hardwood floors largely depends on how well they’re cared for.
How Long Do Hardwood Floors Last?
So, how long do hardwood floors last? The answer to this question varies based on a few factors, including the type of wood species, the finish used, the weather/natural environment it’s in, and the level of foot traffic in the space. However, the simplest/most generalized answer is that hardwood floors can last anywhere from 25 to 100 years, potentially even longer.
The most common types of hardwood used for flooring are oak, maple, and cherry. These woods are known for their durability and ability to withstand heavy foot traffic. Oak, in particular, is a very popular choice due to its beautiful presence and toughness rating on the Janka scale. It’s not uncommon for oak floors to last up to 100 years with proper maintenance.
Hardwood Finishes and Stains
In addition to the type of wood, the finish used on the wood planks plays a significant role in their lifespan. A high-quality finish can protect the wood from scratches, moisture, and other damage. Polyurethane finishes are the most common and can last up to 10 years with proper care. Water-based finishes are also an option and are considered more environmentally friendly; these finishes typically last up to 5 years.
Another factor to consider is the level of foot traffic in the space. High-traffic areas, such as entryways and living rooms, will naturally experience more wear and tear than low-traffic areas. Protecting high-traffic areas with area rugs or runners helps to minimize damage and extend lifespan.
Maintenance, Upkeep, and Care
Proper maintenance is key to extending the lifespan of hardwood floors, including regular cleaning, refinishing, staining, and repairs/replacements of boards if necessary. This type of work is very non-invasive with today’s techniques; for example, dustless floor refinishing involves special air-tight equipment to trap dust and debris during the refinishing process, making it a cleaner and more efficient option than traditional sanding.
Professional wood floor staining treatments can give older hardwood floors a fresh/updated look without installing an entirely new floor. Once a homeowner has the foundation of hardwood floors installed, they can last multiple generations with proper upkeep and care.
Please contact us today to learn more about flooring care and hardwood flooring solutions.