Flooring: Your Guide to Wood Species

Hardwood is one of the most popular choices when it comes to flooring. From cherry to oak, maple to walnut – there is a multitude of hardwood flooring options you can choose from. And of each of this type offers a set of features and characteristics that will match any homeowner’s preferences.

Before you start your hardwood flooring project, here is a handy guide in understanding different wood species for flooring. If you need more information, you can always direct your questions to your trusted flooring installation company. The good ones will usually conduct an in-home inspection. This will allow them to evaluate your space properly, so they can give you an accurate estimate.

Here are some of the common hardwood species used for flooring:

Different types of wood flooring species


Usually, light-colored wood flooring is made from the wood species, ash. Ash is characterized as genuine hardwood. Homeowners who prefer authentic hardwood will pick ash.

A lot of people regard it as the hardest and sturdiest wood species. While similar to hickory in look, ash wood has white spots in the dark summerwood. It’s also in the more affordable category than other hardwoods.


Pine is not an actual hardwood. It’s defined as a character wood. Pine is a type of character wood that has distinguished knots and pin holes. While hardwood is durable, it can also have a rough and hard touch on the feet.

Homeowners who don’t want the tough touch will usually go for pine wood flooring. While it’s not the cheapest option, pine is also not the most expensive wood flooring item in the market.


You will commonly find oak flooring in most North American homes. Oak is highly resistant to scratches and dents. This type of flooring is perfect when you have pets or a busy household with constant foot traffic.

Oak flooring is also the preferred choice of homeowners who are not fans of area rugs. It comes in a selection of unique grain patterns, stains, and finishes.

Even with its durability, oak flooring will eventually show signs of aging. You can remedy this by refinishing oak floors. Consult your flooring installation specialist for an estimate when it comes to refinishing oak wood floors.


Mahogany is valued for its color and splendor. Aside from flooring, mahogany is used to make furniture, boats, musical instruments, and even boats. Other attractive features of mahogany wood flooring are its high durability and water resistance.

Homeowners with mahogany wood floors love the classic and timeless appeal this type of flooring evokes.


Cherry wood darkens as it ages. However, it can produce a beautiful finish. While it’s not as durable as other wood floors and is more sensitive to scratches, cherry wood is quite easy to maintain.

This type of wood is one of the most commonly used wood floors in American households. It’s also been used for decades in the construction industry. Floor installation companies admit that it’s harder to work with, but once sanded down, cherry wood is as gorgeous as any other wood flooring.


Rustic and country homes will most likely have a hickory wood floor installation. Hickory has a tough exterior and is durable. It’s the ideal choice of wood for homeowners with a hectic household.

Families with little children running around or those who live with someone who has to use a wheelchair or walker can benefit from having this type of wood flooring.

In terms of look, hickory appears to have tighter, disfigured grains. Still, professional interior designers agree that hickory wood flooring can go with any design or theme in the house.


Walnut floors

Walnut is one of the more expensive wood flooring species. While it will give your home a grand, luxurious feel, you have to be prepared to have a hefty budget for its installation and maintenance.

You get what you pay for with walnut floors. It’s strong and durable, not to mention gorgeous. The colors range from light to darker chocolate brown. There’s a European variety,  which is lighter and has a more delicate texture than its American counterpart


Maple is one of the most popular and widely used types of wood flooring species. Not only used in homes, but maple flooring is also ideal for bowling alleys because of its durable grain.

Maple wood has subtle grain patterns compared to other types of wood. It can also conceal dark stains. However, with time, maple wood develops a yellowish exterior.  You can opt to sand and refinish it to restore to its closest original condition.