• Damian Bialonczyk

Hardwood flooring species

You can install different types of hardwood flooring into your house. Hardwood species for flooring vary in durability, grain patterns, and color. This guide will help you distinguish between the different types.

Oak Hardwood Flooring (Red Oak)

Oak is one of the most popular species of hardwood flooring among homeowners. Two common types of oak are red oak and white oak. Red oak can be distinguished by its natural red hue. Both white and red hardwood floors are readily available at any hardwood flooring supply store and can be stained for a custom finish. Oak is very durable and has a beautiful grain pattern. Oak has a hardness rating of 1290-1360 (depending on type), which puts it in the middle of the pack compared to other hardwood flooring species. Oak has less dimensional stability than most other wood species so it is prone to shrinking and expansion with moisture.

Maple Hardwood Flooring

Maple is a less common hardwood flooring species than oak. It is strong and durable, and has a more discreet grain pattern than other hardwood flooring species. Maple has a hardness rating of 1450 and has similar dimensional stability to oak.

Birch Hardwood Flooring

Birch has similar physical characteristics (hardness and dimensional stability) to oak and maple species, however it provides a different visual appeal. Birch hardwood flooring has a lighter sapwood than oak and maple and contains beautiful light/dark contrasting throughout the plank. Birch hardwood is a good candidate for an unstained natural hardwood floor!

Brazilian Cherry Hardwood Flooring

Brazilian Cherry, also known as Jatoba, is an exotic-type hardwood floor which is one of the hardest wood species in the world. It has a distinct visual appeal with a slight red hue and pronounce grain patterns. Brazilian cherry hardwood floors darken over time with exposure to sunlight. Brazilian cherry is less prone to shrinking and expansion than oak.

Bamboo Hardwood Flooring

Bamboo is actually a type of grass, rather than hardwood, and has become a more popular flooring option in recent times. Bamboo has a distinct "knuckle" grain pattern. The cost of bamboo flooring is consist with common hardwood flooring species (e.g. oak). Bamboo is typically not as durable as true hardwood flooring species, however top-quality bamboo flooring can be extremely durable and refinished depending on plank thickness. Bamboo has a hardness of 1380, which is similar to oak. Bamboo has great dimensional stability, meaning it does not expand/contract significantly with moisture.

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