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What Is the Best Wood for Floors? 22 Top Options In 2022 (with Pictures)

straight run flooring

Wood flooring can really elevate a room, so it’s no surprise that it’s growing in popularity year after year. But if you are considering wood flooring for your home, one of the most important decisions that you will need to make is the type of wood to use.

The last thing that you want is to discover a different wood option that you like more than the one you installed! That’s why we highlighted 22 of the best wood floor options that you can use in your home.

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What Is the Best Wood for Floors? (22 Options)

1. Oak Wook

Janka Rating 1,290–1,360
Cost Range Low to High

Oak is by far the most common type of wood used in wood floors, and it’s for a good reason. It’s incredibly durable, and there are tons of options to choose from. If you’re on a tight budget. you can find low-quality pieces, but if you’re looking for the best of the best, you can get that too.

Oak is also one of the easiest wood flooring options to install, and just about every professional flooring contractor works with it. The only complaint with oak flooring is that higher-quality options are more expensive, and it’s not that unique.

It’s the most popular wood flooring option for a reason, and that means you’ll see a ton of other floors just like it.

Pros
  • Durable
  • Tons of options
  • Variable price range
  • Easy to install
Cons
  • Higher quality floors are more expensive

2. Hickory Wood

Janka Rating 1,820
Cost Range Medium to High

While hickory might not be the most common flooring option out there, it’s definitely one that you should consider. There’s not a low-price flooring option with hickory, but it has tons of perks if you can afford it.

It’s durable and is a great choice for high-traffic areas because it’s resistant to both scuffing and scratching. Even better, it has a grainy appearance that really sets rooms apart, and it responds extremely well to staining.

However, it is expensive, and those same grains that appeal to some people are off-putting to others. It’s a great choice, but it’s all up to you whether you want it for your floors.

Pros
  • Durable
  • Great for high-traffic areas
  • Grainy appearance
  • Easy to stain
Cons
  • Not everyone likes the grainy appearance
  • Expensive

3. Maple Wood

maple hardwood flooring
Image Credit: jactod, Pixabay
Janka Rating 1,450
Cost Range Medium to High

One option that you should consider if you want an ultra-durable wood floor is maple. It’s a hardwood option that’s damage resistant and widely available. But while it’s a hardwood, it surprisingly has shock-absorbing qualities, which is a great perk for heavy-traffic areas.

However, just like hickory, there are no low-priced options, although it’s still more affordable than most exotic woods. Finally, it’s only available in light colors, making it easier to stain.

Pros
  • Durable
  • Damage resistant
  • Common option
  • Shock-absorbing wood
Cons
  • Expensive
  • Only available in lighter colors

4. Ash Wood

Janka Rating 1,320
Cost Range Low to Medium

If you’re looking for an affordable wood option for your floor, you should consider ash. With a Janka rating of 1,320, it’s a medium-hard wood that holds up extremely well while staying resistant to most scratches and scuffs.

It’s a stylish option that pairs well with modern décor, and it stains well, so you can match whatever style you’re going for in the room. However, while ash used to be a widely available wood, it’s becoming rarer, which is starting to drive up the price.

Since it’s a diminishing wood variety, ash is not the most environmentally-friendly choice. Still, even with the price starting to rise, it’s an affordable option, and it’ll look great!

Pros
  • Durable design
  • Affordable
  • Works well with newer décor
  • Stains well
Cons
  • Becoming rarer and price is rising
  • Not an environmentally-friendly choice

5. American Cherry Wood

Janka Rating 950
Cost Range Low to Medium

American cherry isn’t the most prevalent wood flooring choice out there, but it does have a uniquely beautiful appearance that makes it worth checking out. The red hue is distinctive, but many people often go with an American cherry stain instead of the wood itself.

While American cherry might be affordable, one of its major drawbacks is that it doesn’t hold up well. Not only is it prone to scuffs and scratches, but the color also fades over time.

Still, if you want a natural American cherry wood floor, just ensure that it’s not in a high-traffic area so it’ll last as long as possible.

