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How to choose the best type of wood for your hardwood floors

Updated: Apr 23, 2021

Most Durable Hardwood Flooring

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

Best Value Wood Flooring

For real 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 exceptionally good value. Bamboo costs $5 to $11 per square foot and is as hard-wearing as hardwoods.

Cheapest Hardwood Flooring

Laminate wood-look is the cheapest option. While it isn’t real wood, it’s a good alternative if you’re working with a tight budget. It costs just $2 to $10 per square foot, installed.

Best Hardwood Floor for Radiant Heat

Although not solid hardwood, the best materials for installation with radiant heat systems are engineered hardwood or bamboo. Both of these can be installed as floating floors to make them compatible with underfloor heating.

Most Scratch-Resistant Wood Flooring

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

Best Waterproof Wood Flooring

No wood flooring is truly 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 interesting grain patterns and colors are often highly sought-after because of their appearance. These include ebony and Brazilian cherry.

Best Hardwood Flooring for Pets

If you have pets, you need flooring that resists scratches, such as ebony, bamboo, or engineered hardwood.



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