January 11, 2023

Top Four Sustainable Hardwood Species in 2023

Open modern luxury home interior living room and kitchen.

Sustainable designs and quiet, rejuvenating spaces are some of the trending interior styles in 2023. More people are becoming environmentally aware and lean towards eco-friendly options. The rise of sustainable trends shows that homeowners are investing in quality home improvement projects, like hardwood floorings. While all hardwood floors are durable and versatile home additions, some tree species are more sustainable than others. Here are four sustainable hardwoods you can use for your flooring this year.

Harvesting Sustainable Hardwood

The US Department of Agriculture states that the demand growth for wood in the market is twice the rate of the country’s population. In recent years, more people have bought and used hardwood for their floors and furniture as trends continue to change. Laws on harvesting and planting trees continue to be strict compliance in hardwood forests across all states to keep the balance between supply and demand.

Certified hardwood forests and lumber yards follow distinct processes with sustainability in mind. With every tree they cut, manufacturers replant twice or thrice the number of seedlings in replacement. While hardwoods need at least six decades to mature, their supply remains consistent for years to come.

Today, some of the most popular domestic hardwood species used for floorings are sustainably grown and harvested within the United States and Canada. This makes buying hardwood planks economically convenient.

1.   Oak

Oak hardwood flooring is a classic American household favorite for several reasons. In general, oak hardwood is one of the strongest and most durable options in the market. It’s also water-resistant and works well for indoor and outdoor spaces. Like other hardwoods, they come in varied colors and are highly-valuable raw building materials.

White oak has light to dark brown colors and straight grains, making them sturdy yet flexible. Red oak, its other variation, has pink to reddish-brown hues with mostly straight graining. Between the two, white oak hardwood is more versatile, while the other is more finicky.

Of all hardwood species, many homeowners choose oak for their flooring because of its density and stiffness. Its hardness allows more resistance to daily wear and tear and doesn’t bend under heavy weight. Although it’s still a more expensive option, these hardwoods are the most sustainable species as they grow across the United States. 

2.   Mahogany

Mahogany is another hardwood specie go-to of many homes worldwide. For centuries, its fine texture and deep, rich color made it a beautiful flooring choice for homes with rustic cottages and farmhouses. A tropical hardwood, mahogany comes from Central and South America and the islands of the Caribbean. Despite their origins, they’re hard enough to handle outdoor and industrial uses.

Mahogany hardwood starts with pink, salmon, and reddish tones that turn to rich red and brown as they grow older. They also have a mixture of straight and wavy grains that can come with swirls or ribbon-striped figures. Like white oak, this type of hardwood is easy to work with despite being lush and lustrous.

Jarrah, its Australian variety, is the most popular option for hardwood flooring for its density and irregular grains. Although it’s harder to work with, they’re great materials for heavy construction.

Mahogany continues to be sustainable hardwood with the help of well-managed hardwood forests in Canada. They ensure the production of valuable standing mahogany timbers while following sustainable planting and recovery processes. 

3.   White Ash

White ash is a domestic hardwood popularly used in baseball bats, hockey sticks, snooker cues, and traditional raft paddles. These hardwood species are also in many sports handles. In addition to its athletic equipment contributions, they’re a great choice for flooring and furniture.

White ash hardwood has a coarse texture and sturdiness, slightly similar to oak. While it’s less dense, they’re easier to work with and use in construction. Besides its flexible nature, ash hardwood stains beautifully, and floorings using this specie can have a smooth, glassy surface.

Like oak, white ash grows in many states across the United States and a few places in Southeastern Canada. In Pennsylvania, many manufacturers can sustainably harvest 2.2 million acres of white ash forests every year.

4.   Maple

Maple is another hardwood favorite because of its sturdiness, appearance, and versatility. These trees also come in hard and soft varieties. Sugar maples are denser type and valuable for their white sapwood. Silver and red maples have the same qualities but are softer and easier to work with on your projects.

In addition, maple hardwood offers different grains and patterns that make each plank unique. Their pale color and fine texture are perfect for hardwood floors despite the wood’s difficulty accepting stains. But a quick solution for this is using clear coats and polish to enhance their color and graining.

Getting the Best Hardwood Flooring Services in Austin, TX

Hardwood floors are versatile and elegant home add-ons because of their variety in color, specie, and patterns. While many hardwood species have sustainable features, some are easier to harvest and plant to keep up with the increasing demands of the flooring industry. Oak, mahogany, maple, and white ash are domestic and exotic hardwoods that many homeowners love to use for their floors because of their appearance and texture.

Get to know more about hardwood floors in Austin with Kelly Hardwood Floors today!