How to avoid abrasion of the floor?

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1st March 2021


Wood Floor

How to Avoid Abrasion of the Floor?

Abrasion is the susceptibility of a particular wood species to surface defects due to friction. The durability of wooden floors and stairs depends on their resistance to mechanical stress. The floor wears out due to heavy daily use. Gentle care and protection will keep your floor looking flawless for years to come.

The abrasion process of the floor determines the coefficient. Manufacturers indicate the degree of abrasion of tiles and panels by coefficients. These calculations are not relevant to wood floors. The natural origin of wood dictates the absence of standard evaluation criteria. The place of origin and the type of wood affect the technical characteristics of the floor covering.

Wood species and abrasion

The properties of wood determine the degree of abrasion. Factors that affect the abrasion of wood:

  • hardness;
  • specific gravity;
  • type of cross-section;
  • anatomical structure.

Experts distinguish between hardwood and softwood. The Yankee and Brinell classification contains additional modifications. Conifers are soft. Hardwood is resistant to abrasion and mechanical damage. The hardness of the wood does not determine the durability of the floor. Ash floor is subject to more abrasion than the oak floor. Ash has a greater hardness than oak.

The hardness of individual wood species:

  • spruce – soft;
  • pine – soft;
  • birch – medium-hard;
  • American walnut – medium-hard;
  • tick – hard;
  • oak – hard;
  • Merbau – very hard;
  • ebony – hard as bone.

The hardness of certain wood species according to the Jank and Brinell classification

Exotic woods are some of the hardest. Most of them have significant abrasion resistance. Oak, hornbeam and ash are the least prone to abrasion among local hardwood species. We definitely do not recommend species such as pine, fir or spruce for floors. This type of wood deforms and wears out quickly.

Other properties of wood that affect abrasion

Wood parameters that significantly affect its abrasion:

  • density;
  • transverse section;
  • the proportion of latewood in the structure.

The higher the density of wood, the less it is subject to abrasion. A radial cut in wood (standing grain pattern) guarantees a high abrasion resistance compared to a tangential cross-section. The wood in the tangential section is easily split and exfoliated.

The proportion of latewood and earlywood directly affects the strength of the final product. Late (summer) wood shows greater hardness and strength compared to springwood. Its colour is darker. A large proportion of summerwood increases the abrasion resistance of the floor.

What kind of wood coating protects against abrasion?

Varnishes are generally much less abrasive than oils, waxes, or oil waxes. Several layers of varnish provide a hermetic protective layer. It protects the wood from damage, including abrasion. Each manufacturer provides various types of varnishes for different purposes. A different type of varnish is applied to commercial surfaces than to floors and stairs in private homes. One of the most durable varnishes is water-based polyurethane or epoxy varnishes.

Traditional oils and waxes do not protect wood floors from deterioration, exceptionally abrasion. Hard oil waxes are the best solution. They harden on the surface of the wood and penetrate deep into the structure. Hard oily wax is more susceptible to abrasion than varnish. The wax can fill cavities.

Our selection of tips should help you maintain your wood floor. Pay attention to the degree of hardness of the wood species when ordering the flooring. Following these simple rules will allow you to enjoy the look and comfort of your floor for years to come.



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