When people decide to put wood flooring in their homes, a lot of decisions can follow, such as: What type of wood? Should we stain or keep it natural? What width of the planks would look best in my home? What type of finish should we apply?
This blog will focus on selecting a type of wood. In future blog posts, I’ll tackle the other questions.
So, how do you pick a type of wood for your home? In the past most people went with red or white oak, because it tends to be the most affordable and can easily be stained (not all wood types can be stained). Now, however, we’re seeing a growing popularity in other types of wood, namely hickory, walnut, and American Cherry. Recently we’ve installed quite a few hickory floors. Hickory is a beautiful wood that has light and dark tones marbled together. I liken it to artwork on your floor. No two hickory floors are the same. When selecting hickory, we talk to our customers about the look they are going for, because each mill’s wood has different characteristics. Some mills’ hickory have more dark tones and more character, while other mills’ hickory have more light tones.
When picking a type of wood, assessing the amount and type of traffic on the floor is important. If you have younger kids and pets, you may want to go with a harder wood. The Janka Hardness Scale tells you the hardness of the wood species.
If you want a specific color of wood, staining the wood may be a good option. White or red oak take stain very well, and there are hundreds of different stain colors to choose from (yet another choice!).
Lastly, looking at pictures of different species, visiting a showroom that has samples of different species, and talking to experts about the look and characteristics you desire can help you decide what type of wood to put in your home. It’s not a decision to take lightly…wood floors are a big investment that will beautify your home for generations.