Species Descriptions
White Oak
Botanical Name: Quercus, alba

White Oak grows throughout North America and Russia, and it is a classic wood in the tradition of American flooring and craftsmanship. It has a unique and distinctive pattern of rays in the grain, and a medium degree of color range from light tan colors to medium brown. Over time, White Oak will tend to change from tan to brownish amber.

Hard Maple
Botanical Name: Acer sp

This wood is hard and closed grained, providing an excellent hardness and resistance to abrasion and wear. The sapwood is creamy white with a slight reddish brown tinge. The amount of darker brown heartwood can vary significantly depending on where it is grown. The wood generally has a fine, uniform texture, but it can also display "fiddleback," "curly," or "birds-eye" figures twisted nicely into the straight-grained pattern.

Brazilian Cherry – Jatoba
Botanical Name: Hymenaea, courbaril

Brazilian Cherry is a domestic trade name for Jatoba, an extremely durable wood found throughout South America, Central America, and the Caribbean. Far exceeding North American Cherry in hardness, it resembles American Cherry in color, though darker with a darker, striped pattern of grain. With yellow, pink, red, and dark reds, its color will change over time toward a deep red color.

Indonesian Cherry – Kempas
Botanical Name: Koompassia, malaccensis

Native to Southeast Asia, Kempas is a medium grained, very hard wood used for flooring throughout the Far East. Kempas has a broad range of red, rose, and pinkish tones that will darken with age to a medium red.


Bamboo grows about one third faster than the fastest growing tree, multiplies without the need for replanting, requires minimal fertilization or pesticides, and generates more oxygen than an equivalent stand of trees. These qualities make it the most environmentally sustainable of all flooring products. It is also extremely stable, and innately resistant to moisture and shrinkage. Vertical or horizontal strips are laminated together to produce bamboo flooring, and bamboo can be cured to a dark, honey color or a pure creamy white with minimal color change over time.

Santos Mahogany
Botanical Name: Myroxylon balsamum

This wood native to South America, has a rich dark red brown color. Its texture is both fine, and even, displaying beautifully when laid. It is considered harder and more stable than the traditional red oak. Its properties are such that it can be sanded well.

American Red Oak
Botanical Name: Quercus Spp.

Red Oak is the most popular and widely used of the oak family (there are many other species of red oak, approx. eight of them have commercial uses). Texture is coarse, and for the most part the wood is straight grained. Its color varies from white to light brown even ranging to a pinkish reddish brown. Although similar in its look to white oak, it has smaller rays thus resulting in a less visible figure.

Dark Walnut
Botanical Name: Juglans Nigra

This wood is characterized by a dark rich chocolate color, and is comprised of dark strips. Its shade ranges from a rich dark brown to a purply black. The grain is generally straight and open, although a times some boards have burled or curly grain. Aside from being a very strong wood this wood has excellent machining qualities and sands well. Black Walnut is considered moderately dense in nature as well as absorbing shock quite well. This North American wood is often used for borders and in projects where inlaying is done.

Canadian Maple
Botanical Name: Acer Saccharum

This wood, produced domestically in Canada, is easily available and widely used. It’s color ranges from a creamy white to a light reddish brown. It is well-proportioned, has a straight texture, and displays hard punch resistance; in addition it is easy to be planed, milled, drilled and polished, and nail-grasps firmly. Within this species, black maple is considered the harder of the two. Sanding and finishing should be done with care as the wood’s light color and highly dense nature may be sensitive.

Comparative Flooring Species Hardness

Comparative Flooring Species Hardness for Selected Domestic and Foreign Species (from the Janka Scale). Dyerich woods are in bold type.

Douglass Fir650
Honduran Mahogany800
North American Cherry950
North American Walnut1010
True Teak1155
Yellow Birch1260
Red Oak1260
White Ash1320
White Oak1360
Natural Bamboo1410
North American Maple1450
Kempas / Indonesian Cherry1710
Padauk, African1725
Chestnut, Southern2670
Merbau / Asian Mahogany1925
Brazilian Cherry / Jatoba2820
In the chart above, the higher the number is, the more resistant the wood is to dings and scratching. All hardwoods are durable enough to resist wear and tear, and all woods can be scratched or dented, so hardness should not be the determining factor in choosing a species for your floor. Lighter color woods with less graining may show wear more than others.