Wood Flooring Types: A Guide to the Different Species of Hardwood

different species of hardwood
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Beautiful hardwood flooring is a sought after luxury. Even in this new year, household trends choose these wood flooring types above all others. When you’re ready to make the switch from carpet to hardwood, it’s overwhelming at first. There are many different types of woods and each of them has unique properties and styles. So which one do you choose? We’re here to help you. Keep reading to find the right species of hardwood for your home.


One of the most popular wood floor choices due to its easy availability, classic style, and the fact it takes well to all kinds of different stain colors. It’s also one of the cheaper options. There are two different types: red oak and white oak. They look similar in grain texture and style, though there are a few differences. Red oak’s color is often lighter and warmer in tone compared to white oak, which has colors that are more yellow and brown in tone. White oak is also more robust than red oak. It has a rating of 1360 on the Janka hardness scale, whereas red oak comes in at 1290. Oak has prominent grain in its wood, which is one of the reasons a lot of households turn towards this option. Those grain textures give a rustic and homey feel. And they work great at hiding any development of scratches or dents.


Although cherry wood only has a 950 hardness rating, its unique colors are hard to find anywhere else. When first installed, this popular wood floor is a light color. But over time, it changes and deepens to beautiful red tones we all associate with its name. Because of this, wait at least six months before placing rugs over new cherry wood. You want to let sunlight interact with the wood, and rugs stop that from happening. The wood underneath won’t age the same as the exposed wood. The grain in this wood is neat and narrow, giving it a uniform look that looks great in any aesthetic. It’s difficult to stain cherry wood, but with such a gorgeous natural color, who would want anything else?


If you’re looking for a dark brown floor, walnut is your best candidate. It’s rich in color, almost purple in tone. It’s full of character, a striking and beautiful companion to any interior decorating. American walnut is softer than its Brazilian counterpart. American walnut has a hardness rating of 1010 while Brazilian walnut is one of the hardest woods around. Its rating is a whopping 3600. Both walnut types are rich in color, ranging from tan to chocolate. The grain texture is even and straight, with a medium intensity. Walnut is a true investment, however. It’s one of the most expensive types of hardwood floors on the market.


This popular wood floor is known for its smooth appearance due to its weaker grain texture. The wood is paler than other woods, with some variation within the different boards. It’s tricky to stain maple wood. If not applied with an experienced hand, stains tend to look blotchy and uneven. It’s a strong wood, coming in at around 1450 on the hardness scale. If you’re a fan of bowling, you’ve seen this wood used as flooring before, as it’s capable of withstanding high amounts of traffic.


If you’ve got a large family with pets and children, hickory may be the right choice for you. This wood is the perfect shield against scratches and dents. It has a hardness rating of 1820 to help withstand damages. Its strong grain also gives it extra texture. In fact, one of hickory’s most defining features is its unique grain style. Similar to oak wood, this makes hickory great at hiding those inevitable scratches that accumulate over the years. Hickory wood gives beautiful natural charm to any home.


Birch looks a lot like maple but is much cheaper to install. Both the color and the texture of its grain is very similar to maple. It even has the same trouble with staining as maple. It doesn’t absorb the stain and tends to look blotchy. Some stains end up with a unique gray tone that many people find attractive in their hardwood flooring. This type of tree grows all over America, driving its price down. This makes it a nice substitute if you’re looking to save some money. With a hardness rating of 1260, it’s quite strong and durable. Birch is a popular wood floor choice for anyone wanting hardwood floors without breaking the bank.


With an even grain texture and a pale tan color, ash wood is another type of hardwood that we use for other purposes. Baseball bats and hockey sticks, for example, are most often made of ash. Wooden bits on tools are also made from ash, due to its strong shock resistance. It’s a sturdy wood, rating at 1320, so it holds up against a lot of rough traffic but still remains nice to walk upon. Staining ash wood is an easy affair as it takes to the stain rather well and doesn’t appear too blotchy. The grain texture in ash stands out against the lightness of the wood. This is part of ash wood’s charm and is one of the main reasons people want it installed. Dirt and grime show up on the lighter wood more than darker woods, so it may need cleaning more often to keep it looking stunning.

These Wood Flooring Types Look Beautiful in Any Home

The wood flooring types listed above are some of the most popular on the market. Use this list and take some time to evaluate the needs for your home before choosing from these different wood floors. A softer wood wouldn’t suit a family with rambunctious pets but might be a good choice for a small family. It all depends on your preferences. And now that you have all of this information, you’ll know how to figure out which one is right for you. And don’t forget to learn how to clean hardwood in the proper way so that it stays beautiful for many years to come!

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