Wood Species for Hardwood Flooring - Image courtesy by: jasonballinteriors.com

When choosing a new hardwood flooring for your home, there will be many different things you'll need to consider. One of them is the wood species. Choosing wood species for hardwood flooring is, of course, a decision that depends mostly on your own personal taste and budget. But since there is an incredible variety of different species, how would you know which one will coordinate best with your overall decorating scheme?

This article will attempt to give you an insight into the different factors you'll need to keep in mind when trying to pick the right wood species for hardwood flooring.

Factors to keep in mind while selecting wood species for hardwood flooring:

Type of hardwood floor:

Are you thinking to install a solid wood floor or an engineered wood floor? Both of them are great options, but the type of hardwood flooring you will choose will have a huge impact on which wood species you are able to select. While you can find almost all types of wood in solid planks, engineered wood flooring is only available with some wood species, due to the way it is manufactured.



Obviously, appearance plays a major role in choosing wood species for hardwood flooring. The question is: what look are you trying to achieve? Do you want a modern or a classic design style? A maple wood floor, for example, will bring elegance into a room, while a white oak will create more like a traditional atmosphere. Each wood species has it's own unique appearance, with variations in texture, grain patterns, and colors.

  • Wood grain:

    Grain refers to the direction, texture, or pattern of fibers that appear in a cut surface of wood, resulting from the way a tree grows. Each tree has unique grain patterns and markings and it is impossible that two pieces of wood, even from the exact same tree, will be identical.

    Different grain patterns provide different design styles. Comparing them is vital when deciding which wood species is best for your home.

Wood Grain - Image courtesy by: bedarthome.com

Image courtesy by: bedarthome.com

  • Color:

    Do you want a dark-colored floor or a light one? Would you like to create a modern decorating setting, or you prefer more like a country design style? Defining the color you want for your hardwood flooring, will help you to identify the ideal wood species for your decorating project. However, the same wood species you will see in a showroom can look very different depending on the finish you will apply.

Wood hardness:

The relative hardness of the wood, is an important aspect when deciding which species to choose. It determines the ability of a wood specie to resist denting and wear and how your floor will sound when you walk on it once installed. Depending on which room you want to install a hardwood floor and whether you have children or pets, certain wood species will be more suitable.

The relative hardness of wood is measured according to the "Janka hardness test". It is the industry standard for measuring the durability of various species, to tolerate denting and normal wear. The higher the rating, the harder and more durable a wood species is.

Here are the Janka ratings of the wood species available in Floorsave:

Cork Cork
Douglass Fir Douglass Fir
Mahogany Mahogany
Larch Larch
Pine Pine
North American Cherry North American Cherry
North American Walnut North American Walnut
Black Walnut Black Walnut
Teak Teak
Birch Birch
Beech Beech
Ash Ash
Red Oak Red Oak
White Oak White Oak
North American Maple North American Maple
Maple Maple
African Oak African Oak
Merbau Merbau
Purple Heart Purple Heart
Tiger Wood Tiger Wood
Santos Mahogany Santos Mahogany
Brazilian Cherry (Jatoba) Brazilian Cherry (Jatoba)
Brazilian Teak Brazilian Teak
Brazilian Walnut Brazilian Walnut

Number of strips:

3 Strip Wood Flooring - Image courtesy by: esbflooring.com

Image courtesy by esbflooring.com

Hardwood flooring planks are available in three different strip designs: 1 strip, 2 strips, and 3 strips. The number of strips indicates how many pieces of wood used for its manufacture and affect the floor's overall aesthetic appearance. A 3strip floor has a more lively surface compare to a 1strip floor as it shows the most variations in the wood. Instead, go for a 1strip design if you want to create a casual look to your home.

  • Note: choosing one or two strip designs if you want to install a hardwood floor in a large space. It will look better.


How much time are you willing to spend on your flooring maintenance? A simple question that can make a big difference in your decision. Some wood species are difficult to be refinished and require high maintenance.

The wood species you'll choose will play a major role in the longevity of your flooring. So if you are having doubts which one will work best for you, leave us a comment or give us a call and we will do our best to help you.