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Choosing the right hardwood species

When you narrow your flooring choices down to hardwood, you still aren’t out of the woods yet as far as decisions go. There are still quite a few things to think about including which wood species you’d like, what type and color of stain you want, and what type of finish will work best for your own home.

You’ll want to choose the species wisely, as they each have different characteristics that will make some better suited for your needs than others are. For instance, if your home has a lot of traffic in the room you’re looking to have wood floors installed in, then you certainly don’t want to choose a soft species.

Delair’s Carpet & Flooring has just what you need when it comes to wood floors, and we’ll help you find exactly what suits your own personal needs. We proudly service the areas of East Montpelier, Montpelier, Stowe and Waterbury, with a showroom located in East Montpelier. We invite you to stop by with any questions that you might have, or to take a look at our extensive line of wood floor possibilities.
Hardwood flooring in East Montpelier, VT from Delair's Carpet & Flooring

What are the different hardwood species?

There are many different kinds of species, both domestic and exotic, and they all have a little something that makes them special in their own way. Right now, we are going to take a look at some of the most well known American species:
  • Ash–yellow or brown, dries fast and has a good shock resistance.
  • Birch–reddish brown, accepts stain beautifully, has good resistance to shock, but does tend to shrink.
  • Cherry–red to reddish brown, stains well, good shock resistance with medium strength and is prone to shrinkage.
  • Cypress–light to dark reddish brown, resistant to warping, sands and stains well, but is softer than many woods.
  • Elm–grayish white to light brown, sands and stains well, minimum degradation, heavy and stiff with good shock resistance, and very hard to split.
  • Hickory–the heaviest of American hard woods, difficult to work with, brown to reddish brown, strong, shock resistant with high shrinkage.
  • Hard Maple–white with reddish brown, very hard, fine texture with high shrinkage.
  • Soft Maple–much like hard maple, with about 25% less hardness.
  • Red Oak–white, light brown or reddish brown, machines and accepts stain well, very hard and heavy.
  • Sycamore–white to light yellow, machines well with proper tools, moderately hard and stiff, with good shock resistance.

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