Which wood floor is best? Choosing a wood species and type of flooring

8 min

A wooden floor is a classic that will be appropriate in any interior style, in a city apartment and a country house. The wood has unique properties of thermal insulation and sound absorption, has a pleasant warm surface and excellent appearance. The performance characteristics of different wood species may differ, as can the color. While some breeds can easily withstand jumping and falling, others can be damaged by simple heeled shoes. However, both of them are used only in different rooms and in the form of different types of flooring. We figure out which wood floor is better and which type of wood is better to choose in this or that case.

Types of wood flooring

This section could be missed if many people did not confuse parquet with parquet board, and parquet board with solid. In fact, only two types of flooring are made from solid wood:

Both of these products are made from solid wood, processing is used only to impart the necessary performance or aesthetic qualities. It is a natural, durable material.

The difference between solid wood plank and parquet is the size: parquet is much smaller. The average size of parquet planks is 50 * 600 mm, thickness is 15-16 mm, and a solid board can be from 60 cm to 6 m in length, from 7 to 20 cm in width, thickness varies widely.

The parquet board cannot be attributed to solid wood coverings, since it consists of three layers, and only the upper one is made of solid expensive wood, the rest are cheaper coniferous wood. Parquet board is a more affordable coating, the durability of which is lower than that of a solid board, which is explained by the smaller number of possible polishes, because the layer of valuable wood is several times thinner here.
parquet board structure

The choice of wood species depends more on the room in which the coating will be used, in what conditions it will be located, and what loads will affect it. As for the species and type of coating, with rare exceptions, most types of wood are used to create parquet and solid boards. Ash, beech, pine, birch and oak are most often used for parquet boards.
solid board

Oak wood – durability and luxury

Oak is the best choice for any type of flooring. It is a benchmark for evaluating other wood species. In terms of strength and hardness, oak is often compared to concrete. The color range of wood is wide, there are about 200 shades: from light yellow to dark brown interspersed with green and gray. Over time, oak tends to darken slightly, which makes it look even more luxurious. Annual rings are clearly visible on the wood.

Solid board and oak parquet can be produced with or without varnish. It all depends on personal preferences and the style of the interior: a board without varnish is an option for the Scandinavian and eco-style, with varnish – for the Rococo, classic, modern style.
oak floors

The main advantages of oak:

  • high hardness, strength and durability, resistance to abrasion, therefore oak floors are used not only in residential premises, but also in restaurants, clubs, offices and other premises with high stress;
  • high resistance to fire and moisture, oak is not subject to rotting and the spread of fungus. Thanks to these properties, it has found application in rooms with high humidity (kitchens, baths and even baths with saunas);
  • high sound insulation properties;
  • excellent aesthetic qualities, beautiful natural pattern.

There is only one drawback – the high cost, but the investment pays off, because oak parquet or board can last for decades.

Scope of use: residential and public spaces, hallways, baths, kitchens, saunas and baths.

hardness of wood species

Comparison of the strength of wood species

Ash is a direct competitor to oak

Ash is also used to make both parquet and solid wood, it is used to make parquet boards – it is equally good in all areas of use. In terms of strength, it even bypasses oak, and the fact that baseball bats and sports equipment handles are made of ash speaks for itself. Wood has a light shade, so it is often used in cases when it is necessary to visually expand the room and bring warmth into it.


  • high strength, wear resistance and elasticity. Ash is used to decorate gyms, not to mention residential and commercial premises;
  • excellent appearance;
  • good thermal insulation qualities.

Of the minuses, the high price and low resistance to low temperatures and temperature extremes, but for an apartment this will not be a problem.

Scope of use: residential and commercial premises, hallways, kitchens, gyms.
ash flooring

Siberian larch – durability and moisture resistance

Among all conifers, larch is the most durable and durable. The unique operational qualities of wood are explained by the most difficult growing conditions. Under the constant influence of moisture, larch does not rot, but becomes denser. In terms of strength, it is only slightly inferior to oak, and in terms of durability, it catches up with it. Larch floors are still preserved in many European architectural monuments with a long history. Moreover, the piles on which Venice is built are made of this particular breed.


  • age-old durability;
  • moisture resistance, resistance to mold and mildew due to its unique antiseptic properties. Larch wood is used to equip berths, terraces, baths, baths;
  • hardness and durability make it possible to use larch in restaurants, shops and gyms;
  • has more than 10 different shades, perfectly retains color and texture, does not darken.
    larch floors

Larch is more expensive than pine, but its performance is beyond comparison. Considering the service life and resistance to almost all negative factors, then larch can be called a very profitable investment. It is only important to choose the right processed wood, otherwise a significant part of its natural qualities will be lost. You can trust the products of the Lesinter company, presented on the page http://lesinter.ru… The manufacturer specializes in the production of Siberian larch sawn timber, has its own resource base, has at its disposal the most modern equipment and delivers products not only throughout Russia, but also to the USA, Japan and Western Europe. The assortment of the company includes parquet and solid larch boards, as well as decking, planking, lining, block house and other products. All products meet European quality standards.

