Hardwood flooring comes in a wide variety of species, but there are five that are the most popular choices. 

Here’s a breakdown of the top five.

Oak has two popular versions

The most common one in the oak family is red. This hardwood is suitable for most floors, with warm tones that range from pink to red to brown and swirling grains.  This floor works in many decor styles, from rustic to contemporary and country.

White oak is harder, making it a great choice for high traffic areas. This has gray undertones, with no hint of red and is smooth, sleek, and elegant.

Other popular choices:

  • Cherry is known for warm brown shades and a smooth grain pattern It’s a little softer than other hardwoods, so it’s best for low traffic areas, like the bedroom.
  • Maple is beige, or tan, with a subtle red tint and sometimes even has little flecks or streaks of color.  This is a very hard wood, best in contemporary, transitional, and eclectic styles.
  • Hickory is very, very hard and great for high traffic floors and is used also in commercial installations.  It has mocha tones that can range from beige and cream to red and brown.  There are large knots and the colors even change slightly from board to board.  This is ideal for rustic decor.
  • Walnut has deep brown shades that promote a dramatic, sophisticated feeling.  It's hard but best in lower to medium traffic floors.

Your hardwood flooring retailer can tell you more about these, and other, species.

 If budget is a concern, you can get wood-look flooring that’s an incredibly realistic mimic of the above-mentioned species.

Other considerations include:

  • Construction.  While solid is one slab throughout the thickness, engineered is layered which gives it more stability and an increased ability to handle water.
  • Plank width.  Wider planks are more traditional and there is more room to show off the raised grains, quirky knots, and other characteristics of wood.   Narrow planks have a more contemporary feeling and maybe a better choice for small spaces.
  • Finish: This is the protective clear coating on wood, available as an oil or water-based products.

For more information about hardwood flooring or any of our other products, visit the Kelly’s Carpet Omaha showroom in Omaha, NE, serving the entire area.  See us about our free in-home measuring.