Most Popular Hardwood Species: Hickory, Oak, and Maple
Are you excited to rip out your worn, tired floors and replace them with a stunning alternative that finally catches your interior design style up to today's trends? If so, you're likely researching the many types of wood floors, plus reading all you can about their differences, advantages and disadvantages, and anything else you can find. With more than 30 different hardwood species available, it can be overwhelming to say the least, but don’t fret! We can help.
We've narrowed down the three most popular hardwood species–hickory, oak, and maple–and pitted them against each other so you don't have to. Instead, focus on determining which one of these beautiful, charming, and long-lasting wood flooring options best meets your needs.
Hickory vs. Oak vs. Maple Wood Flooring
When you're deciding between the different hardwood floor species, comparison is key.
Hickory flooring is the most durable domestic hardwood option and the darkest of the three most popular hardwood species. The gorgeous dark brown planks feature a busy grain pattern that accentuates more dramatic design styles.
Oak flooring is the most popular hardwood species in the country thanks to its golden color and uniform lines of subtle grain. Nearly every type of decor, from minimalist modern to textbook traditional can benefit from the simple, light features of durable oak flooring.
Maple flooring and its creamy shade of light brown is something you're likely already familiar with. Maple provides so much resilience, it's the preferred hardwood floor for most professional basketball courts!
How Durable Are the Most Durable Hardwood Floor Species?
As you consider your wood flooring options, durability is no doubt at the top of the list. Did you know that the most popular hardwood species for flooring also happen to be the most durable? Hickory is the strongest of the domestic hardwoods, then maple and oak. All three are pretty resistant to marks and scratches and can easily support the liveliest homes, including those filled with pups, people, or a rowdy combination of the two.
If you're looking for a specific wood look to complement your unique style, chances are good that you'll find a winning selection among the most popular hardwood species.
Oak hardwood accents modern and traditional decor alike with its warm brown color with narrow grain lines.
Maple wood floors boast a fine grain and a pale brown or milky white hue that works really well if you're going for a contemporary vibe.
Hickory hardwood delivers a rustic feel with its dark brown coloring and dramatic auburn overtones.
All three of the most durable hardwood species can be stained to perfectly match the look you're going for.
How to Maintain Floors of All Hardwood Species
Until technology advances enough for the invention of self-cleaning floors, there will always be routine maintenance to tackle, even with the most popular hardwood species. Thankfully taking care of your new wood floors is so straightforward, you may be able to work it into your kids' weekly chore chart! Sweeping or vacuuming at least once a week will remove accumulated dust, dirt, and pet hair. If a water glass spills or your aging pooch doesn't make it outside in time, make sure to clean it up quickly by following the manufacturer's instructions.
Lifespan and Installation
You've done all the legwork necessary to determine which hardwood species is best for your hectic home, and you're just about ready to make the final decision. But before you do, you want to make sure you know how long you can expect these new floors to last. The short answer is decades mostly likely, but there are several influential factors that you can control.
The true lifespan of all types of wood floor depends on:
Whether it's properly installed and with high-quality materials
How well you keep up with routine maintenance
If you follow the manufacturer's guidance to clean up accidents and spills from your friends, family, and pets
The amount of traffic the hardwood planks receive
When it comes time for installation, experienced professionals are the way to go. Not only do they have all the necessary tools but also the expertise to complete the tedious process properly. You'll waste none of your precious time, plus you can relax knowing your warranty is intact and protecting those beautiful new floors.
Most Popular Hardwood Flooring Species FAQs
What is the most popular hardwood floor species? Up to two-thirds of homes across the country have oak hardwood floors installed! Oak's gorgeous golden tones work well in traditional and contemporary decor, plus it's extremely durable, making it the ideal choice for your busy lifestyle.
What is the most durable hardwood floor species? If you're looking for the strongest domestic hardwood floor available, you're looking for hickory wood. But even the most durable hardwood flooring can get dented, scratched, or scraped under certain conditions. Plus, even though there are several different types of wood flooring, all of them can be damaged by significant exposure to moisture.