Hardwood Flooring Species A through W


A hardwood that comes in several varieties including red hardwood, Oregon, and western species. The color is consistent from pinkish brown to almost white. This material generally does not contain distinctive streaks, but may have moderate straight uniform streaks. Alder is a soft hardwood that can be worked well. It has low tensile strength, is lightweight, low impact, and made of dense wood. Since it is a softer lightweight wood, it can be nailed, screwed, and painted or stained.

Alder is used in many products, from floors to furniture and kitchen cabinets, it is often used when a rustic effect is desired.


The color varies from white to cream to light brown. It is usually straight-grained with a uniform texture. This species is heavy and hard, which makes it a strong floor with high tensile strength. With large pores, this wood accepts almost any stain.

The ash is used for floors, furniture and sporting goods. It was once the wood of choice for making tennis rackets. Machines well, good for nails, screws, and glue. Dries easily with little degradation or difference in performance.

Black walnut

A tight-grained hardwood that is polished to a very smooth finish that improves over time. Its color is from a dark brown to a purplish black. When dried in the oven, its color usually results in a dull brown and air drying creates a purplish brown.

With a beautiful grain, it is often straight grain that can sometimes have waves or curls, but it can vary a lot and becomes brighter as it ages. It is a hardwood of medium density and moderate resistance to crushing and bending with low stiffness.

Works well when machining, nailing, cutting, screwing and gluing well. Stains easily with slow drying time. It is used in floors, cabinets, butts, carvings, instruments, woodwork, and much more. It is also a sought after coating material.


It is known for its stunning beauty and woodworking qualities. It’s one of the easiest wood species to work with, from high-gloss floors to high-end cabinets. With excellent moisture resistance, it exhibits minimal swelling and shrinkage, making it very versatile as a flooring product.

The color is a reddish brown that darkens with exposure to sunlight and age. The grain is straight with a smooth texture. The cherry is of medium density and strength and rigidity. The grain pattern of the hardwood is quite distinctive with small pockets of gum and specks of pith running through it. It nails and sticks quite a bit and can be finished to a smooth finish when sanded.

Hard maple

As one of the hardest maple species, it is one of the most reliable types of wood. Produces a straight grain, uniform texture and natural strength. It is an excellent choice for flooring, furniture, and popular as a cladding. Works well in residential, commercial, and industrial applications.

The color ranges from cream to light reddish brown. Hard maple has a uniform texture and is usually straight-grained. May also display bird’s eye or knot grain patterns. Stains well and can be polished to a high-quality finish.

Since this hardwood ranks high on the hardness scale, it is advisable to pre-drill before nailing or screwing.

Red oak

Because it is one of the most abundant hardwood species, it makes it one of the most popular after maple and cherry. The color ranges from creamy white to pale brown, often tinged with red. Straight grain and coarse texture.

Red oak is quite heavy and strong. It is also very hard with high shock resistance. With these characteristics, it had excellent wear resistance and durability. Machines well, but pre-drilling is good practice if nailing or using screws.

White Oak

One of the most common flooring options, due to its durability and strength, it is also waterproof when it comes to moisture. Due to these same characteristics, it has been used for many years in sawn wood and for wooden barrels.

The color is almost white to a dark gray brown for the heartwood.

The color varies from white to dark grayish brown. Most of the wood is straight-grained with a medium to coarse texture. Its grain can vary according to the cutting and sawing angles.

White oak is a very hard and strong wood with great resistance to wear and tear, which holds nails and screws quite well. Machines well and due to its toughness, pre-drilling is recommended before using nails or screws.

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