The number of hardwood choices, patterns, colors, textures and price points can intimidate even the most experienced shopper. Knowing the basic styles can provide you with a firm foundation upon which to begin your hardwood-shopping journey. Choosing your ideal hardwood style is all about knowing the right combination of aesthetics, performance and budget that meets the needs of your lifestyle.
Grain and cut
Job-site hardwood flooring
Water Based Urethane – water used as part of the
makeup of the finish
Solvent Based Urethane – oil used as part of the makeup of the finish
Moisture Cured Urethane – similar make up as solvent based urethanes, finish needs moisture to cure
Hardness – Janka hardness test
Red Oak is the most abundant growing species in the United States. The sapwood of Red Oak is white to light brown while the heartwood has a pinkish reddish brown tone. It comes in four different grades:
highest quality with almost no knotholes or color deviation.
Smooth Finish suggested.
Second highest quality with few knotholes and very slight color deviations. Smooth finish suggested.
Third highest quality with more pronounced knotholes and color
deviations. Suggest hand scraped or smooth.
Lowest quality with many knotholes and color deviations. Suggest hand scrape only.
American Cherry grows primarily in the Midwestern and Eastern United States and is very hard and dense. The sapwood varies from a rich red to reddish brown and will darken with age. The sapwood tends to be a creamy white.
Hickory is the hardest, heaviest, and strongest American wood. The sapwood of hickory is white and the heartwood is pale to reddish brown. It can be finished smooth or hand scraped.
Growing in the Pacific Northwest, maple tends to be light but a very dense wood. Generally there is no marked difference between the sapwood and heartwood. Because of its density, maple is not recommended for high humidity areas. Smooth Finish suggested.
Tends to be a soft wood that absorbs moisture very well and is recommended for high humidity areas. The sapwood in pine is usually light yellowish-white while the heartwood tends to be yellowish-orange. Can be finished smooth or hand scraped.
Same characteristics as Pine, however it is recycled from old buildings (usually barns).
Walnut grows primarily in the Eastern United states. The sapwood tends to be white while the heartwood ranges from a deep chocolate to purplish black. Walnut is great for borders and is finished smooth.
Mesquite grows primarily in the Southern United states and is known for being a very hard and durable wood. The sapwood tends to be pale while the heartwood is reddish brown. Mesquite usually contains lots of knotholes and a smooth finish is recommended.