Remodeling and Home Design

Choosing a Wood Species: A Simple Guide

There are an incredible amount of differing wood species available for a multitude of home or professional projects.

Where to begin?

The following information will attempt to help you understand and identify some of the more popular species of hardwood featured by Hyde Park Distribution & our trusted manufacturers.

Popular hardwood species:

Bamboo - Bamboo has been used for centuries in Asia because of its beauty, hardness, durability and environmental friendliness. Though once only offered in its natural colour, todays bamboo floors can be found in an array of colours and textures – with the same overall appeal as many traditional hardwood flooring choices. Today, it continues to gain increased popularity due to its environmentally-friendly quality: in that it is so sustainable & harvesting has little to zero impact. View our Bamboo Floors

Birch - Birch is a very unique floor. Before strip floors became all the rage, birch was a common hardwood flooring material. It offers a hard, moisture resistant, strong surface, with good shock-resistant quality and is fine and uniform in texture. Additionally, birch takes stains extremely well, so can be used with different effect throughout your home. “View Russian Alder Floors”: and Siberian Birch Floors

Cherry - Though you’ll find a variety of different types of cherry wood (Brazilian, American, Canadian etc.,) all display the same essential characteristics. The wood varies from a light, yellowish-pink hue when first cut and morphs into a rich, reddish brown – growing darker and deeper in colour as it ages. Cherry hardwood displays a smooth texture and working properties, and is quite strong and close-grained. “View our Cherry Floors”:

Hickory – A member of the Walnut family of tree-species, hickory is well-known as being one of the heaviest, hardest & strongest wood in common use. The overall resilient nature of this hardwood offers an even texture and exquisite grain pattern allowing for a wide range of finishing treatments. View our Hickory Floors

Mahogany – The heftiest of all woods, mahogany is also the most valuable of hardwood choices. It is straight grained and prized for unique surface figures which add to a unique finish. Staining and polishing of this wood will showcase a stunning natural lustre, and this wood is stable and decay resistant. View our Mahogany Floors

Maple - Maple wood is strong, heavy, hard, and resistant to shock and abrasion. It is generally straight-grained, but may also have intricate patterns in the wood commonly referred to as the ‘bird’s-eye’ (resembling the small circular figures on its surface). Maple is ideal for flooring, and takes stain & polish very well. View our Maple Floors

Merbau – An exotic hardwood from the Indo-Malayan region, merbau is one of the hardest and most durable wood floor options – harder than Red Oak and Hickory – it is a distinctly unique option. Merbau exhibits a subtle ‘flecking’ in the pores of it surface – thus when finished, the wood may appear almost flecked with gold for added dramatic effect. “View our Merbau Floors”:

White Oak - Oak wood is strong, durable, and resistant to moisture. It is a heavy wood and finishes incredibly well. Depending on which cut you are after – oak flooring will offer you an abundance of attractive patterns. Some mills offer White Oak in Rift and Quarter sawn, please call toll free for details 1-877-461-1203. Because of its hardness, oak can be difficult to carve, though it takes stain quite well. View our Oak Floors

Red Oak - The red-tinged brown heartwood and white tones of Red Oak creates a subtle but resonant contrast that makes this wood uniquely enjoyable. A consistent grain adds to the grace of the overall presentation of the wood. All of these elements make Red Oak a colorfully multifaceted yet understated beauty that, much like White Oak, is aesthetically complimentary to any style of home. Like White Oak some mills offer Red Oak in Rift and Quarter sawn, please call toll free for details 1-877-461-1203. View our Oak Floors

Tiger Wood – One of the few species of exotic hardwoods that is sure to catch your eye. With eclectic streaks and gashes of darker colours set within an overall yellow-goldenrod shade – the allusion and use of ‘tiger’ befits this hardwood. Rich dark brown, and deep black stripes creates an effect that is quite dramatic. Tigerwood is incredibly durable (170% harder than Red Oak) so function does indeed go with beauty. View our Tigerwood Floors

Walnut - Walnut is strong, hard, and very durable, without being excessively heavy. It is straight-grained in the trunk of the tree, but possesses a wavy grain in wood found closer to the roots. Walnut wood finishes beautifully, holding paint and stain exceptionally well, and is resistant to shrinking and warping – making it a good choice for high-traffic, kitchen or basement use. Like White Oak some mills offer Walnut in Rift and Quarter sawn, please call toll free for details 1-877-461-1203. View our Walnut Floors

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