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How to Determine What Species of Wood Floor You Have

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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.

Start 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, though.

Ask For Advice

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 you.

Don’t Forget Hardness

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.

Sand the Wood

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 looking at.

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