The species of wood influences its appearance and durability. Traditional Oak species have pronounced variations in grain and shade that add character; while Maple's wood grain is cleaner and more understated. There are many exotic species available that take their distinctiveness from a combination of origin, color and surface characteristics. Not all species of hardwood are equally hard. If your floor is likely to take a lot of abuse, consider Ash, Maple, or Oak, for extra durability. See the Janka scale below to see the hardness levels displayed for these various species.
One of the world's most popular choices for hardwood flooring is Red Oak. Many people are attracted to its natural beauty and long lasting durability. Oak floors appeal to so many people because they offer such a wide range of characteristic's and style. If you want a more rustic mountain home look, you can choose a cabin grade.
Cabin grade oak floors have all shorter boards and have knot wholes on almost every plank; this is what gives them their rustic look. If you are drawn to a more elegant style, you can use select or clear grade oak. These grades provide you with complete uniformity, from board length to grain pattern they give off a very neat urban look. This versatility best explains its fame and reason for being the number one choice for hardwood floors.
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