Wood plays a very vital role in our lives. We all love wooden chairs, wooden bed, Wooden Shower Bench, wooden floors, Wooden Shutters and so many other stuff that gives our home, or any place, an elegant look. Wood can be used in big projects like furniture and houses to really small utensils and holders.
Hardwood is of certain types; some are very popular, like walnut and beech, and are used in most of the things; however, there are a whole lot different types of hardwood out there, and I will be discussing some of it.
Today in this article, most of your questions, like which hardwood type is to use for flooring, its installation, and some exotic wood types, how hardwood affects the environment, and the difference between solid and engineered hardwood, will be answered.
Why is hardwood a growing market?
There’s a lot of factors, but one of the biggest factors is improvements and finishes. If we look back at the condo boom in 2004, 2005, and 2006, technology wasn’t that great. Everything was aluminum oxide; the floors look like they had a fake sheet of glass across the surface of it.
But now the finish is penetrating, where it goes into the pores of the wood, and the big difference is if there is a heel mark or scratch on this floor, it is no longer an eyesore. This is because nowadays, we have scratch-resistant hardwood flooring. While everything was that sheet of glass and one little indentation inside a thousand square feet unit was an eyesore, now with these improvements in finishing, it’s not multifamily. It’s hospitality, corporate, and retail. There are all sorts of applications where you can use a wood floor.
Exotic wood types
Here I will be discussing the different exotic wood types which can be used for making pots, holders, etc. Here are some as follows.
- African blackwood
This wood grows in central and southern Africa and measures 3670 on the Janka hardness scale rating. This wood is super smooth to work with; you will feel like melting butter. You can get nice thick shavings can sand and finish it with Shellac.
- Red heart
This one grows in the region from southern Mexico to southern brazil. It ranks 1210 on the Janka hardness scale. The red heart really lives up to his name. It is super red. It is not as hard as the blackwood; however, it still turns really nicely. It isn’t too dry, and you can get nice thick shavings. You can also finish it with shellac, and it really pops up its color.
- Black palm wood
This one grows in tropical Asia and Africa and ranks 2020 on the Janka hardness scale. When you first start working with it, you will see how fibrous it is. It is interesting, unlike the other species in terms of grain. It is not really easy to shave, and its outcomes out in curls like angry needles; Moreover, it doesn’t turn out as beautiful as previous ones.
- Desert ironwood
It is grown in the southwestern US and northwestern Mexico. This one ranks 3260 on the Janka hardness scale. It is really dense and hard. It actually feels buttery and able to get really nice shavings. Desert ironwood is gold; when the shavings flow almost like water, as if they are connected and are pretty thick, plus not dry, then the wood is called gold.
What kind of hardwood floor is best?
Domestic hardwood flooring wood species like red oak, white oak, maple, and more have always been used for hardwood flooring in homes across the united states. These domestic species are perfect for traditional settings or for complementing existing cabinets or furniture.
Choosing a hardwood flooring wood
It is very important to choose the right wood for your flooring because it’s going to stay there for years. There are a lot of different hardwoods, so you need to deeply research all of the possible wood types you can buy when you are ready to install a floor or any slab in your home.
Red oak – Natural red oak is still one of the most sought-after wood species; because of this, the hardness of any wood species usually compared to the Janka hardness rating of red oak, which is 1290. Red oak is known for having moderate to heavy graining with moderate color variations. The coloring of it ranges from light creamy reddish pinks to shades of brown. Red oak varies from white oak due to the fact that it has pinkish undertones, whereas white oak has golden gray tones.
White oak – It is a domestic wood species similar to red oak but harder on the Janka hardness scale, which is 1360. The natural coloring of white oak ranges from golden/brown with gray undertones; because of the hard grains, white oak flooring takes stain colors very evenly. White oak hardwood flooring generally features moderate linear graining with moderate color vibrations and has exceptional stability; because of the great durability and stability of white oak, it has been used for flooring and in boat building and wine barrels for centuries.
Maple – Maple, Janka hardness 1450, is found mostly in the northern regions of North America and Canada. Maple hardwood flooring is a very pale, creamy white color with slight shade differences from board to board, depending on the grade chosen. Maple flooring can contain a minimal to a lot of brownish /black mineral streaks. Clear grade maple has the least of this streaking. It is considered among one of the most durable hardwood flooring types.
Maple graining is very light and fine and, many times, barely discernible. Maple hardwood flooring is renowned for being a very hard wood species, but because it contains hard and soft cell structures, job site staining a darker color can come out blotchy if the wood is not conditioned first using a liquid woof conditioner. I would recommend purchasing a pre-stained pre-finished maple floor.
American cherry – Janka hardness rating 950. American cherry wood flooring is a softer wood species than some of the others, but you would find it hard to find another wood species that has such wonderful and graceful graining and color. This wood species has a very distinctive charm and is popular because of its natural color variation from board to board and its warm natural color.
