Before Purchasing Hardwood Flooring 7 more things to consider

There are many things to examine before you plunk down your hard earned money on new hardwood flooring. Each person has unique variables that will come into play such as desired color, desired hardness and desired species. However, not all hardwoods are good for certain places of the house due to potential moisture issues and some types of hardwoods will add to the look of worn foot traffic depending upon its natural grains.


  1. Picking species is not just about picking a tree type. Wood can either be domestic or exotic. For an explanation of the differences between the two, see our article: Differences between Domestic and Exotic Wood. Some species can be considered both domestic and exotic. Also, if you say a wood species like “Oak” or “Maple,” know there are several different types of each, some with different grain patterns, wood markings or even different hardness and strengths.

  2. The angle of the cuts can be different. There are differences between cuts like standard, plain, quartered or riftsawn. Each one highlights the inner tree markings differently. Stonewood Floors mostly deals with cuts that are plain sawn. Imagine what the flat part of a freshly cut tree trunk looks like on the inside. Then imagine what the log looks like when you lay it on its side. A plain saw cut takes that log that is lying on its side and runs it through the blade taking off equal size portions from top to bottom. Other cuts approach the wood from different angles.

  3. Not all planks are the same in width. Hardwood flooring products come in different lengths which can be narrow such as those under 5 inches wide or in a wide variety which are over 5 inches wide. Some species are only available in narrow planks while others species or colors are only available in wide planks. Installing narrow planks can give a room a more “formal” feel while wider planks typically give a room a more “country” or “rustic” feel.

  4. Not all planks are the same thickness. Stonewood Floors products range between 7/16th of an inch to 3/4 of an inch, depending upon availability. The thicker the wood, the more times it can be sanded down over its lifetime. With proper care, both thin and thick planks can last for decades.

  5. Each species offers its own tree pattern marking lines. Each plank within a carton can vary in how it displays the natural rings or lines of the inner tree. Outside of color, these effects will also add to the overall look of your room. For example, with some wood, the markings are smooth and wavy while in other wood the markings are much defined and can be either swirly or straight.

  6. Color will enhance the woods natural markings. The colors that appear in each type of wood will vary from plank to plank. When you look at hardwood flooring samples, know the shades of the planks will be a range of the color shade you see. For example, some dark browns can have dark planks that are so dark they appear nearly black along with planks that have medium shades of the sample brown all in the same box.

  7. Texturing includes hand scraping, chiseling or brushing. These effects give the wood a more distressed and rugged look. Many people like these effects in the wood as it tends to hide more normal day-to-day wear or pet scratches. You’ll notice as you start comparing samples that some of these texturing methods will bring out the wood’s coloring and or tree marking patterns.


 Feeling overwhelmed? Don’t be. You’re in charge of your hardwood flooring purchasing decision. Nobody needs to rush you into anything. Take the time to learn about hardwood flooring and which types of species or grains would be the best fit for your lifestyle and which species would work best in your geographical region. Play around with ideas and when you finish, play around with more ideas. There are no right or wrong answers when you first start learning about hardwood flooring. You’ll know you’re getting closer to picking which hardwood floor is best for you when you can start identifying your preferences.


We're experts at what we do here at Stonewood Floors and fully support our authorized reseller locations in assisting customers through these decisions. We or our authorized reseller locations can assist you with some of the more technical aspects of choosing when the time comes.