If you’ve just bought a new home or you’re
simply curious, it can be difficult to figure out what kind of wood floor you
have. There are dozens of different species of hardwood used for flooring, and
many of them look similar. To find the type you have, you are going to need to
some investigating. It’s advisable to start with the least-invasive process and
move towards more invasive methods.
With an Internet Search
You should start with an internet search of
the most common types of hardwood flooring. In the United States, they are
going to be domestic woods such as hickory, oak, walnut, and maple. If you know
when the flooring was installed, that could help you as well. Hardwood flooring
goes through trends. So, there’s a good chance the floor in your home is one of
the popular choices from the year it was installed.
Pull up high-resolution photos of the
different types of wood and lay them on your floor. Compare the grain and focus less on the color. Focusing on
the color could be misleading because many hardwood floors are stained. A white
oak can easily be stained to look like cherry. The grain will be distinctive,
There are many experts who can identify a
hardwood floor simply by looking at it. You should take high-resolution photos
of your floor. Be sure to get a good representation of the color and the grain.
Post those on some hardwood flooring forums or post them on social media and
tag hardwood flooring experts. Many of them will be happy to identify it for
Hardness is a good way of ruling out different
types of wood. For example, if you can dent it with your thumbnail, then you
can rule out any hardwood; that’s a softwood. If your dog or cat scratches the
floor with its claws, that will rule out any hardwood softer than oak.
If you absolutely have to, you can also sand
the wood to get down to the bare wood. Some types of wood have similar grains,
and you’ll need to see the color to know which wood they are. The color can
only be determined by sanding past the finish and removing the top layer of
stain. That will expose the raw wood and give you an idea of what you’re