When choosing from the many types of wooden flooring available, you have several things to consider. The appearance of the wood usually ranks highest on a homeowner's priority list. But color, plank width, style and durability all play a role in the appeal of your wood floor. Examine these factors to narrow down your selection from the most popular wood flooring types.
A timeless and popular choice, oak flooring ranks high in durability and aesthetic. Oak floors are also quite solid and take wear very well. When deciding on this type of floor, you encounter several additional options related to coloration, plank width and cut style. This includes quarter sawn, which brings out the tiger-stripe grain in the wood.
The grain pattern in hickory, along with its wide color variations, makes it a beautiful choice for flooring. Hickory generally comes in wider plank widths to highlight its colors and patterns. It's also harder than oak on the Janka Hardness scale, rating at 1820, according to the Wood Flooring Covering Association. Hickory usually doesn't have stain applied due to its natural color variations.
American cherry flooring has a sought-after grain pattern and warm, reddish-brown color. The floor comes in different wide plank sizes that show off the grain. Cherry doesn't have the hardness of oak or hickory, but a good finish will improve its toughness and durability.
Though not as common as it once was, pine is still a good choice for flooring, particularly for a rustic or aged appearance. Pine comes in a variety of sizes and colors, including yellow pine and heart pine. Numerous knots and grain styles give this type of flooring its beauty. Keep in mind that pine needs a durable finish applied for protection due to its softness.
Many exotic wood species make intriguing and durable floor choices as well, ranking very high on the Janka scale. Exotics you might find include rosewood, mahogany, bloodwood, acacia, teak and the more readily available bamboo. When choosing an exotic wood, the coloring, grain pattern, availability and cost will all factor into your choice.
You may also consider reclaimed wood when choosing a type of wood flooring. Reclaimed wood salvages old flooring from renovated houses or other buildings for the formation of cut and finished barn wood, pallet wood and even plywood sheets. Using reclaimed wood often costs less, helps the environment and gives your home a distinct appearance.
With any choice of wooden flooring, the finish and regular maintenance of your floor improves its appearance and function with time. A long-lasting finish protects the floor for many years, but proper cleaning including regular vacuuming and a natural cleaning product such as Murphy® Oil Soap keeps your home in excellent condition.
This article was brought to you by Colgate-Palmolive Company, the makers of Murphy® Oil Soap. The views and opinions expressed by the author do not reflect the position of the Colgate-Palmolive Company.