We love the natural beauty and quality of hardwood flooring. Wood is our passion, and we have fallen in love with the distinct properties of the wood used in our hardwoods. White oak, hickory and maple flooring each have unique characteristics and strengths that enhance and enliven a living space.

Installing hardwood floors can be an excellent investment to add value and elegance to your home. But which type of wood works best for your application? With so many species to choose from, we decided to take a closer look at a couple of favorites to help you decide.

White Oak Flooring

White oak has a long-standing tradition in American history. Many ships throughout the 1700s used white oak in their production, and it was instrumental in reconstructing the vessels moving to-and-from the New World.These all-American ships not only transported people but improved the exporting trade that was beginning to emerge. The wood was also commonly used to make barrels for rum and molasses.

Later, in the 1800s, white oak started to work its way into American homes in furniture and flooring. It’s now often used in the staves that make up red wine and whiskey barrels—something we know a thing or two about in Tennessee!

● White Oak Identification

The trees used to harvest white oak can reach an average height of 100 feet with a diameter of roughly three to four feet. You can find these trees in almost every part of the U.S., but we use northern oak trees, which are harder and have a lighter color than southern white oaks.

White oak is extremely popular due to its lighter natural coloring, which, not surprisingly, is less red than red oak.However, there is some color variation across the veneer, and some boards may look pinker than others. When cut using a sliced or sawn technique, the appearance of the grain is verylinear. Alternatively, when cut by a rotary peeling method, itcan have a more wide or flat grain—what the industry calls “cathedrals.”

● White Oak Hardwood Flooring

White oak flooring is a very on-trend option. It adds a contemporary and less traditional feel to your home. There is versatility with staining and texturing that makes it widely popular. It’s very durable—harder than red oak—and is resilient when it comes to indentations.

WhiteOak_cut

At Hearthwood, we have more white oak hardwood flooring offerings than any other species. If you want the look of reclaimed wood, you’re going to love our Dynamic Earth Colleciton, which features dramatic color variations and handcrafted texturing for an authentic look. For more contemporary interiors, check out the light texture and versatile stain options of our Au Naturelle and Controlled Chaos hardwood flooring collections.

Hickory

In North America, there are roughly 16 different species of hickory. However, the lumber industry doesn’t take time to distinguish between them. Historically, hickory is well-known for its strength and has been used to produce objects that relied on this durable characteristic like ladder rungs, wagon wheels, and handles for tools.

You can also find hickory used in sporting accessories. Its strength has been beneficial in constructing skis, tennis rackets, hockey sticks, and (most notably) the baseball bat.

Hickory

● Hickory Identification

As previously mentioned, hickory is notoriously strong, which also means it’s weighty. When dried, it can weigh around 50lbs per cubic foot. The grain ranges from featuring light,clean boards to gorgeous rustic boards with knots and mineral streaks. Hickory is primarily found in the Southern region, and it can grow to as much as 120 feet in height.

● Hickory Hardwood Flooring

There are very few kinds of wood available that match hickory’s strength and durability. Hickory ranks the highest on the Janka hardness rating of American tree species used in flooring. As a flooring material, its strength is ideal for high-traffic areas of the home. It’s excellent at resisting impact and stress.

In addition to its hardy characteristics, hickory is also a gorgeous wood. The hardwood flooring planks can be light and blond or more rustic and natural in appearance. It’s truly one of a kind!

Pure Heart from our Tall Timbers Collection is hickory at its best, most authentic form. The hardwood flooring collection displays beautiful, natural color variations with handcrafted,rich texture to give it exceptional character. The result leads to a rustic finish that brings the best of the outdoors inside your home.

Maple

Maple has existed in North America for hundreds of years. For centuries, people have harvested maple for its delicious syrup. But the inherent strength and density of the wood made it worthwhile inside the home as well—commonly for desks, workbenches, and butcher blocks. Throughout history, it also played a part in medicinal products such as cough medicines and tonics.

● Maple Identification

Maple has a light grain appearance that can vary from a straight to curly pattern. The texture is fine and uniform. The outermost portion—the sapwood—is white and very clean in appearance. You’ll find that most maple is free from defects, like knots, though we often like to include them in our hardwood flooring. It gives the wood more authenticity, so you know it’s the real deal and not a faux-wood copy.
 
Maple grows primarily in the northern part of the U.S. and Canada, and the trees grow to roughly 100 feet tall. At Hearthwood, we work from only domestically sourced maple, selected for its beauty and durability.

● Maple Hardwood Flooring

Quite often, the wood is used for fine furniture and cabinetry. The uniqueness of maple’s patterns provides the opportunity to enhance interior design using a neutral backdrop. As a flooring material, it’s one of the highest quality options based on durability alone.

The grain pattern of maple is typically very quiet, offering a subtle and neutral visual appearance. Lower glosses are now more commonly used on maple hardwood flooring, although high shine maple with no knots was a popular look for a long time.

Maple

he beauty and durability of maple is represented in Signal Point from our Tennessee Trails Collection ,a smooth hardwood floor that compliments both traditional and modern designs,while lessening the appearance of scratches and wear.