Choosing the Right Wood Species for Hardwood Flooring
Choosing the right wood species for your hardwood floor can be a daunting task, especially if you’re not well-versed in the different types of wood available. With so many options to choose from, it’s important to know what to look for when selecting the right wood for your home. In this article, we’ll discuss some of the factors to consider when choosing the right wood species for your hardwood floor.
One of the most important factors to consider when selecting a wood species for your hardwood floor is its durability. Different wood species have different levels of hardness, which will affect how well they stand up to wear and tear. Hardwood floors made from harder woods like Brazilian Cherry or Hickory tend to be more durable and resistant to scratches and dents. Softer woods like Pine or Birch are more susceptible to wear and tear and may need to be refinished more frequently. A species we often recommend is White Oak, which has impeccable durability, especially when paired with finished like European Oil.
Janka Hardness Rating
The Janka hardness rating is a useful tool to determine the hardness and durability of different wood species. The rating measures the amount of force required to embed a small steel ball into the wood, and the higher the rating, the harder and more durable the wood is. Hardwood species with a higher Janka rating tend to be more durable and can withstand more traffic and wear over time. You can read more about the Janka scale here.
Color and Grain Pattern
The color and grain pattern of the wood are also important factors to consider when choosing the right wood species for your hardwood floor. Some species like Oak, Maple, and Hickory have distinct grain patterns that can add character and interest to your floors. Other species like Cherry, Walnut, and Mahogany have rich, warm tones that can add a touch of elegance to any room. Ultimately, the color and grain pattern you choose will depend on your personal preference and the style of your home. Take a look at some of these unique grain patterns below:
If you’re looking to customize the color of your hardwood floors, it’s important to consider the stainability of the wood species you choose. Some species like Oak and Maple take stain well and can be easily customized to match the look and feel of your home. Other species like Brazilian Cherry and Mahogany are more difficult to stain and may require special techniques or products to achieve the desired color. Custom color is one of our specialties, so be sure to ask us about all the options available to you!
Another important factor to consider when choosing a wood species for your hardwood floor is the environmental impact of harvesting that wood. There are many options that are eco-friendly, including using lumber from sustainable forests and choosing reclaimed wood as an option. Learn more about the environmental friendliness of hardwood flooring in our article “Environmentally Friendly Hardwood.”
Lastly, it’s important to consider the maintenance requirements of the wood species you choose. Some species like Oak and Maple are relatively easy to maintain and only require periodic cleaning and polishing to keep them looking their best. Other species like Brazilian Cherry and Teak require more frequent maintenance, including regular sanding and refinishing, to keep them looking their best.
As you can see, choosing the right wood species for your hardwood floor involves considering a variety of factors, including durability, Janka hardness rating, color and grain pattern, stainability, environmental impact, and maintenance requirements. By taking these factors into account, you can find a wood species that not only looks great in your home but also meets your practical needs and lifestyle. Of course, you don’t have to make all these decisions by yourself. Reach out to our hardwood flooring experts today to go over all your options and find the perfect hardwood floor for you and your family.