Hardwood flooring enhances your home and works great in traditional or modern spaces. Select from prominent hardwood species, including hickory, oak, ash or maple. Each species has special characteristics as well as visual differences. Select a type of wood flooring that fits your lifestyle and your budget. Common choices include solid hardwood, engineered wood and wood-look laminate.

How to Select the Best Hardwood Flooring

Choosing the right material isn’t as easy as simply choosing your preferred color and grain. Think of the following when determining which wood flooring to put in:

  • Location: The room and level of foot traffic determine what properties the material needs
  • Budget: The cost to install flooring and the cost of materials ranges considerably. Be clear on your budget
  • Upkeep: Ease of cleanliness, durability and repairability, frequency and simplicity of resealing and daily maintenance vary by material
  • Durability: Waterproofing, stain resistance, strength and scratch and scuff resistance
  • Installation: Floating, nail down or glue down
  • Addons: Type of underlayment, radiant heat compatibility
  • Design: Each kind of flooring and species of wood has unique aesthetic appeal
  • Lifestyle: Activity level, children and pets all determine which type of material is best

Popular Kinds of Hardwood Flooring

When you’ve picked the best kind of flooring for your project, it’s time to consider wood species. Take into consideration the color, grain pattern, cost, and upkeep. You’ll also want to consider hardness, which is another way of saying durability. Hardness is determined by the Janka hardness scale. The higher the number, the harder the wood. For hardwood floors, you’ll likely want a Janka rating of at least 1,000.


  • Harder than oak, ash and maple. Measures 1,820 on the Janka hardness scale
  • Durable and long-lasting
  • Withstands damage, moisture, and high foot traffic better than many other hardwoods
  • Comparatively light wood that can be stained to any color
  • Can be waxed to enhance warm appearance and improve moisture resistance


  • Hardness varies by subspecies. Common white oak, for instance, measures 1,360 on the Janka hardness scale while live oak measures 2,680
  • Ages well, taking on a unique patina
  • Ranges in color from bleached white to dark red
  • Minor damage simple to fix with DIY repair kits


  • Comparable hardness to white oak. White ash measures 1,320 on the Janka hardness scale
  • Flexible: Able to withstand temperature and humidity changes
  • Ages well and does not splinter
  • Shock-absorbing and comfortable to walk on


  • Hard maple (sugar maple) measures 1,450 on the Janka scale, higher than ash and white oak
  • Popular choice for modern residences because of its light texture and open grain pattern
  • Easily available
  • Resistant to minor damage like scuffs and scrapes from chair legs


  • Brazilian cherry is extremely hard, measuring 2,350 on the Janka scale
  • Shock-absorbing and comfortable to walk on
  • Distinctive warm red hues
  • Straight, uniform, close grain that works well in traditional spaces


  • Brazilian ebony is one of the hardest woods, measuring 3,700 on the Janka hardness scale
  • Dark brown to black hues that darken with age
  • Extremely durable and not susceptible to scratches and scrapes
  • High density makes it more resistant to moisture damage than other wood flooring


  • Strand-woven bamboo measures 3,000 on the Janka hardness scale
  • A grass, not a wood, but behaves very similarly to hardwood when utilized in flooring applications
  • Environmentally friendly, sustainable and widely available, as it grows fast and is easily replanted
  • Suitable for use with underfloor heating

Most Durable Hardwood Flooring

Ebony, cherry, live oak, or bamboo are the most durable selections. These extremely hard woods (and wood-like bamboo) wear well and are much more resistant to minor damage than other selections.

Best Value Wood Flooring

For genuine wood, maple and hickory are among the best value. Maple costs $6.50 to $11 per square foot and hickory costs $6 to $13 per square foot.

Woven bamboo, although technically not wood, is also an exceptionally good value. Bamboo costs $5 to $11 per square foot and is as hard-wearing as hardwoods.

Most Scratch-Resistant Wood Flooring

Any wood with a high rating on the Janka hardness scale is a smart choice for those that require scratch-resistant flooring. Ebony and Brazilian cherry are both fantastic options.

Best Water Resistant Wood Flooring

No wood flooring is absolutely waterproof, but ebony, bamboo and engineered hardwood come closest. They’re less likely to warp from humidity or spills.

Most Beautiful Hardwood Floors

This is a matter of opinion, however, exotic woods and those with unique grain patterns and colors are typically highly sought-after because of their appearance. These include ebony and Brazilian cherry where you can lay and watch movies.

Ideal Hardwood Flooring for Pets

If you have animals, you require flooring that withstands scrapes, such as ebony, bamboo, or engineered hardwood.

Hardwood flooring is a popular choice for many homeowners because it gives a classic look and feel. There are many different styles of hardwood flooring to select from, so it’s important to understand the advantages and disadvantages of each type prior to choosing. We hope this post has helped you better understand the different kinds of Hardwood Flooring in West Hollywood, CA available and how to select the best option for your home.