ULTIMATE GUIDE: POPULAR HARDWOOD FLOORING SPECIES

Hardwood is one of the most used options for flooring, this is because it is not only beautiful but also strong and durable. These features of hardwood flooring make it an ideal solution for long-term flooring. Apart from this, natural hardwood floors add value to your property. So, if you are a property owner and looking forward to selling your property, or renting it, and want to get a better return on your investments, you should get hardwood flooring in your home. If you have decided to use a hardwood floor in your home, you will have to select a flooring species. A flooring species is a type of wood that is converted into a floor plank.

Hardwood species refers to the plant from which the hardwood was extracted. So, if you are using walnut hardwood for flooring, you are using wood from the walnut tree species. As you are aware, there are many types and species of trees, and most of these can be used for flooring. It gives you the option of variety and you can select from a vast range of available colors, shades, and grains. Although there are a lot of hardwood tree species that can be used for flooring, only a few are the ones that are mostly used. Below is a list of the 10 most used and most popular hardwood flooring species.

These are the species of hardwood that are trending nowadays. Read the article below to know more about these 10 species and subspecies.

1.  OAK

Oak is one of the most used hardwood species and it is also one of the most popular hardwood flooring species. There are a lot of reasons behind the popularity of oak hardwood flooring. One of the main reasons is that it is a durable and long-lasting flooring option. Most of the oak varieties are planted in North and South America, hence these are considered domestic hardwood species. Domestic hardwood species cost less in comparison to exotic hardwood flooring species. For that reason, oak hardwood flooring is also considered a cheaper and affordable option.

Also, it is available all across the United States. That is another reason for oak hardwood being cheaper and popular in the United States. Unlike other cheaper hardwood species, Oak hardwood is very strong and durable, it is resistant to scratches, dents, and can survive on your floor for decades. Below is a list of some subspecies of the oak hardwood flooring that you can install on your floor.

  • Red Oak – Red Oak hardwood flooring is one of the most popular options among the Oak hardwood flooring species. It is the most durable, and long-lasting option in oak flooring, which makes it an attractive choice for homeowners who want to save money on flooring and want to get the natural premium wooden look and feel from their floors. Red oak has a Janka hardness rating of 1290.
  • White Oak – White Oak hardwood has a different color than red oak, it has a brighter shade. It is also a strong hardwood flooring option. It is cheaper than the red oak hardwood flooring, but it is more durable and stronger. White Oak has a Janka hardness rating of 1360, which is more than any other type of oak flooring. It is also a great flooring option if you are looking for lighter shades.
  • Black Oak – Black Oak is not as popular as the other oak flooring species are, but it is still one of the top species used in flooring. It has a unique darker look and that is why a lot of people like it. Apart from its unique look, it also comes from a different tree species as well. It gives a unique dark black wooden look to your floor. You can also match it with your interior decoration and lighting to make it even more beautiful.
  • Chestnut Oak – Chestnut Oak is also one of the least popular oak hardwood species but still, it is more popular than many other flooring species. It comes from a different tree species of Oak family and has a different color, and grain structure. It is also one of the strong types of wooden floor species that you can use. Chestnut oak hardwood flooring is a reliable and durable flooring option that can last for decades and provide great value for your investment in flooring.

2. MAPLE

In the recent past, contemporary flooring has become a growing trend, and maple hardwood is at the top of this trend. Maple has a unique and contemporary look that makes it a suitable choice for flooring. Apart from this, Maple hardwood is very hard, strong, reliable, and durable. Maple hardwood flooring is known for lasting decades. Its unique look makes a good choice for the fans of a contemporary look.

Maple hardwood flooring also provides a huge variety of species of wood that you can choose from. Apart from its beauty and strength, Maple hardwood flooring is also known for increasing the value of your property. The warm look of the Maple hardwood attracts the attention of buyers. Below is a list of a few species of Maple that you can choose for your home flooring.

  • Black/Dark Maple – Black/Dark Maple is one of the strongest maple hardwood flooring species. It comes from a tree species called, Acer nigrum. It is not only one of the strongest Maple hardwood flooring species but also one of the most beautiful flooring species as well. If you are a fan of darker themes and darker shades, it should be on your list for flooring. Its strength and durability help it last longer than most other flooring species. It is a native species in the United States; hence it is also a cheaper and affordable flooring option. 
  • Red Maple – Red Maple hardwood flooring comes from a Maple tree species known as the “Red Maple Acer rubrum”. According to the reports, it is one of the most common and most abundant types of tree species in England, and the Eastern parts of North America. The hardwood extracted from the Red Maple trees has a reddish look in it. Its grain size and shape are similar to other Oak hardwood species, but it has a different color. It is a unique flooring option between dark and lighter shades. That makes it an even more beautiful choice for your flooring. So, if you are not looking for an absolute darker or lighter shade, and want something in the middle, Red Maple hardwood flooring should be your first consideration.
  • Silver Maple – Silver Maple Hardwood for flooring comes from a tree species known as the Acer saccharinum. These are very large Maple trees that give silver shade in their bark. Wood extracted from the Silver Maple tree species is not hard and strong, it is softer and weaker. But with proper treatment, it can be converted into hardwood for flooring. It retains its color for a long time, which means your floor would have a silvery shade in it for a very long time. It is a lighter shade and works well with all kinds of interior designs and kitchen cabinets.
  • Big Leaf Maple – Big Leaf Maple hardwood for flooring comes from the Big Leaf Maple tree species. It is also a softer and lighter version of Maple hardwood for flooring. It is not a very strong option for flooring, but still, it can last for decades. Big Leaf Maple provides a beautiful look to your floor and is a durable, and cheaper flooring option. So, if you want a cheaper Maple flooring option, you should consider this one as well.