Pros
  • Beautiful red hue
  • Affordable
Cons
  • Not the most durable option
  • Colors fade over time
  • Not great for high-traffic areas

6. Ebony Wood

Janka Rating 3,220
Cost Range High

If price isn’t a concern and you simply want a distinctive wood floor that will last a long time, consider ebony wood. It’s the only wood option that’s naturally completely black, and it only grows in Africa.

There’s a limited supply, which means it’s both expensive and not a sustainable product. However, there’s an argument that it’s the best hardwood flooring option out there.

It’ll last longer than any other wood floor, and it has a unique coloring that helps hide any scratches or scuffs. If you can afford it, go for it.

Pros
  • Incredibly durable design
  • Unique coloring
  • Likely the best hardwood choice for flooring
Cons
  • Expensive
  • Limited supply
  • Not environmentally friendly

7. Bamboo

Janka Rating 3,000–4,000
Cost Range Low

While bamboo might not be the first option that comes to mind when you think of the best wood floors, especially when you consider that it’s technically not wood, it’s one that you should consider. Due to how fast it grows, it’s sustainable, and its durability is unquestioned.

It’s almost impossible to damage because of how hard it is, and it’s naturally water-resistant. The only complaint about bamboo flooring is that the Janka rating varies piece by piece, but with a starting range of 3,000, it’s always tough.

If you like the way that bamboo flooring looks, you should consider it for your next project.

Pros
  • Environmentally friendly
  • Extremely affordable
  • Resistant to damage
  • Water-resistant design
Cons
  • Varying Janka rating
  • Doesn’t last the longest

8. Cork

Janka Rating 200
Cost Range Low

Cork is one of the lowest-priced flooring options out there, but that doesn’t mean it’s not a great choice. It does have a low Janka rating and a spongy feel, but it manages to resist damage and is quite durable.

Cork also has a few unique perks that you can’t find in other flooring. It’s insulating, which helps lower your energy bills, it’s impact resistant, and it’s environmentally friendly! Add in the fact that it’s an extremely low-priced option, and it’s not hard to see why it’s rising in popularity.

Still, it has a unique appearance that many people don’t like, and it can’t handle large humidity changes. Also, it fades quickly in sunlight, so if you have many spacious windows in the room, cork might not be the best choice.

Pros
  • Insulating design
  • Easy to install
  • Impact-resistant
  • Durable
  • Environmentally friendly
  • Low-cost option
Cons
  • Many people don’t like the appearance
  • Can’t handle humidity changes
  • Fades in sunlight

9. Wenge Wood

Janka Rating 1,630
Cost Range High

Wenge is an exotic wood option, so it’s not likely something that you’ll find for your flooring unless you go looking for it. Just be forewarned: Once you do find it, you’ll need to spend a mint to get it. It’s because of this extremely high price tag that most people choose to use it as an accent wood.

Not only is it expensive to purchase and hard to find, but it’s also challenging to install. Therefore, you should expect to spend more if contractors are installing it for you. Still, it has a beautiful dark coloring and lasts a long time, making it a great flooring option.

Pros
  • Durable wood
  • Beautiful dark coloring
  • Works well as an accent wood
Cons
  • Hard to obtain
  • Challenging to install
  • Expensive

10. Bubinga Wood

Janka Rating 2,410
Cost Range High

An exotic wood option that looks great as a flooring choice is Bubinga. It’s expensive and difficult to install, but if you can afford it, it’s worth every penny. Its long-lasting durability helps offset the higher price tag, but the most notable perk for owners is that it’s easy to care for.

Moreover, the dark coloring is a major selling point, and it’s why so many people opt to go with this rich and colorful wood.

Pros
  • Durable
  • Beautiful dark coloring
  • Easy to care for
Cons
  • Challenging to install
  • Expensive

11. Brazilian Chestnut

Janka Rating 3,415
Cost Range Medium to High

One of the toughest wood choices out there is Brazilian chestnut, so it’s no surprise that it makes a super durable option for your floor. It’s also easy to install and has a unique grainy appearance that makes it a popular choice.

