As there is a large variety of hardwood species, colors, patterns and grains within the same species, choosing the right hardwood floor can prove to be a difficult decision. That is why is very important to see a sample of the wood you wish to have in your home. Here is a short list with the most common hardwood species.
The sapwood of ash is light-colored to nearly white and the heartwood varies from greyish or light brown, to pale yellow streaked with brown. This hardwood is good in nailing, screwing and gluing, and can be stained to a very good finish. It dries fairly easily with minimal degrade, and there is little movement in performance.
The sapwood of beech is white with a reddish cast, while the heartwood ranges from pale to dark reddish brown. The grain is close with a fine, even texture. Color variation between strips is moderate to wide. It has good nailing and gluing properties and can be stained to a good finish.
Birch has a white sapwood and light reddish brown heartwood. The wood is generally straight-grained with a fine uniform texture. The wood takes stain extremely well, and nails and screws satisfactorily.
The heartwood of cherry varies from rich red to reddish brown and will darken with age and on exposure to light. In contrast, the sapwood is creamy white. The wood has a fine uniform, straight grain, satiny, smooth texture.
The sapwood of red oak is light-colored and the heartwood is light to dark brown. White oak is mostly straight-grained with a medium to coarse texture, with longer rays than red oak.