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Hardwood Flooring Style Guide


Hardwood floors are typically chosen for their beauty, warmth, and durability—and with so many available styles, there is one to suit every preference and budget. Our hardwood flooring style guide can bring clarity to your search for the perfect wood floor, to maximize your investment and ensure years of enjoyment.

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Common Hardwood Species

The Janka Hardwood Scale was created in 1906 by Gabriel Janka, an Australian engineer who rated the hardness of wood on a scale from 1 to 4,000, where a higher number equals greater durability. In addition to color and pattern preferences, it’s important to consider the overall durability of the wood to minimize damages and keep your floors looking their best. Common species include:

Cherry Flooring

Cherry is best suited for low-traffic areas such as the bedroom, with a Janka rating of only 950. Distinctive qualities include natural color variations from board to board, graceful graining, and warm hues that can darken slightly with age.

Hickory Flooring

Hickory is one of the hardest domestic wood species with a Janka rating of 1820, making it ideal for high-traffic areas. Coloring can range from creamy beige to medium brown with darker brown variations, and large knots and color variations make it a popular choice for rustic or country design.

Maple Flooring

Maple has a light appearance with a fine grain that includes the occasional darker “birdseye” marking. Maple is exceptionally durable with a Janka rating of 1450, making it suitable for most rooms and styles of homes.

Oak Flooring

Red oak is the most popular species of hardwood flooring, with warm tones, graceful patterns, and a hardness rating of 1290. White oak is slightly more durable at 1360, with moderate color variations and exceptional durability and stability.

Walnut Flooring

Walnut has rich, warm chocolate tones with slight variations between boards. A hardness rating of 1010 makes it suitable for light to medium traffic, and it may show premature wear if installed in a high-traffic area.

Schedule a consultation for hardwood flooring installation for your Nashua-area home—call our Nashua office at (603) 769-2080 or our Salem office at (603) 952-3192 today. 

Solid Wood Floors vs. Engineered Hardwood: Which Is Better?

While they may appear the same at first glance, there are a number of differences between solid and engineered hardwood. Understanding the characteristics of each can help you make an informed decision about which type of flooring to install in your home.


Solid hardwood boards are crafted from a single piece of wood, while an engineered board is composed of multiple base layers, finished with a single layer of genuine hardwood on top.

Durability and Maintenance

Solid hardwood can be sanded down and refinished multiple times over the course of its life span, while engineered hardwood may be refinished only once or twice.

Life Span

Solid hardwood floors can last between 30 and 100 years or more with proper care, while an engineered hardwood floor may need to be replaced after 20 to 30 years.


Engineered hardwood may be installed over different types of level flooring as a “floating floor,” while solid hardwood boards are designed to be installed over a wood subfloor.

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Considering New Hardwood Floors in Amherst or Salem, NH? Choose Blackdog as Your Remodeling Partner!

Since 1989, Blackdog has been providing top-quality products and services to homeowners throughout the Salem and Amherst areas, with an emphasis on customer service and satisfaction.

Call Blackdog at our Nashua office at (603) 769-2080 or our Salem office at (603) 952-3192, or contact us online today! 

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