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Top 5 Hardwood Flooring Options for Families With Children and Pets

A homeowner who has young children and pets and who’s decided to install a hardwood floor has a bit of a challenge. What type of hardwood floor can bear up to the sort of messes that automatically come with having young kids and pets running around the house? Fortunately, Go Hardwood has the solution. This article will describe five of the top hardwood flooring options for a rambunctious household.

Some Tips First
Though the following woods are tough and durable, even they need some protection in a house full of pets and little ones. The wood should be sealed with a polyurethane sealant. This can be done at the factory or when the wood is installed in the home. The homeowner should put down area rugs over these floors, especially in rooms that get a lot of traffic such as the den. Spills should be cleaned up immediately, and the floor should be damp-mopped once a week if it gets heavy traffic. Damp mopping can happen less often if traffic is light. Water should never be allowed to stand even on a floor that’s been sealed.

The hardwood floor should be vacuumed weekly with the vacuum on floor setting to pick up grit that can scratch its surface. If there is a mild scratch or two, it can be camouflaged with wax sticks the same color as the floor. White spots can usually be dampened then wiped up, while darker spots may require removal with a piece of fine steel wool or the application of a poultice. Hardware or big box stores should sell cleansers made for wood with a polyurethane finish.

If the hardwood floor has taken a bit of a beating over time, it should be sanded and refinished every few years. Ideally, a professional should do this, for it’s a messy and arduous job. Solid hardwood can be finished more times than engineered hardwood, which is made up of a veneer of high quality wood over layers of plywood that have been pressure-glued together.

Now, here are the types of hardwood for a busy household:

Brazilian Oak
Also called taurai, this hardwood is sold as both solid and engineered wood. It’s native to South America, specifically the Amazon basin. It has a lustrous, golden-red color that puts people in mind of red oak and takes stains well. Brazilian oak is fairly hard, weighs about 3 pounds per square foot, has a low shrinkage rate and resists dents and dings.

Brazilian oak is easy to work with both manual and power tools.

Brazilian Tigerwood
This wood gets its name for the beautiful, tiger-like stripes in the grain. Also called koa, the heartwood is salmon colored to orange brown and has a golden luster. It’s a very hard, tough and strong wood that has low shrinkage. Because it’s so hard and dense, Brazilian tiger wood is a bit hard to work with even though it glues and holds screws well. It weighs 56 pounds per cubic foot and has a coarse-textured, interlocked grain.

Black Walnut
Available as solid or engineered wood, durable black walnut is native to America and gets its name from its heartwood, which is deep, dark brown to purple-black. It’s a tough, hard wood with medium density and is easy to work with both power and hand tools. It glues well, holds both nails and screws securely and can be polished to a bright shine.

Hickory
Hickory is a paler, straight-grained wood that dries rapidly without warping or twisting. It resists shocks and crushing well and is very strong. Though it stains and polishes well, hickory has a reputation for being a bit difficult to glue. It is best bought in solid wood planks or strips.

Golden Teak
This strong and beautiful wood is so tough that it’s frequently used as the decking for ships and for outdoor furniture. As the name implies, this type of teak is golden brown with no other markings. It is very stable, resists fire and acid and takes stains and polishes beautifully.