When it comes to wood flooring, there are many different types and species of wood available. Sometimes it can even get difficult to select the best wood flooring material. When selecting hardwood for your floor, you should always consider the hardness, dimensional stability, and “workability” (how easy the wood is to cut, sand, and nail) of each wood species. Hardness of the wood determines the durability and longevity of the floor and how well your floor will stand up to wear and tear. Different wood species carry different hardness rating, known as its Janka rating.
Wood from coniferous trees such as Douglas fir and pine are called softwood and they have a lower hardness rating than hardwood that are obtained from broad-leaved angiosperm trees such as oak and hickory. However, it has to be noted that the finish of your wood floor can also add to its hardness.
Selecting Wood for Floor: Which Hardwood is Best for Flooring?
Hardwood is normally harder than softwood but it is also more expensive and difficult to install. Density of certain
hardwoods can make the installation process tougher when it comes to saw, nail, or sand the strips or planks. Before selecting or buying hardwood for flooring in your home, always investigate and ascertain the workability of the wood you are considering to buy.
Another major issue to consider while choosing hardwood flooring is the dimensional stability and adaptability of the wood species. This means the wood responds to changing humidity conditions and climate. Dimensional stability and adaptability of wood is especially important if you live in an area with extreme fluctuations in humidity levels.
Woods such as mahogany, cherry, teak, and walnut are considered to have good dimensional stability and are best for flooring. Engineered-wood floors also offer greater dimensional stability than solid-wood floors because of their construction.
Which are the most popular and best wood species available for hardwood floors
The most popular and best wood species available for hardwood floors are:
Red Oak: This is a reddish hardwood with a coarse, open grain and good durability and excellent workability.
White Oak: This is a light-brown hardwood with an open grain and good durability and workability.
Maple: This is a whitish- to light-reddish-brown hardwood with a closed, uniform grain. Even though maple wood has good hardness, it is difficult to saw and it also does not take stain evenly.
White Ash: This is a light- to dark-brown hardwood with a generally straight, open grain and good workability.
Douglas Fir: This is a light- to yellowish-brown softwood with a predominantly straight grain. It has good workability, but it can also undergo dramatic color change due to sun exposure.
Brazilian Cherry: This an exotic hardwood with a reddish tone, an interlocked grain, and excellent hardness.
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