All You Wanted To Know About Hardwood Flooring

On December 15, 2018 by Himanshu Shah

Wood flooring is a product manufactured from timber that is explicitly designed to be used as flooring, either structural or aesthetic. Wood is a common choice as it can come in various styles, colors, and cuts.

Solid hardwood floors are made of planks milled from a single piece of timber.

It is typical for homes in New England, Eastern Canada, USA, and Europe to have original solid wood floors.

Laminate and Vinyl floors are often confused with engineered wood floors but are not the same. Laminate flooring uses an image of wood on its surface, while vinyl flooring is plastically formed to look like wood.

Difference between Solid Hardwood and Engineered Hardwood:

Solid hardwood is always in a plank format, is generally thicker than engineered wood, and is usually installed by nailing. Engineered wood is more frequently pre-finished, and is installed with glue or as a floating installation.

Types of Hardwood Flooring

While choosing wood flooring, we need to look at its durability. There are 16 types of hardwood flooring:

  1. Maple

Maple Wood

  • Most popular
  • It has a very subtle grain pattern that works well in both large and small spaces
  • Extremely durable
  • Does not absorb stains.
  1. Oak

Oak Wood

  • Oak comes in a wide variety of stain colors and almost always has a distinct grain pattern.
  • Highly resistant to dents and scratches.
  • Can be refinished.
  1. Mahogany

Mahogany Wood

  • Known for its beauty and color.
  • Highly durable.
  • Used to make furniture, boats and musical instruments.
  • Water resistant
  • Popular for its classic and timeless look.
  1. Ash

Ash Wood

  • Light colored hardwood
  • Less expensive compared to other hardwoods.
  1. Hickory

Hickory Wood

  • Goes with any or all designs.
  • More common in rustic or log homes.
  1. Pine

Pine Wood

  • It’s a character wood, not hardwood
  • Popular for pinholes and knots.
  • Neither cheap nor expensive.
  1. Cherry

Cherry Wood

  • Darkens with time.
  • Great finish and easy to maintain.
  • Common in America.
  1. Walnut

Walnut Wood

  • Expensive
  • Very strong and durable.
  • Ads shine to a home.
  1. Ebony

Ebony Wood

  • Black in color.
  • Hardest wood.
  • Now rarely available.
  • Used in ornamental pieces, tribal masks, and other decorative items.
  • Oak looks like Ebony.
  1. Douglas Fir

Douglas Fir Wood

  • Extremely uniform appearance.
  • Its color is a mixture of orange and brown.
  • Softwood
  • Easily damaged.
  1. Teak

Teak Wood

  • Naturally aged teak is beautiful.
  • The unique blend of traditional charm and upscale swagger to any home.
  • Needs maintenance.
  1. Birch

Birch Wood

  • One of the softwoods.
  • Relatively unstable.
  • Reacts to moisture.
  1. Brazilian Tiger Wood

Brazilian Tiger Wood

  • Grown in Brazil.
  • Expensive and very hard.
  1. Alder

Alder Wood

  • Belongs to birch family
  • Soft hardwood.
  • Less expensive compared to cherry or maple.
  • Red alder, Western Alder, Oregon alder and Pacific coast Alder are its types.
  1. Beech

Beech Wood

  • Hard and durable.
  • Slow growing hardwood
  • Disease resistant.
  • They live for 300 to 400 years.
  1. Poplar

Poplar Wood

  • The grain is straight and uniform with a medium texture.
  • One of softest woods.
  • Used for pallets, furniture frames, cabinetry, etc.
  • Last for many years.

Janka Rating Test

Janka Rating Test

This is used to test the hardness of wood; it’s a measurement of the amount of force (usually in pounds of force) required to create the 200 sq indentation on the surface. There is a standard deviation associated with each. In short, the more pressure a specific type of wood can take, the higher its Janka rating. Softer woods will require less pressure to create an indentation than harder woods.

 The above chart showcases the typical Janka side hardness for some of the wood types commonly used in flooring. Some woods like snakewood have Janka ratings of nearly 4000, Lbf, which is too hard to comfortably cut and otherwise work with when installing floors using traditional methods. Other types are as low on the scale as balsa at 70 Lbf; this is its raw form, is too soft to withstand and typical foot traffic in a home.

Best Time for Hardwood Flooring

Hardwood Flooring

Spring season is best when installing flooring, especially wooden flooring as the wood may swell.

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