Hardwood flooring is timeless, luxurious and warm, making it one of the most sought-after flooring materials.
Whether your decor style is eclectic or contemporary, it can complement your interiors and help you achieve the look you want. It’s a natural, durable, and renewable material available in many grain patterns and colours. And you can pick from different species of hardwood, each with its own benefits.
To make the right choice for your property, keep reading and discover what you need to know about the different types to make a more informed investment.
5 Popular Hardwood Flooring Types to Choose From
Here is a quick look at the most popular hardwood flooring species on the market.
Obtained from deciduous trees, cherry hardwood has straight, fine grains that range in colour from blonde to reddish-brown. These trees can live up to a century but are typically cut down between ages 50 and 90 as the trunks are susceptible to rot.
While hardwood planks are reddish-brown with a golden hue, they are generally pale when freshly cut. The colour is created over time by oxidization.
The material offers fantastic acoustics as sound reverberates off its smooth surface. This can create an interplay of voices and music, and provide high-quality sounds throughout the room.
Additionally, cherry hardwood creates an inviting atmosphere suitable for a variety of activities and room decor preferences.
If you’re searching for a type of hardwood flooring that offers a variety of prices, durability, and grains, oak is your best bet. It adds warmth to a room and is available in both engineered and solid options. Also, you can pick from several different species to achieve the ambience you want.
Oak can also be easily stained, allowing you to select virtually any hue you desire. Want to go bright? Not a problem. Want to match your dark interiors? That’s easy. Moreover, individual oak trees contain a spectrum of colours, meaning oak flooring is available in colours ranging from red and brown to beige.
Depending on the species, oak has different grain characteristics. Two of the most predominant, white and red oaks, come with straight lines that offer a clean appearance. The pores present in the wood are what set them apart from one another.
The smooth grains and rich colours of mahogany lend an air of sophistication to any space. It’s a tough material that stands up well to heavy foot traffic but is affordable.
Starting out pale tan, the wood goes dark reddish-brown when exposed to sunlight, with variations of dark brown, bronze, and honey. This also means you don’t have to worry about its colour fading with exposure to sunlight.
Its distinct graining patterns, with straight lines close together, offer your flooring a consistent appearance. It also often comes with interlocking ribbon-like grains that produce intricate rippling shifts in colour across the flooring.
Pine is another timeless (and practical) home hardwood flooring option. It comes in knotty and standard varieties, each with its own aesthetic. (The knotty variety offers a more natural and rustic appearance.)
This sustainable softwood grows fairly quickly and has more than 100 different species from which to choose. This means you can source pine flooring that is perfect for your home pretty easily. Furthermore, pine is suitable for homeowners working on a tight budget.
When maintained properly, pine flooring can last for generations. It’s also easy to refinish owing to its softness. In case of damage, you can spot treat the planks and they’re good as new.
You can purchase engineered or solid varieties, but remember that engineered varieties cannot be refinished.
Maple is another durable hardwood flooring option that stains easily and looks great wherever it’s used. It’s popular for its light, creamy and smooth grain pattern, and there are dozens of species.
Like mahogany, maple darkens with prolonged exposure to sun and oxygen. Light maple often develops a golden honey patina. In its natural state, maple is available in warm colours such as neutral beiges and chromatic greys that brighten a room. Alternatively, you may also find darker stains and dyes to match it to similar decor.
Maple hardwood typically has a fine, uniform graining pattern, but variations such as rippled, wavy, curly, tiger, and flame often occur too. This gives the material an added character that no other type of hardwood has. Plus, the graining contains fewer imperfections than other hardwood types, resulting in a more homogenous and consistent appearance.
Maple is also harder than other types of wood flooring, making it suitable for high-traffic areas. It’s also naturally dust-resistant, so it reduces the chances of allergies caused by dust. This attribute of maple contributes to keeping your family healthier.
If you’re in search of the best home hardwood flooring, choose from one of these options. While these are the most popular, there are other species, including ash, bamboo, and walnut. What you pick should depend on the look you want, your budget, and its durability. After all, no one wants buyer’s remorse when it comes to such a sizable and long-term investment.