hardwood floors north chicagoHardwood is a preferred aesthetic in many North Chicago homes thanks to its warm and traditional feel. However, hardwoods are not always family-friendly, as some types can be easily scratched, dented, or damaged by moisture. There are some hardwood species, however, that are especially durable. Here at Floor Coverings International North Chicago, we have a large selection of hardwoods to choose from. Below are three of our favorite heavy-duty hardwoods for busy homes.

Ibe or Brazilian Walnut

Ibe, also known as Brazilian walnut, is one of the hardest woods on the market. It scores a striking 3,684 on the Janka hardness scale, far surpassing common domestic hardwoods. The great density of this wood makes it more resistant to insects, mold, and rot. This has made it a preferred choice for many outdoor decks. Brazilian walnut tends to come in a variety of darker shades, with a wide grain that helps to disguise any potential scratches. This will be a very tough floor to damage and is great for high-traffic areas in the home.


Hickory is one of the harder domestic woods available, ranking at 1,820 on the Janka scale. While this may seem soft compared to the Brazilian walnut’s score, this is actually quite tough. The average accepted Janka rating for a hard floor is based on red oak, which ranks at 1,290. Hickory will hold up well in a busy home not only thanks to its density, but also thanks to its stability. Hickory is less likely to fluctuate during temperature or moisture changes, making it a good choice in rooms that are prone to occasional spills. Hickory is available in a variety of lighter shades and is known for its distinct, almost calico grain. These visual characteristics help to hide any dust and scratches better than dark or solid colored wood.

Jatoba or Brazilian Cherry

Like its other exotic counterpart, Brazilian cherry is incredibly durable, ranking at 2,350 on the Janka scale. However, unlike the Brazilian walnut, this hardwood is more affordable and easier to find. It’s deep red hue and superior durability has made it a popular choice amongst homeowners. With Brazilian cherry, you can have a unique, sophisticated floor while knowing that it can withstand wear and tear over the years to come. When choosing exotic hardwoods like Brazilian cherry, stick to FSC-certified hardwoods to make sure that your floors are being harvested sustainably.

Getting Started

The experts at Floor Coverings International North Chicago can help you select and install new hardwood floors in your busy North Chicago home. Call us today to schedule your free in-home consultation and learn more about our hardwood selection. We proudly serve the greater Chicago, Lake View, Ravenswood & Lincoln Square area.


Photo Credit: Sergey Maksienko


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