Pros & Cons of Hardwood Flooring Species: What’s Best for You?

Are you looking at the various types of hardwood flooring to remodel your floor in the best way possible? Amazon Hardwood can help.

Each hardwood flooring species has its unique perks and drawbacks. For instance, some are very durable but also expensive; others are strong but require extensive maintenance.

If you are unsure which hardwood species to choose, this post will help.

Keep reading to uncover the advantages and disadvantages of oak, maple, and ash hardwood flooring to find the perfect species to suit your home’s style and needs.

Pros & Cons of Three Popular Hardwood Flooring Species

When it comes to new floor installation or remodelling, homeowners still prefer hardwood flooring over other materials because of its beauty and durability. If you share this same preference and are planning a floor remodel, being familiar with different species of hardwood can help you make a good choice. So, let’s find out which hardwood flooring species is best for your home.

1. Oak

Oak Flooring

Oak is one of the most popular hardwood flooring species. It is renowned for being strong, hard, heavy, and dense, with a very close grain. Because of its high tannin content, it is resistant to insect and fungal infestations. It mainly has two varieties:

  1. Red oak ranges from pinkish-red to light brown shades, with a swirling, water-like pattern. It ranks 1290 on the Janka hardness scale.
  2. White oak comes with a tiger-stripe grain with yellow rays and flecks. It ranks a little higher at 1360.

Now, let’s take a look at its advantages and disadvantages.

2. Advantages:

The advantages of oak hardwood flooring include durability, strength, and resistance to wear and tear. Its unique wood grain pattern gives it a distinctive look. It is also popular because of its natural colour variations. In addition, it can be stained to match any decor and is comparatively easy to maintain. The way it is cut makes it less likely to warp when exposed to sunlight. Oak is also relatively affordable compared to other hardwood species.

3. Disadvantages:

The disadvantages of oak flooring include its greater proneness to scratches and denting than other hardwoods. Exposure to wet and cold weather and high tannin content can affect oak if it has an oil finish. Exposure to direct sunlight can also fade its colour.

Unlike other hardwoods, it is not very good at resisting moisture, which can cause issues like cupping or warping when it is exposed to high levels of humidity or water. Additionally, it may expand or contract in response to changes in humidity and temperature, which can result in loose boards or gaps between the boards.

4. Maple 

Maple Flooring

Maple’s hardness, density, and resistance to wear and tear make it a popular choice among homeowners. It has a creamy white look; sometimes with a reddish tinge. It has a rating of 1450 on the Janka hardness scale, making it one of the hardest domestic hardwoods.

Maple is a great option for small rooms. As it is relatively light in colour, it can give a room a bright and airy feel. Homeowners who want lighter wood can also select maple flooring. It is a ‘closed pore’ wood, which makes it more water-resistant than most hardwood species.

Let’s discuss its pros and cons.

5. Advantages:

The first thing to mention about its advantage is its hardness. This makes it highly resistant to dents, scratches, and wear, making it ideal for high-traffic areas like an entry hallway, living room, or kitchen. Its light colour and consistent grain pattern give it a smooth look, which is great with modern decor.

Additionally, because of its stability, maple flooring is less likely to expand or contract with changes in humidity and temperature. This makes it a sensible option for locations with high humidity or temperature fluctuations, like basements.

6. Disadvantages:

One potential drawback of maple flooring is its expense compared to other types of hardwood flooring. Because of its hardness, it can be, well, hard on the feet, making it unsuitable for people with foot problems or who experience discomfort.

Due to its closed-grain pattern, it can be difficult to stain. However, with proper sanding preparation, staining maple can be done successfully. If the maple is not properly sealed first, the staining can look blotchy. So, it may be best to hire a professional to do the job.

7. Ash

Several positive characteristics like strength, durability and natural beauty make ash hardwood flooring a popular choice among homeowners. It is known for its distinctive grain pattern, often described as flowing. In terms of natural colour, ash comes in a range of colour variations, from pale white to light brown, which can complement any room. It is also relatively inexpensive.

Let’s take a look at its pros and cons.

8. Advantages:

The advantages of ash hardwood flooring include its toughness, durability, and resilience. It is distinguished by its greater hardness than red or white oak. This hardness makes it more resistant to wear and tear. It can be used in various settings, from formal living rooms to casual family rooms. Plus, it can be stained and finished in a variety of ways to match any decor style.

Ash flooring typically costs less than other types of hardwood flooring, like Brazilian cherry or maple. It has a Janka hardness of 1320, which makes it a hardwood suitable for high-traffic areas. Furthermore, it can be refinished multiple times, which can add to its longevity and help sustain its natural beauty. It is also easy to clean and maintain. All that’s needed to keep it looking brand-new are occasional sweeping and mopping.

9. Disadvantages:

Ash is less resistant to high moisture and water damage than other hardwood species, so it is not recommended for use in bathrooms or basements. Although it has a good Janka rating, it can still be scratched by high traffic or sharp objects. You can use rugs and mats to protect your hardwood floors from scratches and wear.


These are three of the most popular hardwood flooring species, along with their respective advantages and disadvantages. Compare them while considering their durability, colour and cost to make your final decision. For further information, contact Amazon Hardwood. We can tell you more about each flooring material so you can choose the perfect one for your requirements.