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Selecting the Perfect Hardwood Floor for Your Lifestyle

Consider the following questions when deciding on the perfect hardwood floor for your home:

Will the floor be in a high traffic area?

Areas that get a lot of foot traffic collect dirt, moisture, scratches, and spills. These can affect the color and finish of the wood. Darker woods and finishes typically show scratches and damage more than lighter woods. Scratches and fading blend more readily into the natural grain patterns in lighter-colored woods.

The hardness of the wood species will also be a factor when it comes to wear. The harder the wood, the more durable it will be.

Also, satin or low-shine finishes tend to show fewer scuffs and scratches than higher gloss finishes.

Whatever wood you choose, it is always a good idea to use rugs and mats in high-traffic and spill-prone areas. 

Which species of hardwood will fit the style of my home best?

Designers prefer to differentiate hardwoods according to the style of home decor with which they are typically associated. Of course, these are merely suggestions. The same species of wood can work in a variety of settings. Shannon & Waterman is pleased to offer some of the most popular hardwoods.

1. White Oak

White Oak is a dense, tightly-grained wood that is often seen in classic American homes.  It is hefty, hard, strong, and stiff. White Oak is highly resistant to wear and durable under significant exposure. It has a prominent, straight grain with a rough texture. Depending on the way the log is sawed, there can be many patterns produced: flake figures, pin stripes, fine lines, and wavy grains.

The colors of white oak wood range from white, to cream sapwood, to a lighter brown heartwood. Occasionally oak is streaked with green, yellow, or black mineral deposits. White oak is water and rot-resistant because of its closed cellular structure, making it ideal for wine and whiskey barrels.

Shannon & Waterman White Oak Castlestone

2. Walnut

Walnut is a hard, tight-grained wood that is dense and shock resistant. Despite its hardness, walnut is exceptionally easy to work with. The grain of the wood varies throughout a single tree. Some types of walnut are well-known for their unusual and beautiful grain configurations.

Every walnut species has unique characteristics and walnut colors are warm and rich. Colors range from creamy white in the sapwood to a dark chocolate color, or even purplish-black, in the heartwood. When air-dried, walnut wood can become a rich, purplish-brown.  The vibrant colors of walnut polish to a smooth finish.

Shannon & Waterman Walnut No Stain Satin

3. Ash

Ash wood is hard, dense, tough and unyielding, but elastic and agile, making it easy to work with.

White ash is the largest species in the family and the one that is used the most for everyday purposes. The sapwood ranges from light-colored to nearly white, and the heartwood varies from grayish brown to light brown, to pale yellow streaked with brown. The grain is usually straight, prominent, and moderately open with a coarse, uniform texture.

Shannon & Waterman Ash Otter

4. Hickory

Hickory can have a dramatic look. It is a very hard, often knotty, wood which can look great in a country setting and work just as well in a modern home.

The hickory sapwood is white, tinged with brown, while the heartwood is pale to reddish brown. Hickory has a coarse texture and is known for its bold, flowing grain patterns and wide variations in color. It is the variations of color that make each hickory project unique. Hickory wood may contain arbitrary specks, burls, knots, and mineral streaks.

Shannon & Waterman Hickory No Stain

Whatever wood species you select, it is sure to reflect your personal tastes and lifestyle and become a centerpiece in your home. Contact us today at to find the perfect hardwood floor for your home.