Scope of use of larch wood: residential and public premises, kitchens, baths, baths, as well as houses where the owners are not all year round.
larch floors 2

Softwood: pine, spruce and fir

Pine, spruce and fir wood has gained popularity due to its cheapness. If funds allow, it is better to choose other breeds. Coniferous wood is used in those rooms where it is not customary to walk in shoes. A massive board and parquet are produced from it (it is important that the elements have a thorn-groove connection), and it is also used to produce different layers of parquet boards.

The properties of coniferous wood are far from ideal, so their scope of use is very limited:

  • pine is distinguished by the presence of a large amount of resin, which protects the wood from decay, has an excellent appearance, has a high vapor permeability and releases phytoncides into the air, which is a natural antiseptic. The main disadvantage is low hardness, so traces may remain even from the legs of more or less heavy furniture. It can be used in bedrooms and living rooms;
    pine floors

  • spruce is even less durable than pine, therefore it is extremely rarely used for the production of flooring;

  • fir is notable for its cheapness, has a pleasant appearance, healing properties, does not emit resin and does not “cry” at high temperatures, but is afraid of moisture and has low strength. We do not recommend using fir as a floor material.

Alder – durability and benefits

In terms of strength and durability, alder is not much inferior to oak, it has healing properties.


  • resistance to deformation;
  • tannins contained in wood have a positive effect on the microclimate of the room;
  • sufficient resistance to moisture.

Scope of use: bedrooms, living rooms, nurseries, bathrooms.
alder floors

Aspen – excellent moisture resistance

Aspen wood is rarely used and this is due, first of all, to superstition. But if you include common sense, then you can find a lot of positive qualities. This is both the ability to release nutrients into the air and resistance to moisture, therefore, often massive aspen boards are used even for arranging individual areas in the bath.
aspen floors

Maple – strength and elasticity

Maple wood is considered one of the lightest, and under the rays of the sun it acquires a pleasant golden hue. Among the main advantages are a unique pattern, hardness, bending strength, elasticity, but it is not recommended to use a maple board in rooms with fluctuations in humidity levels, therefore such flooring is used only in bedrooms and living rooms, and even then not very often.
maple floors

Cedar – expensive and reliable

A huge part of cedar wood is exported, so it is not so easy to get it from us, and it is expensive. Cedar is prized for its many benefits:

  • resistance to high temperatures and humidity, which is achieved due to the special fibrous structure of wood;
  • high content of medicinal essential oils in wood;
  • high strength and durability.

Scope of application: living quarters, kitchens, baths, saunas, bathrooms.
cedar floors

Exotic tree species

Exotic woods tend to have outstanding performance and unique patterns and colors, but are also expensive. If the funds allow and want to decorate the interior in an unusual way, then you can opt for one of the many exotic breeds:

  • Merbau is the most popular of all exotic species in our country; it resembles oak in strength and resistance to high humidity. A distinctive feature is its appearance. The wood has an intricate pattern and color from golden orange to almost brown, the hue tends to change over time;
    merbau floors

  • Zebrano is a tree with a very strong, dense and easily processed wood, which has gained wide popularity due to its color, it is dark brown stripes on a light background, like a zebra. Wood is very expensive, and the high demand for it has brought the wood species to the brink of extinction;
    zebrano floors

  • Rosewood is twice as hard and dense as oak, has a color from brown to dark purple;
    rosewood floors

  • tiger tree got its name due to its specific color, it has high strength and density, resistant to moisture, so it was previously used in shipbuilding. It is used mainly for the production of parquet, massive boards are rarely made from it;
    tiger wood floors

  • bamboo does not belong to trees, but it is used for the production of parquet and parquet boards. Manufacturing technology consists in heating, straightening the stems and pressing them in special chambers. It turns out a solid board with an interesting pattern, which is not as expensive as its exotic counterparts, because bamboo grows quickly;
    bamboo flooring

  • wenge wood differs from dark brown to almost black. It is strong, solid, easily withstands mechanical stress, resistant to fungus. If the drying technology has been violated, the wood will begin to crack, so you need to be extremely careful when buying.
    wenge floors

Exotic breeds also include the incredibly tough Jatoba, Yarra, Sucupira, Turbidity and Kempas, as well as the moisture-resistant teak and the temperature-resistant Iroko. Of the non-exotic, walnut, pear, cherry and acacia can be used, but they are rarely used for the manufacture of flooring.

When buying a wooden flooring, pay special attention to the geometry and features of the wood surface: the elements should be easy to connect to each other, not have cracks, blue stains and other flaws. A self-respecting manufacturer will pack products in rigid cardboard and thermal film. It is worth taking the time to choose and research the market so that you can enjoy beautiful wooden floors for several decades.

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Passionate about DIY for over 10 years and all the new tools, I give you through this blog all my advice, tips, tests in all areas: carpentry, electricity, masonry, gardening, home automation ...


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