Species & Grade: Which Wood Should You Choose for Your Timber Flooring?


There are two main factors to bear in mind when choosing the materials for your timber floor: species and grade. The species of wood you pick will determine your floor's colour, and the grade of that wood will determine your floor's character.

Species & Colour: Which Wood Is Right for You and for Your Home?

Wood is of course a product of nature, and all nature is packed with variance. Every species will produce a different range of colours, but within those ranges no two planks of wood will be exactly alike. You'll even get different colours of wood from the same tree; older wood is generally darker than younger wood, so as a tree grows and expands you'll find huge variance between the younger sapwood that forms the outer layers of the trunk and the older, harder heartwood that is its core.

Computer screens distort colours, and individual samples can only show you the tone of that piece of that tree. Hues can also vary by manufacturer, as different processes create different results. The only way to get a good feel for the true breadth and depth of the tones in your chosen flooring is to go to the showroom and look at as many samples as you can--and even then what you see will only be indicative.

This isn't a drawback, though: it's a feature. Real timber floors are all unique, and knowing that the building materials used to construct and decorate your home are individual to you is something many homeowners enjoy.

There are hundreds of wood species used to make timber flooring, and you should look into a few options before you make your final choice. In general, though, this list is a good starting point. You might notice that some woods appear on it more than once; this is because they come in many different varieties, and can have huge colour variations. Ask your manufacturer for more information about what they have in stock.

  • If you want a clean, bright, light-toned timber floor, start by looking at ash, birch, maple or pine.

  • If you want a warm, neutral, medium-toned timber floor, start by looking at ash, chestnut, teak or young oak.

  • If you want a deep, vibrant, red-toned timber floor, start by looking at cherry, jarrah, oak heartwood or red mahogany.

  • If you want a rich, atmospheric, dark-toned timber floor, start by looking at Jacobean oak, dark mahogany, walnut or wenge.

Grade & Character: how much personality do you want that wood to have?

Once you've decided your floor's species, you'll be pleased to learn that grade is a much simpler choice. It doesn't actually refer to the quality of the wood at all: it determines how much character your wood has. Floors of a higher grade will be smoother and more uniform; floors of a lower grade will have a larger quantity of knots, gum veins and other signs of nature.

The grade has no bearing on any of the technical qualities of your floor like longevity or resistance to moisture, so all you need to decide is how uniform you want your timber floor to be and how much personality you'd like it to have.


16 November 2016

Colin's Construction Blog

Hello, my name is Colin and this is my construction blog. When people think of the construction industry, they often just imagine guys in hard hats building brick walls. While this is a popular image of the industry, it doesn't reflect the true diversity of different contractors and tradesmen who are involved in a construction project. Lasy year, my wife and I decided to construct our dream home. I had to arrange visits of plumbers, roofers, electricians, surveyors and home builders in order to get the job done. I learnt a lot during that experience, so I decided to start this blog.