Wood FlooringFor ages, people have enjoyed the beauty and longevity of hardwood flooring. A well maintained hardwood floor can last for generations. But where did it all begin? Every plank on every hardwood floor came from a tree somewhere. Many of the most common types of hardwood flooring may have even come from relatives of the trees growing right in your backyard or local park. Below is a quick guide to the qualities and origins of some of the most popular types of wood available at your local flooring store.

White and Red Oak

Oak is highly valued for its great strength, hardness and relative abundance. It is also highly resistant to mold and insect infestation thanks to a high content of tannins which are natural astringents. White oak is characterized by its light, almost sun bleached color, and is commonly found in Europe. Red oak, on the other hand, has a warmer color with rich red grain lines and is found in North America, especially in the western regions. Oaken flooring and furniture has been viewed as a status symbol since the middle ages.

Sugar Maple

Maple wood is harder than many other common woods used for flooring, making it highly scratch resistant. It is characterized by its highly variable coloration, exhibiting a wide range of colors along its grain ranging from nearly white to deep brown. It also has a tendency to exhibit unusual wavy grain patterns that curl, cross and swirl together.  Maple wood is the traditional wood use to make bowling alley floors and pool cues. These trees are also quite prolific in that they reproduce frequently and grow quickly, making them one of the more ecologically sound of hardwood choices. Sugar maples grow all across North America from Nova Scotia in the north and as far south as Texas.


Cherry wood is generally softer and less resistant to scratching than many other flooring types but is nonetheless prized for its vivid and varied coloration. Cherry heartwood has a deep warm red color while younger wood can be cream or yellow colored. These colors darken after they are harvested. This beautiful coloration is one of the main reasons cherry wood is in high demand for flooring and furniture as well as the commensurate cost. Cherry wood is also sought after as a base for musical instruments as its flexibility makes it a strong conductor of sound. Cherry trees have a broad range and are found around the world.


Walnut wood is quite hard and is popular in a number of woodworking applications including flooring, furniture, musical instruments and gunstocks. It is considered by forestry experts as the most valuable lumber in North America. Walnut wood is characterized by its tight, straight grain that ranges in color from a light purplish-brown to a deep, warm brown. Walnut trees have a habit of growing in burls, or bulging malformed growths, which exhibit unique grain patterns. These burls are highly sought after for many different applications.

No matter what type of wood flooring you’re looking for, always look to Carpet Wagon.