In the past, we have talked extensively about how to care for your hardwood floor. Not only have we provided tips on how to clean this type of flooring on your own but how to go about finding a professional who can bear that burden for you. Shifting gears a bit, we are now going to spend some time talking about the different types of hardwood flooring. Knowing what type of wood your floors are made of can help you and any professional you might hire ensure that these floors aren’t damaged during the cleaning process. It’s also important to know what type of hardwood flooring your dealing with when the need for repairs and/or replacements arise.
Species Of Wood
Home and business owners have a multitude of choices when they elect to have hardwood flooring installed in their place of residence or office. As is the case with all other products, quality varies from species to species as does price and aesthetic. The following are the most common types of hardwood flooring:
- Cherry: Cherry wood is among the most popular species of hardwood flooring. It’s popularity stems from the fact that it is available in a multitude of varieties as well as its wavy grain aesthetic. American Cherry wood is picked more than any other variety of Cherry wood and is also popular because it need little staining and is illuminated by all types of finishes. Additionally, Cherry wood is highly resistant to sunlight and doesn’t fade as easily as other types of wood.
- Walnut: Walnut hardwood flooring is notable and popular for its rich and deep brown color. Some varieties of Walnut also carry a purple hue that adds brilliance and atmosphere to a room. Walnut’s dark and marbled grains also add character and life to an otherwise plain or drab rooms. Home and business owners also select Walnut hardwood flooring because, like its Cherry cousin, Walnut is highly resistant to sunlight which makes it a great choice for dining rooms and living rooms that see a great deal of light year round. In addition to all of the aforementioned, Walnut is light in weight which makes it a great choice for home and offices with multiple floors.
- Oak: Oak is selected by home and business owners that want a classic or old fashioned look and feel. The warm feeling oak hardwood flooring adds to a room or home is, in some ways, immeasurable. When it comes to oak flooring people have two choices, those being Red Oak and White Oak. The two varieties are different only in color with red oak boasting reddish or pink hues while White Oak hues run from pink to gray. Oak isn’t quite as strong nor resilient as say Cherry or Walnut but it is a tough species of wood and can endure years of abuse before it begins to fade, crack, or warp. Oak flooring has but one major drawback, that being it scratches very easily. Home and business owners considering oak for their hardwood flooring will also want to invest in some good furniture pads to avoid this pitfall. As far as pricing goes, Oak falls somewhere near the middle of the price range making it a good choice for persons who might not be able to afford Walnut and Cherry.
- Maple: Hardwood floors made of Maple boast a very distinctive look. Perhaps more than any other aspect, it’s grain sets it apart from all other species of wood. It’s light color and texture are both ubiquitous and homogeneous. These characteristics make the species popular amongst homeowners who really want an area or the whole of their home to “pop”. In addition to it’s stunning and bright aesthetic, Maple flooring is highly resistant to impacts, scratches, scuffs, and is one of the hardiest woods available. Homeowners with children or grandchildren often select this species of wood for the aforementioned reasons. Maple wood also takes stains incredibly well which makes it easy to mimic the look of other more expensive species.
- Hickory: In terms of raw strength, Hickory wood is in a very small elite class of woods. People will often select Hickory for their hardwood flooring simply for this reason as it’s highly resistant to damage. Cared for properly, Hickory flooring can last an entire lifetime. As far as looks go, Hickory flooring boasts either a mid level hue of tan or a light reddish brown color. There does exist a very rare breed of Hickory that comes in a rich white color though interested persons should expect to pay a price that compliments it’s rarity. If there is any downside to selecting Hickory for flooring it must be the higher installation costs that are a result of the wood being difficult to cut.
- Ash: Ash hardwood floors aren’t the most durable, nor is the species rare. Ash flooring however is notable for it’s upscale look and it’s chic properties. Homeowners with large budgets and businesses looking to impress visitors and employees will often select Ash for their flooring. Ash is notably faint in color and is instead appreciated for it’s swirled grain that gives off a natural look and feel. Ash flooring is also an excellent choice for persons who want a wood that’s strong enough to stand up to abuse but also soft enough to comfortably stand on. Ash flooring however does require more maintenance than most other types of hardwood so those interested in the species should be prepared to have a professional hardwood floor cleaner visit on a regular basis.
- Douglas Fir: Sure, Douglas Fir is most commonly associated with Christmas trees but it also makes for fine hardwood floors. Flooring made of Douglas Fir will boast an almost perfect uniform appearance with many planks looking identical. Douglas Fir flooring is usually a mixture of orange and brown though the saturation of it’s hue varies. Moreover, the natural look of this wood can make any room in which it’s installed look and feel rustic and comfy. Home and business owners that have or work with children be forewarned…Douglas Fir, while pretty, is an extremely soft wood that stains, warps, and cracks easily. Like Ash wood flooring, this type of wood needs constant and consistent care.
- Teak: Teak hardwood flooring is strong, very strong. Teak is an extremely hard wood that’s installed specifically for high traffic ares of both homes and businesses. Teak’s natural beauty comes from both its dark hues and it’s shine. It’s ability to hold oils and finishes only adds to its value too. Persons working with Teak flooring can change it’s color, saturation levels, and its vibrancy with any number of stains. Teak is a popular choice among homeowners who want to add an upscale feel to their home.
- Birch: Birch is one of the most common species of wood selected for hardwood flooring. This is because the wood is not only extremely affordable but it stains well too. Hardwood floors made of Birch wood do require a great deal of care and cleaning however. Birch tends to scratch and dent easily. It also contracts and expands easily as temperatures change even slightly. Birch should only be used in flooring where there is little to no moisture.
- Pine: When one thinks of hardwood flooring they most likely have a vision of flooring made of pine in their heads. Pine flooring is the most common species used in flooring and for good reason. It’s durable yet inexpensive, takes and holds stains well, has a beautiful natural color, and its pin holes and knots lend character to any room they are a part of. Making Pine wood even more attractive to those whom want hardwood flooring, it ages well becoming more attractive over time. Those concerned with the environment will be happy to learn that Pine is the most eco-friendly of woods as well.