Tough hardwood floors

FRESNO, Calif.

When Pat Mccarney's company installs a new floor these days, more often than not, the customer asks for wood.

"People love hardwood floors mostly because of the durability. It's a classic look. It's maintainable."

Consumer reports tested nearly 30 popular flooring choices, from wood to vinyl, to see which really will stand the test of time.

"We found laminate and vinyl still come out on top when it comes to resisting everyday wear," John Galeotafiore said.

But today's wood floors did better than ever in consumer reports' tough tests. Here testers are dropping weights from varying heights.

They're measuring how easily a floor dents. And this test mimics foot traffic by dragging a stiff bristle brush back and forth over the same spot.

"Floors that topped our wear test looked nearly pristine after 500 passes and would be good candidates for busy kitchens."

Bruce Dundee Plank, a pre-finished solid-oak flooring, is the first hardwood ever to score excellent in consumer reports tough wear tests.

"Bamboo, which many people like because it's touted as eco-friendly, also did better than ever in this round of testing."

The top-rated bamboo is the Teragren Synergy with Xcora. It's an excellent choice for a sunny room because it resists color changes.

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