Information on Wood Species Used in Flooring.
Wood is a dynamic medium. Like all organic materials, it has character and quirks, responds to its environment, and changes over time. Because of its “personality,” wood should be treated with understanding and a certain amount of care. For wood flooring professionals, knowing about the properties of wood in general, as well as those of individual wood species, is critical to proper installation. For consumers, it’s important to have realistic expectations about how wood will perform. Most wood used for flooring is essentially a byproduct of more expensive wood-consuming industries (furniture manufacture, for example), so it is usually not the highest grade of lumber. However, it is quite economical in comparison.
The PDF below provides an overview of the mechanical and physical properties of wood, followed by more detailed information on several species used in flooring. In selecting the species described, the aim has been to offer a fair sampling of some of today’s most popular woods. Other species may be included in later editions of the publication.
Note: The samples chosen to illustrate each species were selected to be as representative as possible. However, there are many variations within each species, and the methods used in sanding and finishing also affect the final appearance of a given species. Also, the samples were photo graphed only a few days after being sanded and finished. Some species, such as domestic cherry, will change color significantly over time (see page 8). Therefore, the appearance of any installation may vary from the samples shown in the attached publication.