Hardwood flooring is one of the most stunning additions you can integrate into any home.   It adds warmth, beauty, and elegance.  

In addition:

    • Hardwood Floors (or refinishing of existing hardwood floors) increase the value of your home instantly, an advantage in today's competitive housing market.

    • Costs less in the long run than other types of flooring.

    • Properly maintained, hardwood floors can last a lifetime.

    • Hardwood floors are more sanitary than other types of flooring.

    • Hardwood floors are hypo-allergenic, trapping fewer allergens, bacteria, and dust mites than other flooring option

    • Hardwood floors help to improve air quality.

    • Hardwood flooring is easy to maintain when compared to some other types of flooring.

    • There is a wide range of wood species, color, grain variation, and staining to choose from, to match your style.

    • Hardwood floors can be repaired if damaged

    • It's always an option to have your floor refinished if you would like to renew it.

Janka Hardness Chart

The Janka Hardness Test measures the capacity of a wood to withhold pressure. This is done by measuring the amount of force required to insert a 11.28 millimeter (.444 inches) diameter steel ball half its diameter deep into the wood. Doing so creates a circular indention with an area of 100 square millimeters. These particular data are expressed in pounds-force (lbf), and are side hardness data. This means that the testing was done on the surface of a plank, with the force exerted perpendicular to the grain.

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This chart can be used as a guide for the hardness of woods. It is helpful in determining how hard it will be to either nail, staple, or saw the particular species of wood. It can also be used to estimate how easily a wood floor will withstand pressure causing dents and wear. The higher the rating, the harder, or more durable, the wood will be.

Hardwood Floor Grading


The grade of hardwood depends on the desired look and project budget.  Each grade has its own distinguished characteristics.


Clear
Practically free of defects, made up mostly of heartwood.  Most uniform color with limited small character marks.  This grade will cost more than other grades.

Select or 1st grade
Almost clear, with more of the normal characteristics such as knots and color variations.  Unlimited sound sap wood (lighter in color).


#1 Common or 2nd grade
More markings than clear or select.  Light and dark colors, knots and other character marks, including sticker stain, provide a variegated appearance.  Often the common grades are selected because of their more natural, rustic appearance.

#2 Common or 3rd grade
The most knots, imperfections, and color variations.  A natural, more affordable floor, full of character.  This is your choice if many character markings are desired.

Plainsawn
Plainsawn is the most common and least expensive method of wood flooring cuts. Plainsawn contains more variation than the other two cuts because grain patterns resulting from the growth rings are more obvious. This is the most economical method because it creates the widest boards with the least amount of waste.  The flooring will tend to expand and contract more across the width of the boards.

Quartersawn
Quartersawing produces less board feet per log than plainsawing and is therefore is more expensive. The log is first cut into quarters and then sawn perpendicular to the growth rings.  When quartersawn flooring is introduced to changing climates and humidity, the wood expands and contracts vertically instead of horizontal, and is therefore, a little more stable.

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Domestic Wood Species 

Ash White or Scientific Name: Fraxinus americana

Properties: White ash is elastic and hard, and it has excellent shock-resistance. The wood remains smooth under friction. Janka Hardness: 1320


 

Beech or Scientific Name: Fagus grandifolia

Properties: Beech is frequently used in factory floors and other high-traffic areas, since it wears well and stays smooth when subjected to repeated friction. The wood is hard and elastic, with excellent shock-resistance. Janka Hardness: 1300


 

Birch or Scientific Name: Betula spp.

Properties: Birch is a very heavy, strong, durable wood. It is hard and stiff, with excellent shock-resistance. Janka Hardness: 1260


 

Cherry (Black) or Scientific Name: Prunus serotina

Properties: A strong but moderately hard wood with excellent shock resistance, black cherry is generally considered too soft for an entire floor; mainly it is found in borders and accents. Janka Hardness: 950


 

Douglas Fir or Scientific Name: Pseudotsuga menziesii

Properties: Douglas Fir has little natural resistance to termites or decay, and as such should be treated as a preventative measure. The wood remains smooth under friction and is reported to have no odor. Douglas Fir dries rapidly with little degrade resulting from the process. Janka Hardness: 710


 

Hickory-Pecan or Scientific Name: Carya spp.

Properties: Prized for their resiliency, both hickory and pecan wood are exceedingly high in shock resistance, and they rank as the hardest of all North American hardwoods. Their combination of stiffness, toughness, hardness, and durability can be found in no other commercial wood, which is why they are used when an extremely hard and durable wood floor is desired. Janka Hardness: 1820


 

Maple Sugar-Hard or Scientific Name: Acer saccharum

Properties: Like black maple (B. nigrum), sugar maple is classified as a hardwood (other species of maple are considered soft). And like teak and white oak, it has a high crushing strength. It is stiff, strong, dense, and extremely tough, with excellent shock resistance. It is notably resistant to abrasive wear; and for this reason, it is the hardwood flooring of choice for such high-traffic/hard-use locations as bowling alleys, basketball courts, and other sports facilities. Janka Hardness: 1450


 

Mesquite or Scientific Name: Prosopis spp

Properties: In addition to its warm reddish tint, this moderately lustrous wood is notable for its hardness and durability Mesquite is extremely dense wood and very strong. Janka Hardness: 2345


 

Red Oak or Scientific Name: Quercus rubra

Properties: White oak is slightly harder than red oak, and also more durable. However, both types are notably stiff and dense, have high shock resistance, and resist wear. Because of the high concentration of tannic acid in white oak, it is particularly resistant to fungi and insects. Janka Hardness: 1290


 

Pine Antique-Heart or Scientific Name: Carpinus betulus

Properties: Pine species do not usually have a high resistance to decay, but they do have a propensity to absorb preservatives rather well. The wood commonly has no odor. Most pine species are not difficult or time consuming to dry properly. Janka Hardness: 1225


 

Pine Southern-Yellow or Scientific Name: Pinus taeda

Properties: Pine species do not usually have a high resistance to decay, but they do have a propensity to absorb preservatives rather well. The wood commonly has no odor. Most pine species are not difficult or time consuming to dry properly. Janka Hardness: 870


 

Walnut American Black or Scientific Name: Juglans nigra

Properties: This is one of the most prized of North American hardwoods. Although American black walnut is somewhat softer than northern red oak, the wood is heavy, hard, and stiff and has excellent dimensional stability. It is moderatly dense, but very strong, with good shock resistance. Walnut is one of the most durable of the domestic commercial woods, even under conditions favorable to decay. Janka Hardness: 1010

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Exotic Wood Species 

Brazilian Cherry (also known as Jatoba) is one of the hardest of the hard woods.  There are different grades that determine color variation, but the tones are red and brown with long straighter grain patterns.  Some manufacturers apply a wash to provide a more consistent color with less color changing.  Jatoba changes in color significantly from straight out of the box as a light color to a deep rich color, most of the change happens in the first year.

Brazilian Cherry

 

Merbau is an exotic wood with a unique straight grain pattern, with deep reddish and brown tones.

 

Tigerwood is an exotic and dramatic.  It is rich in color, with contrasting grain lines.

 

Santos Mahogany is a popular exotic with grain patterns similar to Maple and rich in color like Brazilian Cherry.  It is a dense wood and is offered by many manufacturers in different styles.  It ambers and richens in color mostly over the first six months to a year.

 Santos Mahogany

 

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