3. HICKORY

Hickory hardwood is one of the most beautiful and elegant flooring types. It is also one of the most favorite flooring types in America as well. The trend of Hickory hardwood flooring is growing rapidly and is making it a popular choice for flooring. Hickory Hardwood is known for its strength, durability, and reliability. If you want strong, reliable, and exotic flooring, you should select the Hickory hardwood flooring for your home. But Hickory is also one of the expensive flooring types.

Some types of Hickory hardwood flooring are native to North America, but some are imported from outside. The species that are native are cheaper, but the ones that are imported are very expensive. This is because a single Hickory tree takes decades to grow and reach maturity. Apart from this, Hickory is one of the strongest types of hardwood and that also contributes to the overall price of the flooring. As it is a very strong, hard, and durable flooring option, it can survive scratches, and dents for decades and helps reduce the cost of maintaining the floor. Below is a list of a few hickory hardwood species that you can consider for your home.

  • Pecan Hickory – Most people consider all types of Hickory as Pecan Hickory because they don’t know that Pecan Hickory is a separate species. It has a brighter and lighter shade, with a long circular grain. It is a strong and durable wooden flooring species that can last on your floor for decades. The average lifespan of Pecan Hickory in the flooring is 50 years. That means, your Pecan Hickory flooring can last more than fifty years if you take proper care of your floor.
  • Shagbark Hickory – Shagbark Hickory hardwood flooring comes from Shagbark hickory trees. It is also one of the strongest flooring species that can provide strength and durability to your floor and can last for decades. Apart from strength and durability, it is also one of the most beautiful flooring species as well. It has a unique look that is different from other types of Hickory flooring. You can stain it darker and also lighter. Lighter stains work better and match all kinds of interior decorations, meanwhile, the darker shades of the Shagbark Hickory hardwood flooring work well with the contemporary interior designs.
  • Shellbark Hickory – Shellbark Hickory hardwood comes from the Carya laciniosa tree. These are long trees that take decades to grow and reach maturity. The Shellbark Hickory hardwood flooring has a lighter shade in it. It has a straight grain that is aligned with the veins in the planks. The Shellbark Hickory Flooring species provides durability, a unique and beautiful look, and a long-lasting floor. So, if you are looking for a premium flooring option, you should consider the shellbark hickory flooring species as well. 
  • Pignut Hickory – The Pignut Hickory hardwood flooring comes from the Carya glabra species. It is one of the wood species for flooring that are known as the true hickory as well. This is because they have a similar grain. It is a lighter and premium flooring option that works well with almost all kinds of interiors.
  • Red Hickory – Red Hickory is one of the most popular hardwood flooring species in North America. This is because it is easily available as it is a native species. Red Hickory comes from a plant known as the Carya ovalis. It has a granular structure and can be stained in lighter and darker shades. Its variety is what makes it a suitable choice. Apart from this, it is also one of the hardest hardwood flooring species and can last for decades on your floors. It can significantly increase the value of your property if you have Red Hickory installed.

4. WALNUT

Walnut is also one of the most popular and trending hardwood flooring species. It is one of the oldest flooring options that are still in use. Walnut hardwood is very strong, durable, and lasts. It can last for centuries with proper care. It has a premium look and most of its varieties are imported. For that reason, some of the Walnut hardwood flooring species are much more expensive than others.

Walnut hardwood flooring species have a unique look that distinguishes them from other hardwood flooring species. Most Walnut flooring species have darker shades and dark stains look beautiful on them. Walnut hardwood has a darker shade, it is less prone to color change, which happens in lighter shaded flooring species. There is a large number of species in the Walnut group that provide more variety. Below is a list of few very popular walnut flooring options that you can choose for your floor.

