Seeing the Floors for the Trees

By / Food / February 24th, 2014 / 3

Hardwood floors have always been a novelty to me. Little did I know that the type of wood, the colour and even the finish serves a specific purpose.

Hardwood Types

Solid Hardwood is all natural; it works in any room except basements and spaces that are exposed to intense moisture – wood absorbs water, expanding and contracting when exposed to too much water. Engineered is a combination of tree parts and plywood or fireboard; it is moisture resistant and works for basements, kitchens and even bathrooms.

Hardwood Trees

Maple & Birch
The lightest in the family, light brown grains create are modern and brighten the space; use in rooms that don’t get much light.

Pine, Hemlock & Fir
Made from evergreen trees, these have a casual, country cottage look.

Strong and durable, it is ideal for rec-rooms, living rooms or any other heavily used space.

Brown with dark grain lines, available in Red (pinkish hue) or White (golden hue). The traditional wood used, it radiates prestige and tradition.

Walnut & Cherry
The darkest two, use in your dining room or entry way to impress. Ensure that the space they’re in will get lots of light.

Available in light brown to deep cherry – this is as sturdy as oak and eco-friendly; if you’re worried about the environmental impact of using hardwood in your home, pick bamboo.

Hardwood Finishes

Semi-gloss has a beautiful shine to it.

Satin is a medium shine, so you don’t hurt your eyes.

Matte is low shine and can take a beating. Use if you have pets, kids or a lot of foot traffic.

Regardless what you choose, always inaugurate your floors with a running socks slide, à la Tom Cruise in Risky Business (pants optional).


A freelance writer and editor, Lisa Hoekstra loves learning and trying new things. She can be found with her nose in a book or multiple tabs open on her browser as she researches the latest and greatest in the world of food, style and everything in between.

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