A Guide to American Hardwood Species Perfect for Flooring

The woodlands and forests of North America are home to many species of trees that can lend their strength and majesty to worthy homes. Although Main Street Kitchen and Flooring mainly offers hardwood flooring to select locales in California, the trees we use to provide clients with elegant and durable floors come from all over the continent.

This guide can help you decide which of these mighty North American hardwood trees seem to be the best fit for your envisioned floor space. Each one has its own merits and unique properties and coloration that could make them ideal for certain property owners.

  • Red Oak

Color: The sapwood of the red oak ranges from an off-white to a light brown, and its heartwood is a distinctive pink-tinged brown.

Properties: It feels coarse to the touch, and its grain flows in mostly straight lines. Red oak bends reasonably well and has medium stiffness. Woodworkers find that it machines very well, and when stained it develops a golden finish.

  • White Oak

Color:  This species’ sapwood has light coloration, and the heartwood can vary from light to darker brown.

Properties:  Like red oak, white oak is straight-grained, but it can have a smoother texture. White oak dries slowly, but it also machines well. Boards of white oak have medium strength and low stiffness but are very resistant to wear.

  • Sugar Maple

Color:  The sapwood of sugar maples is cream-colored with tones of reddish-brown, and the sapwood can range from light or intense reddish-brown.

Properties: Sugar maple is fine to the touch and has straight grains. Although it shrinks considerably, it accepts glue and staining admirably. If it receives polish, artisans can enamel the wood and bring out warm brown tones.

  • Cherry

Color: The sapwood and heartwood of cherry are very distinctive. The former is a creamy white and the latter is a succulent scarlet that darkens over time and with light exposure.

Properties: Cherry feels smooth and satiny to the touch with a straight grain and flecks of brown pith and gum. Boards of cherry wood are shock-resistant and craftsmen will have an easy time machining it. After they sand and stain it, cherry wood has a lovely smooth finish.

These are only some of the popular hardwood species that contractors can use for flooring. Other North American species include aspen, birch, elm, and walnut.

Other Considerations for Home Owners

Species is only one factor when a customer is thinking about getting hardwood flooring. They also have to decide between solid hardwood boards or engineered hardwood. The latter is made of bonded layers of hardwood in a cross-grain configuration.

They should also think about whether they wish to have the floor unfinished, so they can apply custom staining on them. Prefinished hardwood can speed up this process, and the floors would be ready for use after installation.

Homeowners now have a plethora of materials to use for their flooring, but hardwood remains a classic and elegant choice. Their natural appeal and durability make them ideal for people who want to evoke the beauty of the woodland inside their homes.

Hardwood Flooring in California

Inspired homeowners in Los Angeles, Orange County, and San Diego can rely on Main Street Kitchen and Flooring for their hardwood flooring needs.

Contact us today, and get your home renovation and redecoration started.