Consumer Reports

Best Hardwood Flooring Recommendations

NBCUniversal, Inc.

Hardwood floors can look amazing and add a timeless touch to any home. But when they get worn, scuffed, and scratched, they quickly lose their luster. Consumer Reports is here to help with recommendations for new hardwood flooring that will stand the test of time, and some cleaning tips to keep them looking great.

To see how well flooring resists dents, scratches, stains, and general foot-and paw-traffic, CR runs a series of tough tests.

The solid wood flooring Teragren Portfolio Naturals Wheat TPF-PORTTG-WHT, for $7.50 per square foot, is made from bamboo and aced CR's scratching and dent tests. It's also very good at resisting stains.

If you get a lot of foot traffic, consider the LL Flooring Bellawood Character Red Oak 10047316 for $6.30 per square foot instead. It earned one of the top scores in CR's abrasion tests.

Whether you're installing new floors or your home has them already, keeping them looking good for years to come requires some special care.

For example, a "no shoes inside" rule can be great if you can enforce it. But it can be tough with kids and pets tracking dirt in.

Place a doormat outside of all of your entrances to keep people and pets from tracking in dirt and mud. Consider area rugs or runners in high-traffic zones like in front of the kitchen sink or oven.

To keep scratches away, use felt protectors under your furniture legs, and always lift furniture when you move it instead of sliding it.

A good vacuum can help, too. The Kenmore Elite Pet Friendly 31150 upright vacuum for $350 is a great choice for bare floors and carpets. And, as the name implies, it can handle your pet's hair, too.

If you're tempted to mop your floors, Consumer Reports says go easy on the water, and never use a steam mop because it can damage hardwood.

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