Birch – Janka hardness rating 1260. Graining of birch is generally fine with uniform curls, and some boards may appear to be almost clear with little to no training at all. Popular hardwood flooring brands for birch include Lauzon hardwood flooring and Mont royal hardwood flooring. The species birch can be broken down is into two varieties of hardwood flooring; yellow birch and red birch flooring. Some manufacturers of hardwood flooring offer a collection of both varieties, some only work with yellow birch.
Walnut – Janka hardness rating 1010. It is also known as black walnut or American walnut. This wood species usually has fine, straight graining, and coloring is rich, almost chocolate brown. Homeowners like the natural color of walnut flooring and the warmth it automatically adds to a room. If you are looking for black walnut (American walnut), take a look at some options available a=from Lauzon wood floors or Kahrs wood flooring.
Hickory – Janka hardness 1820. Hickory is one of the hardest domestic wood species and is highly popular because of its natural color variation and unusual graining. Coloring for hickory hardwood flooring can range from creamy whites to medium browns with even darker browns in some rustic grades. Hickory is most popular in wider planks because more narrow strips of hickory can start looking pretty busy with all the unique and interesting graining and variation within the boards. For a popular selection of hickory natural, take a look at Somerset hardwood flooring.
Ash – Janka hardness rating 1320. Ash is known for color variation from pale white to light/medium brown. Graining is bold and can appear straight, curly, or wavy. Ash flooring is very similar to white oak but adds a bit more excitement to a room with its more unique graining. A few popular ash products include Kahrs Ash Kalmar, Kahrs ash Vaila, and vintage hardwood flooring wire brushed ash.
Beech – Janka hardness rating 13000. This domestic wood species features closed, tight, and straight grain for the most part, with moderate color variation from board to board. Beech heartwood is a warm brown color with red undertones, while the sapwood is mostly pale tans. You can find beech from Kahrs Wood Flooring or Solid Beech from Lauzon Wood Floors.
Solid vs. engineered hardwood floors. What’s the difference?
On the surface, by the time these products are finished, there’s not much of a visual difference. So, let’s discuss some inner differences which you will come to know during installation.
- Engineered wood
A couple of big things with engineered is that you can glue with confidence. If you want to glue the wood floor, the engineer is definitely the way to go; you can also go wider. The simplest analogy would be to describe it as a sandwich. Engineer floors mean that there are layers that are put together to give the product balance. In engineered wood, the plywood subfloor is glued with the engineered wood.
- The planks can go wider.
- You will get multiple installation options.
- You will have a greater yield per board foot.
- Will experience more balanced construction.
- The material will cost more while the installation is not that expensive.
- You will have more prefinished options.
- Solid wood
Solid hardwood is quite thick and stable. You cannot glue it directly on the concrete slab foundation. It requires a plywood subfloor on the top of the concrete and then your wood. It, no doubt, adds a lot to your expense.
- Wider planks are not supported in this and can be dangerous
- You will have limited installation options.
- You will have a lower yield per board foot.
- Solid never discontinued.
- Its thickness can cause difficulty with transitions.
- It can be refinished many times.
Why is balance important?
Balance is very important while using wood for flooring because wood moves. It absorbs humidity levels, it swells, and it loses humidity; it shrinks. The wood moves in width; that’s why we can go wider with an engineered wood floor. In a solid piece of wood, there are not balancing layers. As the wood absorbs humidity, it’s all moving in one direction. That’s why you should be very careful to make sure you don’t go too wide with a solid wood floor.
Read Also: Wood for Pergola Review
How is the wood floor installed?
There are three massive methods to install a hardwood floor. It is either nail the product, glue or float it. Floating is the least expensive way to put a floor in. Let’s dig into them.
- It is the cheapest option available.
- It is considered to be the simplest method to install a floor.
- It has zero impact on the subfloor.
- Floating makes plank replacement easier; no neighbor will get disturbed.
- It can sound hollow without underlayment.
- It falls in mid-range price.
- It requires nailing too to be installed.
- You won’t feel movement while walking on it.
- It requires a plywood subfloor.
- It has the highest price point.
- It is not recommended for solid wood.
- You won’t feel movement while walking.
- The plank replacement is difficult in this method.
What is the effect of hardwood on the environment?
Woods are actually renewable; as long as you are harvesting them in a responsible manner, it’s a renewable resource with very minimal impact on the environment. Then there are the aspects that benefit the wood; wood is obviously a healthy product. A lot of studies show that it actually filters the air inside a building. There’s a lot of third-party certifications that look at all aspects of it to make sure that it is being done responsibly.
To sum up, everything that has been discussed so far, hardwood has multiple species, and all of them are used for multiple purposes. Hardwood flooring is very in nowadays, and people are mostly going for it. In this article, you will come to know some highly recommended wood to use for your flooring and also some tips to keep in mind during installation.
I hope the article proved to be helpful to you.