However, it’s not easy to get and it’s expensive. Therefore, Brazilian chestnut isn’t the most popular choice out there, but it’s not something that you’ll regret using for your floor.

Pros
  • Incredibly durable
  • Easy to install
  • Beautifully rich hues
  • Unique grainy appearance
Cons
  • Expensive
  • Not the easiest to get

12. Walnut

Janka Rating 1,010
Cost Range Medium to High

You likely don’t think of walnut when it comes to flooring, but if you’re looking for an elegant floor that feels luxurious, it’s something that you should consider. It has a unique dark coloring that helps set it apart from other options, and it has decent durability.

It doesn’t hold up as well as options like Brazilian chestnut, but it feels luxurious. Still, while it’s not as expensive as most imported woods, for a domestic wood, it’s an expensive option.

Pros
  • Decent durability
  • Dark coloring
  • Luxurious feel and design
Cons
  • Expensive for a domestic wood

13. Teak

Janka Rating 2,330
Cost Range High

If you want a tough wood floor that’s going to last a long time, consider teak. Not only is it scratch and scuff resistant, but it’s also insect resistant and water repellent. Furthermore, teak has a beautiful grain design that makes it a popular choice.

But while there’s plenty to love about teak, it’s not perfect. First, it’s one of the most expensive wood flooring options out there. Second, it’s not sustainable. Finally, compared to other wood floorings, teak requires a ton of maintenance.

Still, considering the beautiful look that it’ll give your room, if you can afford teak and can care for it, it might be just what you want.

Pros
  • Incredibly tough floor
  • Insect resistant
  • Water-repellent option
  • Beautiful grain design
Cons
  • Expensive
  • Requires extra maintenance
  • Not environmentally friendly

14. Pine Wood

Janka Rating 870–1,225
Cost Range Low

There are super expensive import options, and then there are affordable domestic choices, like pine. Pine is also easy to install and is a great choice for DIYers.

Furthermore, the light coloring of pine makes it an easy flooring to stain. Still, pine is not the most durable option out there, and it requires a bit more maintenance compared to the top choices.

Pros
  • Affordable
  • Easy to install
  • Light coloring is easy to stain
Cons
  • Not the most durable option
  • Requires extra maintenance

15. Mahogany

Janka Rating 900
Cost Range High

Mahogany is a beautiful wood option for your floors, but it’s really a choice that works better as a stain on other woods than as an actual wood option. This has nothing to do with the appearance of mahogany and everything to do with its price and durability.

It’s expensive, and considering that it doesn’t last long, it doesn’t make much sense to use it when you can just copy the appearance on a more durable wood. Mahogany doesn’t have much grain naturally, and it is impact resistant. Still, we recommend a mahogany stain instead.

Pros
  • Dark and rich colors
  • Not much grain
  • Impact resistant
Cons
  • Expensive
  • Not the most durable option

16. Douglas Fir

Janka Rating 660
Cost Range Low

Douglas fir is a super affordable and environmentally friendly option that you can use as a wood floor. Even better, it’s easy to install, is lightweight, and is water-resistant. There are tons to love about it, but that doesn’t mean you should jump straight into Douglas fir floor.

While it’s affordable, it’s not the longest-lasting option, and it’s a softwood. That means it’s prone to scratches and scuffs, and that makes it much harder to care for. If you’re using Douglas fir for your flooring, ensure that it’s not in a high-traffic area.

Pros
  • Environmentally friendly
  • Easy to install
  • Lightweight
  • Water resistant
Cons
  • Not the most durable option
  • Softwood

17. Australian Cypress

Janka Rating 1,375
Cost Range Medium to High

While Australian cypress might not be the most common wood flooring option, when you look at everything that it offers, perhaps it should be. Australian cypress is easy to install and easy to stain, and it lasts quite a while.

Furthermore, it has a unique grain design that helps set it apart from other woods. Still, it is a bit expensive, and that’s likely why it’s not going to be overtaking oak as the most popular wood option for flooring anytime soon.

