Let’s say you are choosing between hardwood floor refinishing and ripping them all out and starting over. Choosing the ideal wood species for your hardwood floor is no mean feat. You have to take several factors into account. Hardwood flooring can be a significant investment, so choosing a species that will meet your needs and complement your home’s style is crucial. In this article, we’ll go over some of the most popular hardwood species and the factors to consider when making your decision.
Durability and Hardness
One of the most important factors to consider when choosing a hardwood species is its durability and hardness. We refer to wood hardness as a number on the Janka scale, with higher numbers indicating a denser, harder, and more durable wood.
Some of the hardest and most durable hardwood species include Brazilian cherry (known in its native Brazil as jatobá), hickory, and maple. These species are best suited for high-traffic areas and homes with kids and pets. A lot of these wood fall into what are known as exotics in the industry. Softer woods like pine and oak can also be great options, but they may easily show wear and tear. You may see examples of these different floors on sites like Pinterest.
Color and Grain
Another factor to consider is the color and grain of the hardwood species. Each species has a unique color and grain pattern, so you want to choose a species that complements the overall style of your home. For example, a species like hickory or reclaimed wood may be a great choice if you have a rustic or country-style home. A species like white oak or maple may be a better fit if you have a more modern or contemporary home.
Hardwood Floor Cost
Cost is also a factor to consider when choosing a hardwood species. Some species, like Brazilian cherry and reclaimed wood, can be pretty expensive, while oak and pine are more affordable. Keep in mind that the cost of the hardwood flooring is not only determined by the species but also by the grade and width of the boards.
If anyone in your household suffers from allergies or asthma, consider choosing a hardwood species that produces less dust and irritants during installation and day-to-day use. Hardwood species such as Maple, Bamboo, and Cork are known to be hypoallergenic and can be an excellent option for those with allergies.
Where you live and the environment around your home will heavily influence the hardwood species that fit your home best. Some species are more sensitive to changes in humidity and temperature than others. For example, Brazilian cherry and hickory species can be sensitive to humidity changes and may expand and contract in certain climates. Species like Oak and Maple are known to be more stable and less prone to movement.
How you install your hardwood floors can significantly impact your experience. For example, Brazilian Cherry and reclaimed wood can be challenging to install and may require special tools or techniques. Oak and maple are relatively easy to install and, if you’re up for it, can be a great choice for DIYers.
A lot goes into choosing the right hardwood floors for your home. It’s important to consider factors such as durability and hardness, color and grain, cost, allergies, climate, and installation. Each species has its own unique characteristics and it’s important to select one that is best suited for your home and lifestyle. Be sure to consult with a professional or a flooring specialist if you are unsure which species to choose.