Nothing makes a home classy and beautiful the same way as hardwood can. From flooring to beams, it gives your home a distinct character. Not only is it beautiful, but sturdy as well. A good quality hardwood flooring can last you a lifetime. Here is a concise guide into hardwood and how to choose the best for your home.
Hardwood Is An Angiosperm Tree
Let’s go back to grade school botany and review again what makes up hardwood. It is wood from an angiosperm tree. Angiosperm means a flowering plant or produces an enclosed seed. As opposed to softwood trees, hardwood has a more complex structure. This makes their growth slower as compared to the former. As the name implies, in general hardwoods have a harder and tougher wood. However, a substantial distinguishing feature between hardwood and softwood is the presence of pores on the former. This affects the wood’s density overall.
The Very Diverse Uses Of Hardwood
Hardwood has many uses. When burned, it is used as fuel and for cooking. It is used to create barrels, musical instruments, boats, and even furniture. One of the significant uses is for construction of homes and other structures. Structural beams and even hardwood floors are some of the most common applications.
However, it is important to note that not all hardwood is the same. Choosing the right hardwood for a specific job greatly depends on the following properties. The major considerations are usually the wood’s density, strength, flexibility, pores, and patterns. These make choosing a type of hardwood for your home very important.
Top 3 Hardwoods For Your Home
The ash tree is part of the olive family. It is native to Europe, with scattered locales in the United States and Canda as well. It is a large and tall tree reaching heights of 59 feet, and on some occasions, all the way to about 140 feet. One advantage of the ash tree is that it is resilient and grows rapidly. Making it sustainable for farming. The wood is dense and hard. However, it is more susceptible to decay compared to other hardwoods we will discuss later. It is more flexible which makes it suitable for tools and sports equipment applications. Its flexibility can also be used for different design options within your home. The aesthetically pleasing grain also makes it a good options for floors.
A tropical hardwood that is indigenous to the Americas, mahogany is widely used for furniture making. It has a wide diameter enabling the creation of wide planks. The grain is straight and fine and has little holes or pores. It also has a dark brown-reddish color which adds to its attractiveness. You will also find mahogany in many guitars especially the back, neck, and sides of both acoustic and electric.
What makes it suitable for home construction, particularly in flooring and outdoor decking is its resistance to rotting. Also, the wide planks enable it to be easily used for customizing and shaping.
Lastly, let’s look at one of the most popular hardwoods, oak. Oak is found in the Americas, Asia, North Africa and Europe. Its leaves are arranged in a spiral-like pattern. Since it is an angiosperm, during the spring it produces flowers and acorn that usually contains one seed. Maturity date can differ from 6-18 months depending on the species.
What makes structural oak beams and even hardwood oak floors a good option is the fact they are very dense. This makes them very durable with great strength and hardness. It is also rich in tannins which make it resistant to fungi and insects. Together with its very appealing look and grainlines, it makes a very attractive base for homes.
Air-drying the oak beams also add another benefit. Air-dried oak beams decrease the risk of distortion and even further helps protect against insects. This makes it a great choice for both indoor and outdoor applications. Imagine an air dried oak beam on top of your fireplace. Or maybe placed in your dining or living area. Imagine how much better it would look with it.
Now that you know the basics of choosing the right hardwood for your home, the last thing to consider is your supplier. are they sustainable and responsible for their farming? Are they able to cater to your different size requirements? Is it easy to contact and request for support? These are your major considerations in choosing your hardwood.
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