In fashion and interior design, there’s something to be said for mixing hard and soft elements. Hardwood flooring, however, needs to be either hard or soft. How hard or how soft won’t make any aesthetic differences, but it can have an effect on the behavior of your wood floors. Wood can be temperamental, so choosing between hard and soft species is just as important as choosing the width and length of the boards, installation method, and the final finish.

Hard hardwood floors

Hard hardwood can stand up to the heavy foot traffic that passes through the Banana Republic. Photo: Brazilian Cherry

Why the hardness of your floors matter

The right species of wood for your floors depends on the style and aesthetic that is pleasing to you. Wood floors will last a lifetime, so you want to make sure that you like the way they look. Regarding aesthetics, the hardness and the softness of the wood won’t make much difference. The lifespan of the floors, however, may be affected by the hardness of the wood. Before making a big investment – and wood floors are an investment – make sure you understand how the hardness could make a difference down the road.

Softwood is more delicate

All species of wood has a ranking on the Janka Hardness Scale. When you fall in love with the look of a particular species, you can use this chart to check the hardness. Should you fall for a softwood species – like cherry, for example – you need to take into consideration that softwood is more delicate and susceptible to dings and dents. Because it is softer, it has more give, and is, therefore, more impressionable.

Hardwood is tough

Softwood floors

Beetle Kill Pine is one of the most popular softwoods for flooring.

Hardwood species, on the other hand, will be more resistant to pressure from heavy foot traffic. That being said, when you have a hard hardwood, it may be less prone to dents, but the inflexibility of hard hardwood could pose a few problems. In the cold, dry weather like Colorado is prone to get, hardwood could potentially crack and split if not properly acclimated, or if you allow your indoor climate to get too dry.

Hardwood flooring experts in Colorado

We want you to love your hardwood floors, and that means choosing the species that speaks to you aesthetically. However, there are many ways to give you the aesthetic you love while still using a species of wood that is right for your climate. We strive to be the finest hardwood flooring craftsmen in Colorado, and that means advising our clients of the best type of hardwood flooring from the species to the installation method to the finish. The finish is your first line of defense to protect your floors.

Schedule a free consultation and let’s get started on designing your hardwood (or softwood) floors.