Select Types of Hardwood Flooring for your Decor

Get the Flooring Look for your Project

With endless choices, selecting types of hardwood flooring can be a very daunting task.  With a design and creativity element though, it can also be one of the most enjoyable parts of installing a new hardwood floor in your home.    

One thing to remember is that wood is a natural product and the sample or photo you see may not be an accurate representation of the end product.  A group of trees may all be Red Oaks, but each tree has grain, coloring, and texture differences that can making the wood unique. Then, when you add stain and finish to the mix, they often exaggerate the wood’s individual characteristics.

This is what gives hardwood flooring its beauty and character – just like snowflakes, no two boards of solid wood are identical.


Some floors could probably stand alone as the decorative feature of a room.  With a great floor, it might be the first item people notice when they walk in and it can become the focal point that the room’s other features complement.  Most rooms have much more than a floor and 4 walls, so paint coloring, wallpaper, window treatments, and furniture you plan to use in the room may all play a part in your decision about the type of flooring you’ll choose.  

If you get a hardwood installer to come to you home to price a job they can bring samples and this can give you glimpse at how the style, color and grain patterns fit with your décor.  Online is a great place to narrow down your favorites.  Comparing actual flooring samples is the best way of seeing how the wood will look in your home to make the final pick.

A few tips you might want to consider:

  • Country – wide plank flooring, hand-scraped or random width hardwood flooring in a room may make you expect to smell pies baking and see quilts as bed covers. You can create a country appearance regardless of which finish you choose.
  • Formal – a certain elegance can be conveyed by narrow strip flooring.  Many higher end homes use 2 ¼ inch narrow strip hardwood in oak or cherry in their formal living and dining rooms.
  • Rustic – natural or engineered distressed hardwood flooring has characteristic worm holes and markings.  This gives an aged look that suits cabins, family or game rooms. Reclaimed hardwood flooring has naturally rustic markings as the wood may be hundreds of years old.
  • GreenBamboo hardwood flooring is one of the most well-known eco-friendly flooring options.  Reclaimed wood flooring is also an option to get real hardwood without new wood being used.  Bamboo regenerates so quickly that it’s considered a highly renewable resource.  It also offers unique looks like boards with horizontal grain (opposite to  normal, vertical grain).


That’s not all - mahogany or teak can be used to give a room an island flair and few wood species give a room instant character like hickory with its contrasting light and dark shades.

These are just a few samples of decorating possibilities with hardwood flooring.  The furniture, rugs, accessories, curtains, lighting and personal taste will all come into play.  Happy decorating!

antique floor

Antique Floor
Credit: Photo: jsmjr