There are literally hundreds of wood species to choose from when deciding on the perfect hardwood flooring for your home such as Red Oak, White Oak, Birch, Canadian maple, Hickory or Walnut. Each species yields different colours, textures and styles that will add unique touch to your living space. Many factors from the nature of the wood to the way it was cut, can affect its appearance. Wood species are also categorized as either domestic or exotic. Domestic wood species refer to any wood that is grown and harvested in North America. Exotic wood species are harvested outside of North America. The majority of Beaulieu’s wood species are domestic:
Red Oak：Oak wood generally means rich colour with a charming style. Heartwood and sapwood are similar, with sapwood being lighter; most pieces have a reddish brown tone. Red Oak grain is open and slightly coarse. There are considerable variations in colour and grain texture. Ordinary wear is not as noticeable due to oak’s grain and natural reddish colour.
White Oak：Perfect for creating a traditional wood floor, White Oak is slightly softer than red oak and less dimensionally stable. While there are many variations in colour and grain texture, White Oak heartwood is light brown with a sometimes grey or pink cast. White Oak sapwood is white to cream.
Birch ： For a unique décor that inspires style, Birch wood has a straight grain for even texture. Although its boards sometimes appear curly or wavy, Birch shows minimal colour variation even when exposed to intense light. Birch sapwood is creamy yellow or pale white and its heartwood is light reddish-brown with red highlights.
Canadian Maple ：Maple wood is the definition of enduring classic. With a closed grain that gives it a soft, even texture, Maple wood can appear straight, curly or striped. The sapwood is pale to creamy white and the heartwood creamy white to light reddish brown.
Hickory：Hickory heartwood is tan or reddish; sapwood is white to cream, with fine brown lines. The grain is closed, with moderate definition; somewhat rough-textured.
Walnut：Heartwood ranges from a deep, rich dark brown to a purplish black. Sapwood is nearly white to tan. Difference between heartwood and sapwood colour is great; some flooring manufacturers steam lumber to bleed the darker heartwood colour into the sapwood. Walnut grain is mostly straight and open, but some boards have burled or curly grain. Arrangements of pores is similar to hickories and persimmon, but pores are smaller in size. There is a great variety of colour and figure within species, as well as variation in colour among boards, especially in lower grades and from material that is not steamed prior to kiln-drying.
Keep in mind that one of the most important strength properties for wood used in flooring is its side hardness, which is determined with the Janka hardness test. Side hardness refers to a wood’s resistance to wear, dents and marks. The Janka hardness rating for each species is based on an average of tests to the wood samples. Because the test is conducted on the material in its “raw” state, meaning without the finish, it is not something that the average user of hardwood flooring needs to consider. Rest assured that your retailer will provide you with a hardwood flooring that will meet both your design requirements and your practical needs.