It is the rare homeowner that knows EXACTLY what hardwood they want from the get-go. It is often much more common for people to think that they know what they want, in the style, color and wood that they want – and then – to change that idea numerous times before their flooring project gets under way. And we can’t say we blame them. With the variety of wood species available today, it’s getting increasingly difficult to choose. Though most of us are limited by budget, which therefore eliminates a good hundred or so choices simply because of their exorbitant costs, the options for hardwood floors alone still number in the hundreds thanks to stain colors and styles. So how is one to choose? How do you muddle through all of the gorgeously attractive choices and end up with the perfect floor. As Fort Worth’s favorite hardwood floor installers, we believe that when it comes to hardwood,, there really is no bad choice as long as the type is right for the application. As far as species of wood go, aesthetics and design are of the utmost importance but the hardness of your wood floor should also be considered when making your choice. Descriptions of popular choices in domestic hardwood species include:
- RED OAK – As the most popular domestic species for wood flooring, red oak is available in colors that range from reddish pinks to darker shades of brown. The color variations of red oak are marked by heavy graining and ranks on the Janka hardness scale at 1290. Red oak styles work great in most rooms that receive good foot traffic but indoor dogs may scratch it.
- WHITE OAK – With a hardness rating of 1360, white oak may be a better choice for those homeowners with dogs and small children. White oak varies from red oak in that it has more of a golden or brownish gray undertone where red oak leans toward pink/red tones. Its graining is harder, lending itself to staining and its color variations, that naturally occur within the wood, are moderate. White oak is considered to be exceptionally stable and durable.
- HICKORY – As one of the hardest species of wood used for flooring, hickory’s unusual patterns and color variations make it a very popular choice of homeowners across the country. However, because of its bold contrasting colors, most flooring experts recommend wide planks when installing hickory hardwood floors to diminish the busy look of the flooring. Hickory is ranked at 1820 on the Janka hardness scale.
- WALNUT – Also referred to as black walnut, this fine grained wood is noted for its warm rich chocolate brown coloring. Its natural deep color adds instance warmth and character to any room. Knots and other graining characteristics are apparent in lighter color options.Where black walnut flooring has a hardness rating of 1010, its cousin brazilian walnut actually boasts much higher at 3680. Because of the difference, many homeowners opt for brazilian flooring in high traffic areas.
- ASH – Known for its light or medium brown color variations, this pale domestic wood has truly interesting wood grain patterns that move from sinple straight lines to wavy and even curly designs. Though comparable to white oak in both hardness (ash ranks at 1320, just below white oak) and color variations, the grain is what sets apart and adds interest and character to a room.
- BEECH – Featuring warm brown coloring with a red undertone, beech heartwood differs from beech sapwood, which is more likely to be mostly pale tan. Tight, straight graining is characteristic of beech woods, making it a popular choice for homeowners that prefer a softer grain appearance in a durable wood. On the Janka Hardness scale, beech rates at 1300.