The best hardwood floors are made with wood species that are readily available and very hard. Hard means durable. Oak flooring, maple flooring and cherry flooring are all good choices. Other species include bamboo, which is actually a grass, walnut, ash and mahogany. You’ll pay a premium price for more exotic species, such as teak, jarrah and mesquite. Check to make sure the hardwood flooring you choose comes from sustainably harvested forests.
Popular Types of Hardwood Flooring
Another option is reclaimed hardwood flooring, which you can find at salvage yards. It likely has some signs of wear and age, but you’ll pay about half what it would cost for comparable new flooring. If they don’t have what you’re looking for, ask to be put on a waiting list. Salvage flooring is an especially good choice if you’re renovating an older house.
Although oak still accounts for about two-thirds of all installed hardwood flooring in America, it’s losing ground to its exotic cousins. A wide range of hardwood from other countries, especially Brazil, Australia and parts of Asia, is gaining a foothold and nailing down homeowners’ interests. Consumers also are intrigued by the possibilities that avoid the need to alter their wood choices drastically with stains. A broad range of colors is achieved by staining oak to a particular color. More people today want to forgo stain and try a different wood type with a natural stain instead.
The seasoned wood has a russet or reddish-brown color, with a medium to somewhat coarse grain. It’s slightly more stable than red oak, but it requires a longer than normal acclimation period. It also is more difficult to saw due to its high density.
It comes in a spectrum of shades from light to dark and has a familiar grain that’s unlike other woods. It’s actually the bark of a type of oak tree. It’s become popular for a lot of reasons, because of its durability, sustainability and its cushioning effect underfoot. It is very popular in 2023.
Technically, bamboo is a grass, but it is considered a wood due to its hardness. Bamboo has become popular with “green” building proponents due to its rapid regrowth, which makes it highly sustainable. You can cut it and have a fully mature tree in four years. It comes in manila or yellow tones as well as dark shades. The grain pattern shows nodes from the bamboo stalks.
This nearly black wood, which comes from Africa, is difficult to obtain but has become popular as an accent wood. It can be hard to cut and requires carbide tools.
Burgundy in color, this African wood has a fine grain and saws easily. But it splits easily when nailed with machine tools, so hand-hammering works best.
Sydney Blue Gum
Over time, this wood’s color mutes from a spectrum of pink to burgundy red to become a medium brown-red. Its hardness requires carbide blades to cut.
Popular Types of Hardwood Flooring
As these differences show, exotic woods will react differently to cutting and installation techniques, as well as to the environment. It requires a professional who is familiar with the local area and its humidity and weather conditions, as well as with the wood, to install it properly. Requirements are different in different areas in New Jersey and New York.
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