Choosing a Hardwood Floor Species

You can choose from a wide variety of hardwood floor species for your home, depending on your budget, lifestyle, and design preferences.

These days, hardwood flooring is a popular option for homeowners, and no wonder: this type of flooring is durable and attractive, adding elegance and value to any home. If you’ve decided to install wood floors in your home, the next step would be to decide which species to use – and there is a myriad wood species to choose from. Each type has its own unique characteristics that sets it apart from others. Appearance (color, grain patterns), durability, moisture-resistance and hardness can vary depending on the species. In addition, stains and finishes can add uniqueness to the wood, and different woods can complement various types of settings – whether you’re going for a rustic, contemporary or classic look.

Cherry Hardwood Floors

Cherry is among the common types of wood chosen for its hardness, striking appearance and satiny smooth texture. In fact, it has been used in the construction industry for many years. Colors can vary from rich red to reddish brown and darkens as it ages. Employing custom scraping and double staining brings cherry wood’s beauty and elegance even more. It is very easy to maintain; however, it is also easily scratched. Cherry hardwood floors can range in price from $3/sf to $8/sf.

Oak Hardwood Floors

Oak is another commonly used flooring due to its high resistance to dents and deep scratches. For this reason, this is a good choice for families with children and pets because it can withstand wear and tear brought about by dings from your toddler’s toy or Fido’s claws. Oak comes in a wide variety of colors and stains and will undergo minimal color change over time. This type of wood almost always has an obvious grain pattern. If you live in an area with colder climate, oak will make your home appear warmer and cozier. While oak can look old and worn after many years, this can be rectified by refinishing the wood. Oak hardwood floors can cost anywhere between $3/sf and $$14/sf.

Hickory Hardwood Floors

While it is more commonly used in rustic or log homes, hickory hardwood floors can go with any and all designs. It is one of the hardest wood species; its strength and shock-resistance has made it the go-to material for furniture, cabinetry and flooring. Its durability ensures that it can stand up to a lot of foot traffic over the years, making it a good choice for families with children and pets. Like oak, hickory makes a room appear warm and cozy, and undergoes minimal color change. Hickory hardwood floors are priced between $3/sf and $6/sf.

Maple Hardwood Floors

Maple is undeniably the most popular and widely-used type of wood for flooring. It is so sturdy that it is often used for bowling alleys – a place that does not only get heavy foot traffic, but also where bowling balls that vary in weight from 6 to 16 pounds are launched onto the floor on a regular basis. It has also been a favorite material of furniture and flooring manufacturers going back to early Colonial days. Because of it has a light color with a warm hue, it easily adapts to any color palette and will go well with any room, making it appear more open and airy. It is very easy to maintain with regular sweeping or vacuuming. However, because of its smooth surface it will easily show scratches so it is important to polish scratches with a rubbing compound in order to remove them. Maple wood changes color with time and tends to grow more yellow with age. The cost of maple hardwood floors range from $6/sf to $14/sf.

Walnut Hardwood Floors

Walnut floors are more expensive than other species; however, it is also extremely durable and will extend the life of your floor and ultimately add value to your home. It is resistant to chipping, cracking, water damage, mold, and bug infestations. This type of wood is visually appealing, ranging in color from light to dark chocolate brown. Because it shows off the natural variety in the wood grain, walnut flooring has a unique, interesting and elegant appearance. Walnut is receptive to staining which is a bonus if you want to adjust its color. Walnut hardwood floors are priced between $4/sf and $9/sf.

Mahogany Hardwood Floors

Mahogany is used extensively to make floors, furniture, musical instruments, boats and yachts. It is harder than most hardwoods like oak, pine, etc., and has no grooves and pockets, making it highly resistant to water and scratches. More than its durability, mahogany is revered for its beauty and rich color that make a room appear more elegant and sophisticated. Mahogany absorbs sunlight, so it doesn’t fade easily. Because of its dark color, it can easily show dust, pet hair and dirt so it requires regular sweeping and dusting. Mahogany hardwood floors can range in price from $8/sf to $14/sf.

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