Hardwood Flooring Types
Here are some of the types of wood used for hardwood flooring, there are too many too list but these are some popular woods you may decide to install in your house.
Red Oak Hardwood Flooring
Oak is a very popular flooring installed since hardwood flooring was introduced, most old floors you find in old houses (sometimes under the carpet) will be a oak, top nailed strip floor, sanded on site. It is a floor with a lot of character which is great for hiding dirt, scratches or pet hair! Oak is not the hardest wood out there but it is in the middle of the floors between hard and soft so it will scratch if you dragged large pieces of furniture on it. To this day oak is still very popular due to its beautiful grains and willing to accept stain evenly. You can get oak from almost anywhere but be sure to check with the professionals before you purchase your product, if the oak hasn’t been dried and milled properly it does have a tendency to crack after installation. Oak comes in all different grain choices which you won’t have with other woods such as an edge grain, flat grain and a quarter sawn grain. If you are purchasing a pre finished hardwood floor most likely only a flat grain is available.
White Oak Hardwood Flooring
White oak is a type of oak that you will mostly find in a unfinished application. This wood is usually in a edge/quartered cut and has a little bit of a green tinge of color to it, unlike the pink tinge that red oak has. The pores in the white oak are closed unlike a red oak floor the is very porous, if you can’t tell the difference sometimes you can cut a small ½ inch piece on the cross way of the wood if it is red oak you can push air through the piece of wood, white oak you cannot.
Maple Hardwood Flooring
Maple is a harder commonly used for pool cues and gymnasium flooring. Being a very hard wood it is a lot less prone to scratching which make it excellent for pets. Maple is light in color and is excellent to brighten up your space if you need. It is also has less character than other woods similar to it so it is commonly stained for a more uniform floor. Please keep in mind a uniform floor is very hard to keep clean, especially if you have a dark stain on your floor. Maple will yellow with time so be sure to move around you furniture and area rugs with this floor, a higher quality brand of hardwood will slow this tremendously with the finishes, if your floor is lower quality stick to a darker stain to avoid color change.
Birch Hardwood Flooring
Birch wood is a beautiful example of a maple with character grain. Although it is a lot softer than maple it is very colorful of mixed lighter and darker shades. This floor has a grain that visually pops out of the floor which gives you a very earthy wood floor feeling when you look at it. This is an excellent floor if you love wood and want to really feel like you are walking on a real hardwood floor. This effect will be greater with a higher quality of flooring due to how clear of a finish the product has on it.
Beech Hardwood Flooring
Beech wood has a distinctive grain of waves, with tiny brown spots between them. It is a great product for staining and looks a lot like birch in color but does not have the grain effects that birch has. Most beech flooring you will see will be natural without a stain.
Walnut Hardwood Flooring
This is a beautiful wood commonly used in furniture. As flooring, this wood has a lot of color variation of chestnut browns with a contrasting pale browns mixed in. A definite winner when it comes to a floor with anyone who sets their eyes on it. This wood is light in color naturally and is steamed at high temperatures to bring out the dark browns in the wood. In time your walnut floor will richen in color and become more uniform when it ages.
North American Cherry Hardwood Flooring
A combination of whites, greens, pinks, browns and oranges with some black specs is what you will find in Cherry wood. This is a floor which is very soft, but absolutely gorgeous to look at. The colors of the floor meld well together and are a favorite of many people. Cherry wood is commonly used in furniture building because of its capability to take a stain but in flooring application is only natural.
Jatoba / Brazilian Cherry Hardwood Flooring
This exotic flooring is one of the hardest floors you can install in your home. It is a more brown color when installed and in time the color will change to a deep rich red color which will mesmerize you with pleasure as you can see grains pop out of the floor as the sun hits the floor. This is a very nice wood and is used for many different things but the most popular is flooring. This is an exotic floor from South America and is temperature sensitive, be sure to keep your house at a consistent temperature to minimize gapping or install a high quality glued down engineered floor to solve this issue.
Santos Mahogany Hardwood Flooring
This is another exotic floor similar to the Brazilian cherry but has a wide variety of color to it, this beautiful wood would be nice in any home. Once again it is an exotic wood so be sure to watch the temperature of your house and take good care of it as it is very expensive.