Kelly Bros. Home & Design Center
A Few of Our Favorite Species of Wood
Posted By:  Website Administrator
Thursday, December 11, 2014

Your home deserves to be designed the way you want. While many people may fuss over the exact name of the color of the cabinets (off-white and cream are completely different), some people may forget about what’s beneath their feet: the floor. When you’re opting for a solid hardwood floor in your home, the Kelly Bros. design team has the knowledge. If you want a hardwood floor to lighten up your kitchen or a hardwood that can stand up to large dogs, we know what options are best for you. These four species are just some of the countless hardwood options that will look breathless in any home.

  • Black Cherry ­— Though there are many species of cherry, black cherry specifically comes from the Appalachian region of the U.S.  The red-brown color of this wood has been described as “rich” by many, though varies from light to dark reddish brown in heartwood and light brown in sapwood. There can be significant color variations from board to board in black cherry. This wood is also light sensitive; when exposed to sunlight, depending on what type you have, the color can change or even darken. Initially used in decorative work by the Shakers, this wood is now also used as a choice of floor. Black cherry holds a score of 950 on the Janka Hardness test.

  • Shagbark Hickory — Trees of this species of wood are fast growing; in fact, the record for tallest shagbark hickory is a tree in the Sumter National Forest in South Carolina. The tree is 153 feet tall. This is another wood that originates in the United States; hickory can be found across the lower 48 states. The color of this wood varies from heartwood, which has a reddish-brown color with brown stripes, to sapwood, which is typically a yellowish brown with brown lines. There isn’t much variation of the grain on shagbark hickory, however; the grain on these boards usually is straight as a pin with the occasional wave. Noted as one of the stiffest and most dense woods available, shagbark hickory has a whooping 1820 on the Janka Hardness scale. While that is great for when you want a floor that can withstand almost anything, hickory is difficult to carve. But this hasn’t stopped people; hickory has been used across the American countryside for harness racing, barrel hoops, boat paddles and as the handles for hammers and picks axes.

  • Santos Mahogany — As mahogany can be found in Mexico through Central America and on through South America, there are numerous species of it. But Santos mahogany is the type typically used in wood flooring. Santos mahogany can have different colors from floorboard to floorboard. The color can range all the way from a light golden brown to the deep, well-known burgundy. The wood grain on mahogany is almost always interlocked, making it a wood used for shipbuilding, pianos and other musical instruments because of the adornment the wood grain provides. Beating out shagbark hickory, Santos mahogany earns a mighty 2200 on the Janka Hardness scale, making it one of the hardest and most durable wood floors available. Because of this, Santos mahogany is difficult to saw and machine.

  • Teak — Needing a more tropical climate to grow, teak is native to southern Asia, including countries such as Indonesia, Vietnam, Thailand and southern India. This is another wood species that varies from heartwood to sapwood. The heartwood of teak tends to be darker with colors in the golden or brown range. The sapwood of teak is lighter, and can range from white to light yellow. Grain of teak varies from being stick straight to wavy or can be interlocked. (These variations are great when you’re trying to make a floor choice.) Both can get darker with age. But what makes teak distinctive? This wood species has a high decay resistance and is resistant to termites. Think of this floor as a natural insect repellant. The Janka Hardness scale is a bit more difficult to pinpoint for teak. Depending on the species, its score can range from 1000 to 1200. Not the hardest, but also not the softest, teak is a durable wood that can stand up to a busy family. But, if you’re not looking to use this wood as a floor, teak is commonly also used in shipbuilding, interior decking, garden furniture and marine applications, just to name a few of its other applications.

Having your home redone in style encompasses all aspects of the interior, including the anchor to your home: the floors. Hardwood floors have countless species available for you to choose from when debating what variety to use in your home. These four species are the favorites of our designers at Kelly Bros.  If you didn’t see a hardwood you’re interested in, be sure to check out our Wood Species Library for more

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