There are reasons to look for the hardest hardwood floor you can buy. The main reason you would look for a very hard hardwood is longevity. If you have any furniture made of pine, you’ve likely noticed that you can dent it with your finger. That’s why it doesn’t make a great flooring material if you want your floor to look great for years. Hard domestic woods are about on the middle of the hardness scale. They can’t be dented with a fingernail but they can sometimes be scratched by pet nails or high heels. That means you’ll need to make sure you keep your polyurethane finish in good condition. Alternately, you can choose a very hard hardwood. It will resist scratching, chipping, or denting.

Exotic Woods tend to be Hardest

If you’re looking for the hardest hardwoods, you need to focus on exotic imported woods. Domestic woods can be hard but the hardest woods are imported. Typically, Brazil is the source of some of the hardest available woods. On most hardness scales, Brazilian walnut is the hardest flooring wood you can find. Lignum vitae is generally graded as the hardest trade wood in the world. However, it is also considered endangered and in short supply; thus, it is not commonly made into wood flooring. For flooring, Brazilian walnut is likely the hardest wood you’ll find.


Choosing an exotic hardwood isn’t all positive; there are some difficulties you’ll experience if you choose a very hard wood. If you need to repair the wood, one of the fastest ways to repair wood is by sanding it down. However, an incredibly hard wood like Brazilian walnut is so hard that it does not sand easily, making your hardwood refinishing job more difficult than it might otherwise be. It will take more work to repair a wood that hard.  Furthermore, a very hard wood like Brazilian walnut or something similar is very difficult to stain as well. The wood is not only just hard; it is also dense. Since the stain needs to seep into the wood pores, a denser wood is more difficult to stain. It won’t hold a stain as well, but it will be a deeper and richer color than some softer woods anyway.  If you want a wood that will last a very long time, choose something higher on the janka hardness scale. An exotic wood will likely be harder than a domestic wood. However, it will be more difficult to stain a wood that hard.

Which Wood is Right for You?

If you need help determining which wood floor species is right for your home, call a local hardwood floor company to help you make the decision. They will be able to walk you through all of the pros and cons of each species.

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