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Wood Floors: Understanding the Color, Grain, & Hardness Levels of Hardwood Species

Feb 27, 2013  -  No Comments

A wood floor for your new or remodeled home is both timeless and beautiful, adding charm and value to your home.  In addition to deciding what type of wood flooring you’re going to install, you need to make the ever-important decision about how you want your hardwood to look.

There are a large variety of hardwood species available on the market today, each with its own unique characteristics.  The main differences in a wood are shown through their color, grain, and hardness level.

  • Color is determined by the species and from which part of the tree the wood is cut.
  • Grain pattern is determined by the species and how the wood is cut.
  • Hardness levels help us identify the species’ ability to withstand indentations.  The higher the number, the harder the wood.

Natural variations in both color and grain are to be expected, combining to create a floor’s unique, organic beauty.  And keep in mind that while hardness is important, the construction and finish of a floor also play a role in its durability as well.

Some of the most popular species on the market today are various types of oak, maple, birch, pine, and cherry.  Here are features on a few of those:

OakOak is popular as for both prefinished and unfinished hardwood flooring. White oak has a straight grain with medium to coarse texture and longer rays than red oak, which creates more patterns or figure. White oak can easily be stained to a wide variety of colors.

MapleMaple has a contemporary look. Its fine grain is very condensed, giving it less texture than oak. Maple generally has a uniform straight grain, and the species is very hard, excellent at resisting wear.

BrazilianCherryBrazilian cherry is a popular exotic species, also known as jatoba.  It has a naturally rich color and superior hardness.  It is a photosensitive wood and will darken from a salmon color to deep reddish brown tone over several months. Dark streaks give it an exotic feel, while an interlocking grain and glow make Brazilian cherry an exciting flooring choice.

As you make the exciting decision to install wood flooring into your new and remodeled home, spend some time doing your research, and deciding what’s right for your home and budget.  Ultimately wood flooring is a good investment in your home and whatever species you choose will add a beautiful, warm look for years to come!

Need help deciding on your wood floor or planning your home remodel?  Contact us at Excel Builders to get the insight, guidance, and expertise you need to walk you through a kitchen, living room, or whole house remodel!

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