One of the first questions I ask a new customer looking for hardwood flooring is “what kind of wood do you want?”. Typically, they do not know how to respond and just ask “well, what is the standard?”. Many customers are surprised to know that wood comes in lots and lots of different species and they all have very distinct looks and characteristics. For instance, in Nashville, the “standard” is 2 1/4″ Red Oak.
Red Oak is great looking, but is it the best choice for your style? It has a warm and inviting natural tone, and remember you can finish the wood any color you like.
Red Oak has a brother called White Oak, the difference is in the name. White Oak has a more neutral base and Red Oak, you guessed it…. Great looking and very popular as well. I would always recommend this species if you decorate with a lot of earthy tones. Greys, blacks and browns work really well with White Oak.
Oak will usually be a very good value and readily available. My suggestion would be that if you have more traditional tastes, consider Red Oak . If you may want a bit more versatile material go with White.
Another great look and incredibly beuatiful option is Walnut. I almost consider Walnut to be the Hal Holbrook of hardwood flooring, a distinguished southern gentlemen. The rich tones and soft hues are subtle, but very deep. Walnut is not for the faint of heart though, because it is bold.
Rich and warm, very versatile and heavy with the browns. This floor will be a focal point in the space, so if you do not want that than stay clear. Also, expect a lot of variation in the coloring.
Next time we will cover Hickory, Ash and Maple– three more great woods!!