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You want your hardwood floor to look good for a long time. Your first instinct might be to simply choose the hardest wood possible to ensure its long-time sturdiness and durability. However, buying a hard, solid wood floor may not necessarily reduce the need for extra special caring over the years. For example, maple is a wood that is harder than, say, oak. But because maple is a clearer wood, scuffs, dents, and dings may show up quicker than on a darker-grained wood like oak. The result is that even though you have a harder wood on your floor, you'll still end up having to refinish it more often that a softer choice that has a darker grain that can better mask normal wear markings.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|