  • Black Walnut – Black Walnut is another beautiful option from the Walnut family for hardwood flooring. It comes from a tree called Juglans nigra. It is a strong hardwood flooring species and has a 1,010 rating on the Janka Hardness scale. Black Walnut flooring can last for decades and provides a premium look. It costs more than most stronger hardwood species, but according to the homeowners, it is worth spending extra money.
  • English Walnut – English Walnut Hardwood for flooring comes from a tree called, Juglans regia. It is found all over the world. It has a beautiful plain grain structure and a darker shade. It retains its color for a long time. Apart from this, it is also a premium hardwood flooring species, and that is why it is an expensive flooring option. It has a Janka rating of 1,220. it adds value to your property, so, if you are looking forward to selling your property and want to gain more profit, you should use this flooring option.
  • Claro Walnut – Claro Walnut Hardwood flooring is also one of the most popular flooring options among the Walnut family. It comes from a tree called Juglans hindsii or the California Walnut. The Claro Walnut Hardwood flooring has a beautiful color, shade, and a unique grain structure similar to marble flooring. If you are looking for a smooth floor, you should consider the Claro Walnut Hardwood flooring.
  • White Walnut – The White Walnut Hardwood flooring is one of the most unique types of walnut flooring species. This is because most walnut species have a very dark shade. It is also known as the Butternut Walnut. It has a dark shade and a very unique and subtle grain structure. It is also an affordable choice among walnut floors. This is because it is a domestic hardwood species and costs less.
  • Bastogne Walnut – The Bastogne Walnut has a very complex vein structure and grain. It also has a very dark color. So, if you are a fan of darker themes, and dark hardwood flooring, it is one of the best choices. It comes from a hybrid tree species of walnuts. The Bastogne Walnut flooring is one of the premium and expensive but very beautiful flooring options. So, if you can afford this type of floor, you should consider the Bastogne Walnut.

5. CHERRY

Cherry hardwood flooring is also one of the most common and trending hardwood flooring species. Cherry hardwood has a long history of being used in flooring all over the world. Several reasons have contributed to the popularity of cherry hardwood flooring. One of the main reasons for its popularity is that most of the cherry hardwood flooring options are cheaper and affordable. Also, cherry hardwood is very strong and is resistant to dents and scratches on the floor.

The Cherry hardwood flooring is very durable and long-lasting. With proper care, your cherry hardwood floor can last for decades. The average lifespan of cherry hardwood flooring is more than 50 years. That means, it can last an entire lifetime. Most Cherry hardwood flooring species have a typical reddish color, but some also have darker and lighter shades as well. Below is a list of a few species of cherry that are commonly used in flooring.

  • Brazilian Cherry – Brazilian Cherry is one of the most common types of cherry hardwood flooring and you may have seen it as well. There are a lot of reasons for its popularity. Brazilian cherry hardwood has a very unique dark reddish color. With darker stains, this color becomes more vibrant and provides a warm look and feel. If you want a hardwood floor in your home that has a unique color, you should consider installing Brazilian cherry hardwood flooring.
  • American Cherry – American Cherry is native to North America and comes from a tree called Prunus serotina. American Cherry hardwood flooring also has the same grain and vein structure, but a different color. It is less vibrant and reddish, but with proper staining, you can achieve the type of sheen that you want. It is a long-lasting and strong hardwood species for flooring.
  • European Cherry – European Cherry Hardwood flooring also has the same common cherry grain, but it has a lighter color, flat grain. The unique look of cherry hardwood flooring combined with its strength and durability, make it one of the most popular types of wood for flooring.

    Apart from these, there are also other popular options in Cherry flooring such as Patagonian Cherry, Caribbean Cherry, and Chilean Cherry. They all have unique coloring and different properties.

6. MAHOGANY

Mahogany is one of the most expensive types of hardwood flooring, known for its dark shade and reddish look. Mahogany has a lot of species, all of them are strong and durable. Mahogany floors are known for lasting centuries. There are a lot of famous places where you might have seen the Mahogany floors, as it was one of the most favorite choices for flooring during the 1900s. With time, a lot of new hardwood flooring species emerged, but none could compete with the popularity of the Mahogany hardwood. Below is a list of a few popular species of mahogany floors that are still popular and used in flooring.

  • Santos Mahogany – Santos Mahogany is the most popular and widely used type of Mahogany hardwood flooring. It comes from a tree called Myroxylon balsamum. Santos Mahogany has a dark shade and a very smooth shiny surface. Santos Mahogany has a reddish color with straight grain. It has a very unique and smooth appearance that attracts the eyes. It is also a very strong type of flooring and can last for centuries with proper care. 
  • African Mahogany – African Mahogany is native to Africa and is imported to the United States. That is why it is one of the most expensive types of Mahogany hardwood flooring. It is also reddish and dark, but it has a distinct look that is more subtle. It works with contemporary interiors and darker paint walls. Also, it is very hard and strong and has resistance against scratches and dents.

