How to choose the right timber flooring for your home.

There’s a wide variety of solid timber flooring available on the market, including common timbers and some exotic types you might not be so familiar with. If ypu want timber flooring, and want something a little more unique, you can use all kinds of different types of wood. Each one has its own benefits and downsides, and will provide something a little special for your floor. Let’s take a look at some of your options.

Domestic And Traditional Woods

With a Janka hardness rating of 1260, red oak has a strong open grain and is the most common species used in timber flooring. This sturdy material has been used for years, is highly attractive, and has a beautiful colour. It’s a popular choice for restoring old houses and for installation in new ones.

White oak is more frequently used in timber framing, but is also common in floors. With a light brown heartwood and creamy sapwood, this tree provides a striking look. The grain is tighter and less pronounced than red oak, and is uniform and straight in good examples. Over time, this wood, rated at a Janka hardness of 1360, will change colour, becoming more amber in appearance.

For strong floors that resist denting, maple is a good choice, which is why it’s been used in basketball courts and bowling alleys for years. It has a rating of 1450 on the Janka hardness scale and it has a closed grain and a very uniform texture. colours range between creamy white to a light red or reddish brown. There are three major grades of maple – first grade, known for whiteness and uniform colour; select grade, with some brown heartwood mixed in the white sapwood; and rustic maple, which is variegated and includes both types of wood.

Cherry flooring has been prized for cabinets and furniture, and makes an outstanding chice for timber floors that ranges from light brown to reddish brown and has a very fine grade. Sapwood is white to light reddish brown. This wood has a Janka hardness of only 950, and is musch less soft than oak.

Another extremely prized furniture and flooring wood is Black walnut. It is about twenty percent softer than oak with a hardness rating of 1010. Ranging from soft brown to chocolate in the heartwood, and light tan to dark brown in the sapwood, the texture of this wood is fine but curly. Finished walnut is extremely elegant in appearance.

Ash rates at a hardness of 1320 and is a stunning floor that will last a long time, with creamy sapwood and tan to dark brown heartwood. The grain is bold and open, and makes for a striking looking floor.

Beech has a hardness of about 1300 on the Janka scale, and a pale white sapwood with a reddish brown heartwood. Boards have variations in colour, with a straight, closed, consistent grain.

Birch is white to creamy yellow or light reddish brown and is equal to red oak in hardness. Its texture is even and its grain is straight and closed, though some boards show waves and curliness in the grain.

Exotic Woods

Jatoba, also called Brazilian cherry, is a reddish brown wood with a golden glow and an interlocking grain. Sturdy, tough and weighty, it has a Janka rating of 2760, and darkens over time and when exposed to light.

Tigerwood, also from Brazil, has a darker orange background colour with brown veins and makes for a really striking floor. Its hardness rating is 2160.

Australian cypress looks like rustic pine but is harder than oak, and ranges from cream to light brown to honey gold, with prominent dark lines and knots. Over a few months, it will darken slightly from light exposure.

Originating in South Africa, Santos mahogany is seventy percent harder than red oak and has a consistent dark red brown colour and a grain that is consistent and straight. is smooth and even in consistency and offers a really elegant feeling combined with great strength and rigidity.

Cumaru, or Brazilian chestnut, is incredibly durable and hard, with a rating of 3540. It is also naturally resistant to decay, causing it to be used outdoors in many cases. Consistent in colour – yellowish brown to light brown – it has a taut and even grain and makes a robust floor that is gorgeous and will stand up to lots of abuse.

Hickory is unusual in timber floors, but its high hardness (1820) and incredible character gives it a real country charm. The sapwood is white with light brown to brown contrasting dark streaks

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