Guide to Hardwood Species

Design Trends

Guide to Hardwood Species

Each species of wood has slightly different characteristics and variations.  When choosing a floor, it is important to consider the relative hardness, grain patterns, and natural undertones of different species of wood.  These three factors can help you determine the right wood species to fit your space and style.
We want to help you make the right decision for your home!  Here are some of the key features of the most popular species we offer:

Did you know that oak floors are by far the most installed hardwood species? 

White Oak can be a great pairing for any style, with greyish-brown undertones that pair well with both warmer and cooler finishes.  When treated with a brushed finish, the natural grain adds fantastic character to the floor.  White oak has smaller grain patterns than other species, creating a greater variety of texture in the wood—from tight-knit grain patterns to larger, more defined grain streaks.
White Oak is known for its high durability and is a great choice for active households.  Its Janka Hardness rating is around 1360, higher than Red Oak.  It is also slightly more moisture-resistant than Red Oak, as it is a closed-grain wood.  

Both White Oak and Red Oak are mildly photosensitive.  All wood species are photosensitive to some degree, meaning that they will change color under exposure to ultraviolet light.  Mildly photosensitive species show very little color change with sun exposure.
You can take home beautiful White Oak floors from our Castillian, Wexford Collections. 


Red Oak presents a unique warmth with red and rust-colored undertones that are complemented by a prominent grain pattern.  Red Oak’s natural features contribute beautifully to rustic, traditional, and modern styles.  Though Red Oak has a lower Janka Hardness Rating than White Oak, sitting on average at 1290, its detailed grain pattern seamlessly camouflages any normal wear and tear. 
Find beautiful red oak floors in our St. Andrews, Devonshire, and Hillshire Collections. 

If you want to learn more about the differences between red and white oak, click here.


Did you know that bowling alleys typically use Maple hardwood?

Maple hardwood has a delicate grain pattern and naturally pale, blonde undertones, lending perfectly to a mid-century modern style.  Its simple and consistent pattern makes it a versatile and seamless addition to any space.  Maple hardwood ranks high on the Janka rating, with an average of 1450, and is well known for being one of the more durable species.  Maple is a mildly photosensitive wood.

Though the floor is durable, its fine grain pattern makes it prone to visible scratches.  If you are interested in Maple flooring, be sure to keep your pets’ nails trimmed and follow our floor care guidelines
Find beautiful maple floors in our Chatelaine, Muirfield, and Hillshire Collections. 

Hickory ranks near the top of the Janka Hardness Rating, with an average of 1800, making it a great investment for a long-lasting floor.  You can find natural knots and stunning grain patterns with light and dark variations across the boards, adding considerable character to your home.  Its intrinsic beauty lends well to rustic or natural styles.  Hickory is a mildly photosensitive wood.
Find beautiful hickory floors in our Chatelaine, Muirfield, and Knob Creek Collections. 

Bring beauty into your space.

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