Pros
  • Easy to install
  • Unique grain design
  • Easy to stain
  • Durable
Cons
  • Expensive

18. American Chestnut

Janka Rating 540
Cost Range High

Few wood options give you the same outstanding appearance as American chestnut. The dark wood has an outstanding appearance that sets it apart from just about any other choice out there.

American chestnut is easy to install but it’s expensive. Almost all American chestnut now comes from reclaimed wood. While that’s great for sustainability, it’s an expensive process that drives up the price.

Add in the fact that it’s a softwood that scratches and scuffs easily, and it’s not hard to see why it’s not one of the most popular choices for wood flooring.

Pros
  • Can typically get reclaimed wood
  • Dark and beautiful design
  • Easy to install
Cons
  • Expensive
  • Limited availability
  • Softer wood isn’t that forgiving

19. Birch Wood

Janka Rating 1,260
Cost Range Low

If you can track down birch, it’s an affordable wood option that acts as an incredible blank slate for you to build on. It’s challenging to find, but it’s quite durable, and its light color responds well to staining.

However, considering that birch needs stain to really work for most rooms, it requires a bit more work and maintenance to keep up with year after year.

Pros
  • Affordable
  • Light color is great for staining
  • Durable design
Cons
  • It can be challenging to find
  • Without stain, it’s not the most attractive option

20. Mesquite Wood

Janka Rating 1,220
Cost Range Medium

When you hear about mesquite wood, there’s a good chance that flooring isn’t what comes to mind. But if you live in a humid environment and want a wood floor that you don’t need to worry about, you should consider mesquite.

Not only does it respond to humidity well, but it also has tons of knots that add to the personality of the wood. Mesquite has a reddish-brown hue that people love, but for a domestic wood, it’s undoubtedly a pricier option.

Furthermore, finding mesquite flooring can be a bit of a challenge, especially since it’s difficult to find long pieces. But it’s a great choice if you can track it down.

Pros
  • Handles humidity well
  • Tons of knots and personality
  • Reddish-brown hues
Cons
  • Expensive for a domestic wood
  • Hard to find for flooring

21. Beech Wood

Janka Rating 1,300
Cost Range Low

If you’re looking for a blank slate around which to build the rest of the room’s décor, beech can be a great wood floor option. It’s super affordable and stands up well to traffic. It’s a light wood that’s easy to stain, and despite its harder properties, it has a shock-resistant design.

Still, beech requires a bit more maintenance than most other wood options, so it’s not a perfect choice. It also doesn’t have a ton of character, but that’s not something that everyone wants in their wood flooring.

Pros
  • Low-priced option
  • Great for high-traffic areas
  • Easy to stain
  • Shock-resistant design
Cons
  • Plain appearance
  • Requires a bit of maintenance

22. Tigerwood

Janka Rating 2,250
Cost Range Low to Medium

Tigerwood is likely the most unusual wood flooring option that you can find. It has both dark and light elements in each piece, which gives your flooring a unique appearance.

Tigerwood is typically easy to install, and you can find it for an affordable price. It’s a durable option that will last a while too. The only real drawback is that there isn’t much that you can do to it. You either love the striped design, or you pick a different wood option.

Pros
  • Easy to install
  • Affordably priced
  • Durable option
  • Unique design
Cons
  • Doesn’t stain well

divider 1What Is a Janka Rating?

A Janka rating is all about the hardness of a wood: the higher the number, the harder the wood. Harder woods tend to resist scuffing and scratching, but they can be harder to work with and less forgiving if you fall on them.

For most wood flooring, you want a Janka rating of at least 1,000, but that’s not a hard-and-fast rule. One exception is cork. While cork has a super-low Janka rating, it can still withstand damage due to the other unique properties that it possesses.

divider 1Conclusion

With so many outstanding wood flooring options out there, it can be a bit of a challenge finding the perfect choice for your room. So, take your time and go through this list a few times if you need to.

The last thing that you want to do is install flooring of a specific wood only to wish that you had gone with a different option.


 

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