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Aesthetic appeal, sturdy construction, ease of cleaning – the benefits of natural hardwood floors over carpet could fill a book.  Hardwood flooring captures the beauty of nature while enhancing durability.

Even better, dirt and spills can be wiped up in no time.  Of course, hardwood flooring has has its own set of special considerations, which vary among the different options.  Here, we’ll explore some of the benefits and special considerations of natural hardwood flooring.

The Versatility of Natural Hardwood Floors

Contrary to popular belief, hardwood flooring does actually offer a variety of options to fulfill different tastes and preferences.  Granted, the classic light tan style that usually comes to mind is pretty versatile in almost any setting, from cabins to beachside getaways.  Also, most species of wood can achieve this look.  However, homeowners are not limited to only that style.  As we’ll explore here, different species offer a variety of aesthetic styles.  They also come with their own list of pros and cons.

Hickory Natural Hardwood Floors

Hickory is one of the most popular choices for hardwood floors.  It offers a decent choice of shades, ranging from medium to light tan.

Although,  homeowners do have the option of staining it a dark brown.  All shades of hickory offer beautiful notes of its natural setting.  In addition to its beauty, hickory is also one of the most impact-resistant natural hardwood flooring options.

However, hickory does have an involved acclimation process.  And the results of improper acclimation could cause damage in a matter of months.  This is especially important for those living in humid environments.

Once hickory wood begins to crown or lifting, the only option is really to replace.

Natural Oak Hardwood Floors

Oak hardwood flooring is popular for its variety of shades and even colors.  White oak, cherry oak and even butterscotch oak are just a few of its many offerings.

This, of course, in addition to oak’s many shades of tan. In fact, Red Oak is currently the most popular choice in the U.S.  Despite its popularity, it’s also among the most affordable options.

White oak is also among the most stable options for natural hardwood floors.  This is especially true for humid environments.

Maple Hardwood Flooring

Natural maple hardwood floors are renowned for their aesthetic appeal.  They are among the most beautiful flooring options and instantly instill a sense of luxury.  They are also among the most durable wood flooring options, making them a popular choice among bowling allies.

However, it is important to note that maple’s aesthetic appeal may shift over time.  Even when properly treated and cared for, maple flooring will often take on a yellowish tent with age.

Darker wood stains can help prevent this, but at the higher expense of requiring professional assistance.

Natural Birch Hardwood Flooring

For a darker style, birch flooring is a top choice.  It perfectly matches so many of the drawers, dressers and popular wood storage options.  Some also believe that birch better reflects its natural origins.  It’s also often believed to provide a more classic appeal. Birch floors can also be glossed over for a modern touch or even sanded to achieve a rustic style. Although birch flooring does tend to be thin, it is more resistant to spills and leaks.  Unfortunately, its think construction may mean more dents from the impact.

As with any investment, the decision of which natural hardwood flooring to select does require some planning.  As we’ve seen, personal preference, family lifestyle and even the natural environment will play important roles. Thankfully, the improved aesthetic appeal and ease of cleaning are worth the planning.  Just remember that while hardwood floors are easier to clean, you’ll still want to do so quickly.  Otherwise, moisture could begin to soak through which, over time, can negatively impact all natural hardwood floors.


Want to Learn More?

At Design Center, we offer a broad selection of beautiful hardwood flooring in our Wichita showroom. We can help match the perfect hardwood flooring to your home’s existing style. So be sure to stop by today!