Hardwood Floor Species: The Luxury of Choice in Flooring
Hardwood flooring is an option for floors that present a range of choices for the consumer to consider. One such choice is that of species. Some species are very hard, and stand to be a notably durable choice. Others are less hard, but more forgiving when sawed or nailed to a subfloor. Some species of hardwood have colors which remain more or less constant.
Some species exhibit “photosensitivity”, which means that the color of the hardwood flooring species changes as it is exposed to light. Whatever your requirement, hardwood flooring presents an option in floors that enable you to choose the perfect look, texture, and general effect. It is an effect unattainable with any other flooring material from natural stone flooring to marmoleum, and one that has stood the test of time.
Common Species of Hardwood Flooring
Red and White Oak are naturally pale in color, with hints of pink running through the Red Oak and both are known for their utility across all kinds of applications. White Oak is known to be slightly harder than red oak, although red oak in turn is slightly easier to saw and nail.
American Cherry is used for cabinet making as well as flooring and is known to be an attractive species that is very easy to work with. It is not as hard as either red or white oak, but offers a greater tonal range of color that darkens over time to become even richer in tone, due to photosensitivity.
Harder still than oak, the uniform texture of hard maple as well as its naturally abrasion-resistant surface makes it an excellent choice for hardwood flooring. Early North American settlers relied upon maple for its hardy nature, and it continues to be popular today.
Exotic Hardwood Flooring
Brazilian Cherry, also known as Jatoba, is and exotic species of hardwood flooring. One of most notable features of this exotic hardwood is its color – a rich, reddish brown that eventually ages into a lustrous burgundy. Another important as aspect of Jataba is how hard it is; it is harder than some species of mahogany.
The Janka Hardness Scale for Wood Flooring
The Janka hardness scale is a common reference for judging the hardness of each hardwood species. The scale is based on a test that presses a .444 inch steel ball into the tested hardwood species at a constant pressure. In the simplest terms, the measurement of the scale rating is in accordance with how deep the ball is embedded into the wood – the deeper the ball, the softer is the wood.
The Janka ratings are good to know when deciding which species is right for your home. For example, American Black Cherry has a hardness rating of 950 while American Black Walnut rates in at 1010. Yellow Birch rates 1260 while Red Oak measures in at 1290.
Janka Ratings for Harder Wood Species:
- White Ash rates 1320 and White Oak rates 1360.
- Hard Maple rates 1450 while Santos Mahogany rates at 2200.
- Brazilian Cherry rates 2345 and Brazilian Teak rates 3540.
- Brazilian Walnut is very hard at 3680 while Ebony is the hardest, rating 3692.
Along with the advantages of appearance, hardwood is and continues to be a choice in flooring that can add structural strength to a residence, office, or anywhere else you like. It is timeless and classic; a true beauty that will never go out of style and will add not only to the aesthetic appeal of your home but to the value of it as well.