What Wood Makes The Best Wood Floor

That’s a tough question because it depend! … great answer eh! but think about what matters most to YOU! Is it the looks, the durability, or if you have an old house it might be the stability… here’s a few ideas.

  1. GRAIN:
    Grainy woods like oak and ash disguise life’s little mishaps more than clean, non-grainy woods like maple, cherry or birch. Some like lots of grain because they feel it looks more like real wood… others prefer a more uniform overall colour and appreciate maples NON grainy appearance… this is personal preference, so can’t help you with that one 🙂
    The non-science guy would define “density” as how heavy it is and use it as a pretty good guide on how many dents it will or will not resist. In solid wood hardwood flooring more weight equals greater density equals less dents …. but it can come with a price. Some very dense exotic woods only like humid tropical environments and can have OTHER problems when forced to live in dryer northern Ontario climates. 
    FYI: if you are considering an engineered product the entire “sandwich” needs to be considered.  The top decorative layer can be a VERY dense exotic wood, but if its only 1/16″ thick, its kind of irrelevant!! … what’s below that??
  3. COLOUR:
    Many exotic woods are quite dark in natural colour, so rarely “stained” to alter their colours.. this can be a definite advantage. If the floor gets scratched you never expose a lighter coloured wood underneath… this is also true of our darkest domestic species, american black walnut. Having said that dark woods also show more dust and animal hair.


Here’s some information about specific species and their “goods and bads”.

Yellow Birch

Mirage no longer makes birch flooring. I couldn’t tell you why but only guess that its overall appearance is quite close to maple but a much softer wood so doesn’t wear as well, so they they have used their inventory space more wisely and expanded their maple hardwood flooring options, as a more durable and desirable product. They have also added a hickory floor to their lineup… it has many of the overall colour tones of birch but with a busier grain pattern, and its even MORE dense than maple, so resists wear better …. more info about Hickory Hardwood Floors

Hard Maple

Hard Maple is for the clear cut individual that likes clean lines and solid colour, but what are you giving up? Hard Maple wood flooring is like a white shirt, shows everything. …more info about Hard Maple Flooring

Red Oak & White Oak

Red Oak is definitely for the traditionalist. It never goes out of style, offers great resale value and easy to look after, but where does the black stain come from? … more info about Oak Hardwood Flooring

American Black Walnut

This is the one dark wood in the North America forest. It is currently experiencing a come back in favour with decorators around the north. …more info about Black Walnut Flooring

So as you can see every species has its ups and down. Often it is helpful to wander around and identify any wood that is currently in use in the house…  like Oak stairs, or maple cabinets, or a cherry mantle … then consider whether it would be important to tie in the type of wood flooring to this feature. Quite often that makes the decision easy.


One last comment …  many do excessive research to understand the trend of the day…  but having said that, remember that Mirage hardwood flooring is expected to look beautiful for 20 years, so what’s in fashion today, is not in fashion tomorrow … soooo.. I encourage you to NOT over emphasize the fashion trend today, but rather pick something, as suggested earlier, that fits with your existing decorating and functional consideration. Resist somewhat the flighty nature of the fashion industry.

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