4 Reasons to Choose Hardwood Flooring Over Softwood Flooring

There are plenty of things to consider when you're choosing timber floors for your home, but one of the most fundamental decisions you'll need to make is whether to choose a hardwood species or a softwood species.

You'll have heard people talk about hardwoods and softwoods, but you might not quite understand what those terms mean. It all comes down to the type of tree that produced the wood and the structure of its seeds, but it's the characteristics of hardwoods and softwoods that really matters.

Here are just four reasons why hardwood timber tends to be the right choice for flooring.

1. Durability

Hardwood timber isn't always harder than softwood timber, but this is the general rule. Hardwoods tend to have tighter grain structures and to be far denser than softwoods. This makes them very hard-wearing, and that's hugely advantageous when it comes to flooring since you aren't as likely to start seeing dents and scratches. If you drop something heavy in the kitchen, hardwood flooring shouldn't show damage as easily as softwood flooring. If you walk across the hall in high heels, marks are less likely to show.

2. Excellent Fire Resistance

Since hardwood species are generally much denser than softwood species, they don't burn as quickly. Throw a softwood plank and a hardwood plank on a fire, and you'll see the former consumed a lot faster. That's something you might want to consider when you're choosing the timber for your floor. Hardwood timber does burn, but its fire resistance is superior to softwood timber.

3. Longevity

Longevity is clearly linked to durability—since hardwood timber flooring isn't as likely to suffer dents and scratches, you should be able to keep your floor for years without ever worrying about cosmetic problems. But even if your softwood timber flooring is never marked, it still won't last as long as hardwood flooring. Simply walking across your floor causes stress, and most softwood species cannot hold up to that kind of pressure over decades like a hardwood can. That's why you'll almost always see hardwoods in older homes.

4. Appearance

Both softwood and hardwood timber flooring can look fantastic, but you'll generally find that hardwood species offer a more elegant and distinguished appearance. Colours are usually dark brown and red, whereas softwoods tend towards yellows and lighter reds. Those darker shades are associated with premium flooring, so anyone seeking to make an impression should choose hardwood.