Choosing the right hardwood flooring for you, your home, and your family is an important step to ensuring that your floor will last for years to come. There are many factors that you should consider before purchasing the hardwood. Hardwood floors are a long-term investment – like any investment it is important that you take your time and do some research before jumping in.

Types of wood

Hardwood can be made from many types of wood including:

  • Oak
  • Maple
  • Hickory
  • Cherry
  • Teak
  • Ash
  • Pine
  • Birch
  • Mahogany

These options are just scratching the surface of the various types of wood that can be made in to hardwood flooring. The most popular types of wood for hardwood floors in homes are oak, maple, and cherry. This is because the wood is abundant, therefore cheaper than many other “exotic” wood types. Let’s dive deeper in to some of the most popular types of wood:

  1. Oak
    picture of oak hardwood

    Oak Hardwood Flooring

    1. Oak wood floors are very common in households in the United States, and for good reason.
      1. Oak is easy to come by, making it less expensive than other wood types.
      2. Oak hardwood is durable and lasts a long time compared to other, less hardy wood types
      3. Oak is easy to clean! All you need is a broom or light vacuum to keep it looking beautiful. Staining, in general, is not a problem and can be taken care of with a damp cloth
      4. Oak gets better with age! If you are looking for hardwood that looks better overtime, oak is a great option! The wood itself looks richer and warmer as time goes on
      5. Oak is hygienic. Hardwood in general is more hygienic than carpet due to the fact that it is not collecting dust/allergens in the way that carpet does. Oak is also unique in the fact that it is resistant to fungus, which can plague other types of hardwood floors
      6. Oak is easy to stain and comes in a variety of different hues/colors to match your home
  1. Maple
    picture of maple hardwood

    Maple Hardwood Flooring

    1. Maple is also a common in the United States, but slightly less popular than oak. It is still a great option for most people!
      1. Maple is resistant to staining, making it a great choice for families
      2. Maple is slightly more expensive than oak, but still a great economical choice
      3. Maple is typically lighter in color than other wood types and can be difficult to stain
      4. Maple has less grain (grain is the texture in the wood that looks like lines running through it). This can make scratches more noticeable than other hardwood types
      5. Maple is one of the hardest wood types, making it very durable
      6. Maple is easy to clean and maintain. Like oak, a broom is all you need for daily cleaning
  1. Hickory
    picture of hickory hardwood flooring

    Hickory Hardwood Flooring

    1. Hickory wood floors have been gaining in popularity in the last few years. They are usually a bit pricier than maple and oak, but still affordable!
      1. Hickory can range in colors from light to deep
      2. Hickory has a long lifespan, usually around 30 years! But with proper care and protection, it can last much longer
      3. Hickory is hard to dent, making it a great choice for families. No need to worry if a heavy plate is dropped on the wood!
      4. Hickory takes well to staining, but a professional should be take the lead on it
      5. Hickory, like most hardwood, is not a great DIY project. It can be difficult to install and rushing or improper installation can lead to warping
      6. Hickory is an eco-friendly option because it is grown and manufactured in the United States. It is always a good idea to verify that the plantation that the wood is from is practicing sustainability. You can check that by visiting the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) website.
  1. Exotic Wood types
    1. Exotic hardwood floors, in general, refer to woods that are from countries outside of the United States. These include woods such as Brazilian Cherry, Brazilian Teak, and Santos Mahogany. While there is no doubt that these woods make a beautiful addition to your home, there are some things to consider before purchasing them.
      1. The price:
        1. Because these woods are imported from other countries and not widely available, they tend to be much more expensive than the more common woods, such as oak or maple.
      2. Exotic wood type: Brazilian Cherry Hardwood
        1. Brazilian cherry is typically more expensive to install, but have a long lifespan of about 30 years.
        2. Brazilian cherry one of the only wood types that can be installed over a radiant flooring base.
        3. Brazilian cherry is resistant to both fire and bugs. It also has natural oils in the wood that kill spores and mites.
        4. Brazilian cherry is incredibly durable and a great wood choice for high traffic areas
        5. Brazilian cherry wood will highlight dirt and dust. Because of this, it needs to been cleaned often.
        6. Brazilian cherry absorbs water, so it is not recommended for areas with high humidity or in places such as bathrooms or kitchens.
      3.  Exotic wood type: Brazilian Teak
        1. Brazilian teak is a hard species of wood, making it resistant to scratches, marks, and dings.
        2. Brazilian teak looks shiny! Because of the natural oils found in the wood it can have a glossy look to it without additional treatments
        3. Brazilian teak is resistant to bugs and water
        4. Harvesting Brazilian teak takes a huge toll on the environment. Overharvesting the trees nearly caused them to go extinct, making it illegal for some types of teak trees to be exported. Today, most of the teak that is used for hardwood comes from farms, but it takes about 60 years before the tree is ready to be cut down. Because of this, teak is extremely expensive!
      4. Exotic wood type: Santos mahogany
        1. Like most exotic wood types, Santos Mahogany is a hard wood, making it extremely durable and resistant to damage.
        2. Santos Mahogany is typically a deep reddish brown, even deep purplish brown, in color. If you are looking for a light-colored wood, this is not the type for you.
        3. Santos Mahogany has a smell that has been linked to respiratory problems in people that install it. It is important to buy prefinished wood to avoid the smell.

Obviously, there is a lot to consider when picking out a wood type for your hardwood floors. There are many, many options available and we have just barely scratched the surface in this article. Once you have your perfect wood picked out, it is important to install correctly!

Hardwoods Denver offers quality flooring services for less. Hardwoods Denver is a professional flooring contractor that provides top-quality residential and commercial wood and tile flooring solutions. We are a complete hardwood flooring service that supplies services such as installation, sanding and finishing of hardwood and solid wood floors. Other services include refinishing, repairs, and laminate floor installations.

Call us today for a free quote: (720) 295-9569