shutterstock_2782049Deciding on hardwood floors is only the first step in the new flooring process – with so many colors, styles, and varieties to choose from, the possibilities are endless. While this can sometimes seem overwhelming, the wide variety of options allows you to customize the flooring in your house to truly make it feel like home. Here is a guide to different hardwood species from Floor Coverings International of Southwest Metro and the greater Minneapolis area.


The first important thing to note is that not all wood species are created equal. Cedar, pine, and fir trees are all beautiful wood types, but are considered softwoods rather than hardwoods, which makes them less suitable for flooring. The most popular hardwoods used in American homes are red and white oak, mainly due to their cost and natural abundance. Poplar, ash, hickory, and maple are other well-loved hardwoods that homeowners often choose for their flooring.


Exotic wood species are also increasing in popularity among U.S. homeowners. Brazilian cherry is the most well-known, but mahogany, Brazilian walnut, and rosewood also have excellent track records. They rank high on the Janka scale, which measures the hardness and density of a wood. Because of this, they are more durable than other hardwoods and can be placed in high traffic areas. Though they are available in light colors as well, exotic woods are prized for their bold, dark coloring which make them perfect for home offices or formal dining areas.


For those who might be open to out of the box options, bamboo is a great alternative to hardwood. Even though bamboo is not technically a wood, it has a similar appearance and Janka rating to solid hardwood. As homeowners become more concerned with using eco-friendly materials within their home, bamboo gives them the best of both worlds because it is both stylish and environmentally friendly.


If you are interested in learning more about hardwood species or other flooring materials, contact the experts at Floor Coverings International of Southwest Metro Minneapolis today. We provide a free, in-home estimate where we bring the products right to your home. We proudly serve the Minnetonka, Chanhassen, and Eagan areas.


Photo: Mark Bernard