If your floors are looking a little drab and boring then you may be considering replacing them with some attractive hardwood flooring. Hardwood is a great choice for your floors as it is far easier to clean than carpet and has more character than most other flooring options.

There are a few different varieties of hardwood that you can choose from for your new floors, so here are some suggestions on the various types of hardwood that are available.

hardwood flooring styles

1. Oak

Oak is a popular material for hardwood flooring. It blends in well with most furniture and decor and has decent durability. It tends to be susceptible to scraping, so pads are recommended for furniture legs.

It does have a high resistance to direct impacts though which makes it a good choice for the more active areas of your home.

Oak hardwood flooring comes in two main varieties. These are red oak and white oak. Red oak has a reddish-brown hue and is ideally suited to rooms where you need some contrast for lighter areas, or where you want less reflected light.

It’s great to use in a bedroom, for example. White oak flooring has more pale-brownish hues, as well as hints of pink and gray hues. White oak looks great in areas such as the kitchen where you want a lot of reflected light to improve visibility.

Oak installation tends to fall into the mid-range pricing bracket, so it is usually less expensive than most of the other suggestions here.

2. Walnut

Walnut hardwood flooring has a dark finish with a distinctive swirling grain pattern that has a lot of character. The wood often has a slight purple hue to it. Walnut has a high resistance to fading, so it tends to be a good choice for areas with direct sunshine.

It is relatively soft compared to other hardwood flooring types though, so it shouldn’t be used in places such as the kitchen or dining room where you will have chairs regularly scraping across the floor.

To offset its softness walnut is a relatively light wood, so it works well on upper stories of a house. This makes it a great choice for upper bedroom flooring.

Walnut is one of the more expensive wood flooring materials. You will want to make sure that you utilize it in areas where you can get the longest use out of it with minimal wear.

3. Hickory

Hickory hardwood flooring is well known for its extreme durability, which makes it a great choice for heavily trafficked areas of your house.

Its coloring is generally a light red-brown to medium-tan but it is also available in a creamy tan color. Hickory has a distinctively dramatic grain pattern with darker grain mixed in with the lighter wood.

Hickory is a great choice for entryway areas where there is a lot of foot traffic. Its distinctive grain works well with more natural home decor, such as wood-grain paneling.

Because hickory is a difficult wood to work with its installation costs tend to be on the high end. This is offset by the value you get from the extended lifespan of your hickory hardwood flooring though.

However, you can also find engineered hardwood flooring options of hickory, which help make installation a little easier without compromising longevity.

4. Teak

Teak is another type of wood with high durability. It works well in busy home areas and tends to have a long lifespan if properly maintained.

It does require oiling every few years to maintain its shine, so it needs a bit more work than other hardwoods. It’s well worth putting in that work though as teak has a beautiful natural finish that will bring your home to life.

Teak hardwood flooring tends to have dramatic dark grain patterns with a natural oil finish that gives it a lot of character. This makes it a great choice for your dining room and other areas used for entertaining where you want to create a pleasant atmosphere.

Many people choose to leave teak in a natural state with no varnish or other artificial finish. This allows the oils in the wood to stand out.

The downside to teak hardwood flooring is that it generally needs to be imported into the US, which makes it expensive to buy. However, costs can be mitigated if you install the floor yourself. You also need to be careful that the teak hardwood you buy is responsibly sourced, and not cut illegally.

5. Cherry

If you are looking to add a bit more color to your flooring then the red and pink tones of cherry hardwood may suit you.

This distinctive wood flooring has a tight wavy grain that makes for a beautiful lustrous finish. It is a softer wood that is somewhat prone to fading though so you need to be careful where you install it.

Ideally, use cherry hardwood flooring in areas out of direct sunlight and away from furniture that gets moved about regularly.

Bedrooms and living room areas with stationary furniture are good places for cherry flooring. Use padding on the legs of your furniture items to avoid scuffing the finish of your cherry flooring,

Cherry hardwood flooring tends to be relatively expensive, so make sure that you get the best use out of it.

So Which Hardwood Species is Right for Your Floor?

Your household flooring is something that you’ll spend a lot of time both walking on and looking at so you ideally want it to be as durable and attractive as possible.

Hardwood flooring meets both of these needs and also gives your home a nice natural look. So investigate your flooring options and see which hardwood flooring types will work best for the various rooms in your home.