Hardwood is an easy decision to make. It’s durable, timeless, and looks great in any room of the house. Now it’s time to decide on the perfect hardwood species! The type of species you select will determine the coloring, durability, color variation, and more! Thornhill Oak HardwoodWhile there are many different species out there to pick from, oak, walnut, maple, and cherry are by far the most popular. The experts at Floor Coverings International North York outline the differences between these 4 species to help make your decision a bit easier!


Oak is the most popular hardwood species because it is affordable, durable, and can easily be stained different colors. Oak is available in white and red varieties. Red oak is slightly less durable than white, coming in at 1290 on the Janka hardness scale in comparison to 1360 for white oak. Red oak is lighter, with colors that range from white to amber with red undertones. Thornhill Maple HardwoodWhite oak is a bit darker and the colors range from beige to brown. White oak has fewer swirls and a less prominent grain than red oak does.


Maple has a light, creamy color and subtle color variation. Some maple has a red tint to it. The graining isn’t very prominent, giving it a clean and classic look. Maple is harder than oak and cherry, coming in at 1450 on the Janka hardness scale.

Thornhill Cherry Hardwood


Cherry is a very classic hardwood known for its warm, reddish brown color. Cherry hardwood does not have prominent lines or swirls but does offer color variation from plank to plank. American cherry is on the softer side, coming in at 950 on the Janka hardness scale, so it is best to use in rooms with lower volumes of foot traffic. It is also one of the more expensive hardwood options, so it may not be ideal for every room of the house.

Thornhill Walnut HardwoodWalnut

Walnut is an elegant and warm hardwood known for its chocolate brown and auburn coloring that vary slightly from plank to plank. Walnut can be stained, but most homeowners use a clear coat to bring out its natural beauty. American walnut is on the softer side, but still fairly durable, coming in at 1010 on the Janka hardness scale. Brazilian walnut, on the other hand, ranks at 3680.

Any of those 4 hardwoods will look great in your North York, Thornhill, Richmond Hill, Scarborough, and Markham area home, it all just depends on what look you’re going for. Let the experts at Floor Coverings International North York work with you on your next flooring project by scheduling a free in-home design consultation. We look forward to working with you!

Photo Credit: Artazum & Elena Elisseeva