    Other famous types of Mahogany hardwood are Cuban Mahogany, Honduran Mahogany, and Swamp Mahogany. Each one of these has a unique look and feel. If you can afford expensive flooring, you should consider the Mahogany flooring as it is long-lasting, beautiful, and premium.

7. BEECH

Beech hardwood flooring is also one of the most popular types of hardwood flooring in the United States. It is an affordable flooring option that costs only a fraction of what other hardwood flooring species cost. For that reason, most homeowners, who are looking forward to saving money on flooring, choose Beech flooring. It is not a very hard type of wood, but still, it can be used in wooden flooring.

It is strong enough to sustain heavy weights and hard impacts. Most Beech Hardwood flooring species have a lighter shade and a straight grain structure. It provides a beautiful and bright hardwood floor that is easy to clean and is less prone to denting and breaking. Below is a list of a few popular Beech hardwood species that you can install on your floor.

  • American Beech – American Beech is native to North America and is known as a domestic hardwood species. As it is a domestic hardwood species, it is more affordable and easily available. It has a Janka Hardness Scale rating of 1300 that is more than most of the other hardwood species. The hardness and strength of American Beech help it survive on the floor for decades. So, if you are looking for something long-lasting and affordable, you should use the American Beech.
  • European Beech – European Beech hardwood flooring comes from a species of tree that is not grown in the United States. European Beech has a similar grain, but it has a slightly smoky color. It also has a similar rating on the Janka scale. It is strong, durable, dent, and scratch-resistant. These qualities make it a very suitable choice for flooring.

    Other types of Beech hardwood flooring include Tri-Color Beech and Japanese Beech. They are also very commonly used in flooring. 

8. BAMBOO

Bamboo Hardwood is also one of the most popular flooring choices in the world. This is because it is considered an eco-friendly and affordable type of flooring. Most people get confused when they think of Bamboo as a solid hardwood flooring, as Bamboo is just a grass species that has a very long stem. Bamboo has a small width to make planks, for that reason, Bamboo stems are joined to create planks. This joining process creates a very strong type of bamboo hardwood floor.

Bamboo Flooring has an average Janka rating of 1400, which is more than most of the hardwood species. So, it is not only strong but also an eco-friendly option for flooring. Bamboo grows fast and it matures quickly. This helps prevent deforestation for flooring as a new forest can grow within a shorter period. So, if you are an environmentally conscious person and want to have a wooden floor in your home, you should choose bamboo hardwood flooring. Below are some types of Bamboo hardwood flooring that you can choose from.

  • Horizontal Bamboo – With this type of Bamboo hardwood flooring, Bamboo strands are placed in a horizontal direction to each other. It creates a streamlined unique look. It can be stained dark, but naturally, it has a brighter shade. It is cheap and affordable and provides a unique and beautiful look.
  • Vertical Bamboo – Vertical Bamboo Flooring is created by placing Bamboo strands in a vertical direction and it creates small and narrow grains. That is why it looks more like a common wooden floor. It is also brighter but can be stained dark. It is a very strong, durable type of bamboo flooring that can last for decades. Other common types of bamboo flooring include Strand Woven Bamboo and Parquet Block Bamboo hardwood flooring. Both of these are very strong, durable, and long-lasting.

9. TEAK

Teak is also one of the most popular and most common hardwood flooring species in the world. It is a common species all over the world because it grows in almost every region including South America. Teak Hardwood flooring has a very premium look, similar to Mahogany. It has a reddish look and straight grain. That creates a beautiful and smooth look. Most variants of the Teak are dark and can be used with contemporary interior designs as well.

  • Chinese Teak, Brazilian Teak, and South American Teak are three of the most common types of Teak Hardwood flooring that you can use. They have an average Janka hardness scale rating of 1150. They are softer than some hardwood species and more susceptible to damage, but due to their beautiful look, they are still used. Also, they are an affordable flooring solution.

10. EBONY

Ebony hardwood comes from a lot of different species, and it is known for its unique, blackish look. If you want a very dark and blackish floor in your home, you should get Ebony hardwood flooring.  It is one of the strongest types of hardwood and has an average Janka hardness rating of 3220. As it is an extremely hard and strong hardwood, it is less susceptible to damage. But it is premium and expensive.

  • Ceylon Ebony, African Ebony, Gaboon Ebony, Macassar Ebony, and Pale Moon Ebony are species of Ebony hardwood flooring. They all are strong and have a unique blackish look. If you are looking for an extremely rare, unique, and strong type of floor, you should select one of these as your flooring option.

CONCLUSION

In the article above, we discussed the 10 most popular hardwood flooring species and subspecies. We also discussed why they are popular. Some other very popular species that are not on this list include Cork, Birch, Ash, Kempas, and some Pine species. All of these species are very commonly used in flooring as they possess all the properties that are required from a flooring species. You should consider one of these for your floor installation or upgrade.