The quest for a natural wood floor that is scratch resistant has given false hopes to people thinking that it exists. Although hardwood finishes are extremely durable, there is no natural material that is “scratch-proof”. Some finishes happen to be more durable than others, but never scratch resistant. A good quality finish will last 5-15 years, with no maintenance other than routine cleaning. The amount and type of traffic on a floor will determine how long and how well the finish will hold up.
Using a cleaner that leaves no residue will keep the floor looking good and give the option of doing maintenance coats when the floor starts showing signs of wear. This is where solid wood floors shine in the fact they can be sanded to bare wood when the floor becomes aesthetically un-pleasing. Floors that are coated with a finish applied at a factory, such as engineered hardwood, floating and solids are coated with several layers of aluminum oxide, which provides an extremely durable finish that is maintained the same way as site-finished materials.