Ready to rip out that dusty old carpet and replace it with a hardwood floor? Here are the different types of hardwood floors homeowners are loving in 2020.
In the United States, 54% of home buyers will pay more for hardwood floors.
Hardwood is the most popular choice for flooring and increases the value of your home. If you’ve ever looked into hardwood flooring, you know that there are many different types of hardwood floors available.
What makes wood floors so popular is their look and durability. Unlike carpet, which decays and becomes filthy, hardwood floors are straightforward to clean. Wood floors will also last forever, as long as they are well cared for, they will last as long as the house.
Different Types of Hardwood Floors
When you begin to search for different types of hardwood floors, you might be wondering what the most popular choices are. Wood floors are among the most popular and also one of the oldest styles of flooring that we still use.
Oak Wood Flooring
Oak is a hardwood that has been the most popular in the United States for decades, if not centuries. Oak comes in a variety of shades and colors, depending on what species of oak tree you use. Oak also has a beautiful grain and aesthetic.
Oak is a very sturdy wood that is easy to stain and wax. This wood has been popular due to the prevalence of oak trees in North America. Oak has a classic look that many design ideas go very well with, and if you buy an older house, this is likely the wood that is on your floors to begin with.
Northern Red Oak
Northern Red Oak is one of the most popular because of the distinctive pattern and color of this hardwood. The only downside to using oak is that it is a slow-growing tree, and each one harvested takes many years to replace.
Red Oak can have a slight pink tone, but remember that it isn’t a red wood. The wood itself will look like oak and is called Red Oak because of the bark of the tree.
While not as popular as standard or Northern Red, the White Oak is still a great choice for flooring. The distinctive, golden brown color of this wood makes it great for certain styles and interior design. It does require a bit more work to keep clean, though, and you should definitely make sure to maintain a good wax.
Ash trees render a very light color wood. This can ash a great choice for rustic looks, or if you want a bright floor. The grain is very fine, without a lot of variation in it. Ash is an excellent choice for some people, but others feel like it lacks character.
Ash can be confused with White Oak, so make sure you see some for yourself if you’re interested in a lighter color wood. It will make the room feel lighter and more open when you use it. This can be a benefit in some designs, but also a negative in others.
If you want a hardwood that will last forever, Hickory is it. With unique patterns and grains in the wood and a very hard exterior, Hickory fits almost any taste. Hickory is among the hardest woods that are used in flooring and can be expensive.
Another element that makes hickory so interesting is that there is a lack of uniformity in it. There are knots that will be visible, and also the color will vary between different pieces. This can give a fresh and different look to any floor, but if you crave uniformity, this is not the wood for you.
If you notice someone advertising Pecan wood, that too is hickory. They look the same and are often called by the other name, depending on the area you are buying or living in. Either way you go, pecan or hickory give a great look while being a bit on the pricey side.
Bamboo is a grass, not a tree, but the wood from bamboo has been used for flooring over the last couple of decades more and more. One great benefit to bamboo is that it grows swift, and therefore is not expensive. It is an excellent choice for those who are mindful of the environmental impact that they are having.
The look of bamboo can be very pleasing as well. Bamboo has been a popular material in Asian countries for thousands of years. There are also different styles of bamboo to consider. There are also a tremendous number of varying bamboo plants used to produce flooring, so do your research before checking into the bamboo.
A popular modern choice, maple hardwood flooring is harder than oak. What people love about maple is that it is a sleek wood, with a very fine grain. That makes it work well for modern design schemes, and it is a lighter colored wood.
Maple is easy to come by, being a common import from Canada and growing across large sections of the northern United States. The only downsides to maple are that it is more expensive and can be harder to stain. It also turns yellow over time, which can give a distinctive look but should be well sealed to prevent this.
There are hard maple and soft maple to consider. Both have their place, but the look is just a bit different between them. Older homes most often used the soft maple, but you can get either these days. Another consideration is the grain, which can range from clear and clean to very rich.
Maple is a great wood because it is sustainably harvested and has amazing characteristics.
Cherry Tree Wood
Whether you are using a native variety or the ever-popular Brazilian Cherry, this type of wood makes for amazing floors. One thing to remember is that cherry darkens with age like most hardwoods, and Brazilian Cherry can become quite a bit darker.
When you have cherry first installed, don’t expect that rich deep color that you may be looking for. With a little bit of time and patience though, your floor will mature with a rich, beautiful color. This wood also has excellent variations and patterns, making it an eye-catching choice.
It is important to remember that any pine wood is soft. The Janka hardness scale determines how resilient and hardy a wood is, and pine or fir trees are usually low on that scale. While they do look good and are relatively cheap, pinewood does have a problem with dents and dings.
If you want wood to show some character, however, this could be a great choice for you. In a room where you don’t expect much impact damage from furniture, the hardness is forgivable. Pine and its cousins, like the Douglas Fir, are excellent and popular modern choices for flooring.
A beautiful wood that comes in a variety of colors, it is sometimes known as Black Walnut. This wood can be dark to an almost chocolate color, or a bit lighter. It is a bit soft, and unlike most hardwoods, the color will lighten with age.
If you want to get a good color pattern, Walnut can be a great choice because it has a good variation between boards. For a more uniform look, you will spend more looking for the right boards for your floor. Walnut is also a great wood for staining, as the rich grain will really pop.
Domestic vs Import
When dealing with hardwoods it is important to remember that there are domestic hardwoods grown in the United States, and imported woods to look at. Most hardwood floors of the past were made with domestic wood, but in modern days many people import wood from Brazil.
A problem with this comes that the regulations on lumber activity aren’t always considered that good in Brazil. Whereas in the United States and Canada the wood that is harvested is replaced. Careful management practices are used to ensure the health of the forest.
Your Floor, Your Style
The type of wood you choose to use on your floors will alter the way your home looks. Hardwoods are elegant, long-lasting and require a bit of maintenance to stay looking their best. Check out a lot of different options when deciding on what kind of wood you will go with.
Once you put hardwood floors down, they are there to stay. With some woods, you should always be careful with using area rugs as these can cause discolorations when moved. These discolorations will fade, some as fast as six months or even less. Others can take a bit longer, so use area rugs sparingly.
The simple beauty and elegance of a hardwood floor are reflected by all the different types of hardwood floors. They are as varied as the countries and species that they come from.
In the end, the choice you make is one that you will live with for the rest of the time you own the house. Hardwood floors will increase the value of your home while giving it a classic, beautiful look.
To read other related topics, feel free to browse the website for more informative articles. Thanks to Really Cheap Floors for contributing.