There are many types of hardwood floors to choose from. It is hard to know just which one is the best. One looking for the correct type of floor for your home, there are many things to think about. One is you want a durable one that will last, and of course, looks great in your home. Below you will find the three most popular options for hardwood and how they compare to each other.

What are the three most popular options for hardwood floors in the Home?

Red Oak, Hickory, and Cherry

The hardness of the wood is something important when choosing your hardwood floor. The wood hardness is rated on a scale called the Janka Hardness Scale. This scale rates the floor in density, hardness, and how likely it is to dent. The higher the Janka Hardness Scale is, the less likely the floor is to scratch or dent.

Red Oak has a hardness scale of 1290, meaning that it does not crack or splinter easily but is hard enough not to be easily scratched or dented. One thing to keep in mind is that red oak is one of the softer woods. Any wood that is less than 1290 will not hold up well to foot traffic, scratches or dents. Hickory is one of the harder types of wood flooring, measuring 1820 on the Janka hardness scale.

This means that it is highly durable, flexible, not easily scripted or dented, plus resists moistures better than most other hardwood floors. Cherry is a trendy hardwood floor that is very hard, measuring 2,350 on the Janka hardness scale. This means it is very comfortable to walk on, shock absorbent, resists moisture, does not dent easily, and is highly durable.

Many people are now wanting know make sure that they are getting wood from the United States and what it to be environmentally friendly. When buying wood, make sure you are getting it from someone who can show you a certificate to be sure that it complies with the forestry guidelines.

Now that you know the hardness of the wood and what it means, you have a few more things to consider.

What room in your house do you want it to go in?

If there is a lot of foot traffic in the area, you want to make sure you get a harder wood that is resistant to scuffing, and that does not discolor with frequent use. All there of the options above are excellent choices for heavily trafficked areas.

What is your budget?

That is important when making this type of decision. You do not want to invest in a beautiful floor that breaks you. Out of the three listed above, red oak is the least expensive, but the prices do not vary significantly.

Which type of hardwood looks the best?

What style are you going for in your house? While red oak, hickory, and cherry are the three most popular types of hardwood flooring, it may not be your favorite. If not, keep looking until you find the hardwood you like the best.

If someone in your family has allergies, hardwood floors are the best type of floor. Carpets can trap allergens, and vacuums cannot always get it all out. Hardwood floors do the opposite and repeal the allergens.

Make sure you choose a hardwood floor that you can easily finish. There are two types of finishes to look at oil-based polyurethane and water-based polyurethane. Both of these have their pros and cons.

Water-based Polyurethane has a clear finish and slight odor. If you have ever smelled oil-based polyurethane, you know how strong that odor is. Water-based polyurethane adds a minimal color to the wood finish. Oil-based polyurethane leaves a glow on your hardwood flooring that is beautiful. Water-based polyurethane costs a lot more than oil-based polyurethane. The water-based type is more difficult to see on your hardwood floor. Since it contains fewer solids than oil-based polyurethane, you will need additional coats.

While no wood floor is entirely scratch-resistant if you have pets, you want to make sure to choose a hardwood that is likely to withstand scratches. The wood finish is also an essential factor in determining how scratch-resistant it is. Make sure when discussing flooring with someone you ask about the finishes and how scratch-resistant it is.


It is so easy to go into the store and look at different types of flooring and choose the one that looks the best. That is not the best option if you are looking for wood flooring to install that will last for years to come. Go slow, do your research and reach out for help.

Cameron the Sandman has been providing hardwood flooring services to Michigan homes and businesses for more than 80 years. We are experts in the wood floor industry and can answer your questions so that you pick the perfect hardwood floors that combines your home’s unique style and needs. Whether you are seeking hardwood floor installation, refinishing or hardwood restoration, we’ve got you covered. Call our flooring specialists today for a consultation!