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Goddard Floors: Various Wood Types


(Fraxinus Americana)

Pros: A light-colored wood giving a distinct appearance, with a soft creamy glow. Wears very well under normal foot traffic.
Cons: Difficult to match unity in color of boards especially in lower grades, tending to increase the amount of wood needed for the job. Difficult to hide nail holes.
Color: Heartwood is light tan to dark brown; sapwood is creamy white. Similar to white oak but more yellow.
Grain: Bold, straight, moderately open grain with occasional wavy figuring, and can have strong contract in grain in plain-sawn boards.
Availability: Moderately available
Hardness: Slightly harder than Northern red oak.
Durability: Elastic, hard, excellent shock resistance.
Sawing: Good
Nailing: Good holding; good resistance to splitting
Sanding: Satisfactorily
Finishing: Stains well, no known finishing problems.


Australian Cypress

(Callitris glauca)

Pros: Extremely durable, gives a nice rustic look with a warm glow.
Cons: Expensive.
Color: Sapwood is cream-colored; heartwood is honey-gold to brown with darker knots throughout.
Grain: Closed
Availability: Limited
Hardness: Slightly harder than Northern red oak.
Durability: Excellent
Sawing: Good
Nailing: Can be brittle, splits easily.
Sanding: Satisfactorily
Finishing: No known problems



(Fagus grandifolia)

Pros: Beautiful floor with a tight grain can be confused with maple or birch. Very durable.
Cons: Boards can vary in colour and also include mineral streaks which result in dark sections in the wood.
Colour: Reddish-brown heartwood, with pale white sapwood.
Grain: Mostly closed, straight grain, uniform texture. Coarser than European beech.
Availability: Limited.
Hardness: Slightly harder than Northern red oak.
Durability: Elastic, hard; excellent shock resistance. Wears wells, stays smooth when subjected to friction - popular for factory floors.
Sawing: Good with machine tools, difficult to work with hand tools.
Nailing: Good holding ability, has the tendency to split.
Sanding: Satisfactorily finishing: No known problems



Pros: Can be used over radiant heat very stable with humidity changes. One of the hardest wood floor products. Darkens to a rich deep red. Cons: Difficult to cut due to hardness. Darkens with time.
Color: sapwood is gray-white; heartwood is salmon red to orange-brown when fresh, and becomes russet or reddish brown when seasoned; often marked with dark streaks. Grain: Mostly interlocked; texture is medium to rather course.
Availability: Readily
Hardness: Considerably harder than Northern red oak.
Durability: Dense and very strong.
Sawing: Difficult due to high density, carbide tooling recommended.
Nailing: Good holding ability; due to hardness may require adjustment of angle of penetration and/or height.
Sanding: Well
Finishing: No known problems


Pros: Very tight-grained wood similar to Maple with a light and warm appearance. Stains extremely well. Also available in red, which stains even better than the standard white birch.
Cons: Can contrast in color from board to board especially in the lower grades.
Color: Sapwood is creamy yellow or pale white in yellow birch; heartwood is light reddish brown tinged with red. Sweet birch has light-colored sapwood and heartwood is dark brown tinged with red.
Grain: Medium figuring, straight, closed grain, even-textured. Occasional curly grain or wavy figure in some boards.
Availability: Moderately.
Hardness: Softer than Northern red oak.
Durability: Hard and stiff; very strong.
Sawing: Good machine tools, difficult with hand tools.
Nailing: Excellent
Sanding: Satisfactorily
Finishing: No known problems

Brazilian Cherry



Douglas Fir

(Pseudotsuga menziesii)

Pros: Grain of wood similar to heart pine.
Cons: Very soft, with poor durability. Not recommended for flooring application.
Color: Yellowish tan to light brown heartwood. Sapwood is tan to white Heartwood may be confused with that of Southern yellow pine. Radical color changes upon exposure to sunlight.
Grain: Normally straight, with occasional wavy or spiral texture. Nearly all fir flooring is vertical-grain or riftsawn clear grade material.
Availability: Readily available
Hardness: Softer than Northern red oak Durability: Durable but easily dented. may not be suitable for all flooring applications.
Sawing: Harder to work with hand tools than soft pines.
Nailing: Good
Sanding: Satisfactorily
Finishing: May change color with some finishing products, and care must be taken to avoid over sanding.


Heart Pine - Antique

(Pinus spp.)

Pros: Only pine that Goddard Floors recommends.
Cons: Can be very costly.
Color: Heartwood is yellow after cutting and turns deep pinkish tan to warm reddish brown within weeks due to high resin content. Sapwood remains yellow, with occasional blue-black sap stain.
Grain: Dense, with high figuring. Plainsawn is swirled; rift or quartersawn is primarily pinstriped. Curly or burl grain is rare.
Availability: Limited
Hardness: Sifter than Northern red oak.
Durability: Natural resistance to insects in heartwood; dense.
Sawing: Good
Nailing: Good
Sanding: Use course paper for 1st sanding, may clog paper.
Finishing: Accepts surface and penetrating finishes, some stains tend to blotch.


Mahogany (Santos)

(Myroxylon balsamum)

Pros: Very durable flooring, with nice reddish coloring. Good value for your money Cons: Can have color variations from board to board.
Color: Dark reddish-brown
Grain: Striped figuring in quarter-sawn selections; the texture is even and very fine.
Availability: Moderately
Hardness: Much harder than Northern red oak.
Durability: Excellent
Sawing: Moderately difficult to work due to high density, carbide tooling recommended
Nailing: Good
Sanding: Well
Finishing: No known problems


Maple (Hard/Sugar)

(Acer saccharum)

Pros: Great light-colored wood with a thigh hard grain. Very suitable for high traffic areas.
Cons: Significant expansion and contraction with seasonal changes. It does not accept stain well.
Color: Heartwood is creamy white to light reddish brown; Sapwood is pale to creamy white.
Grain: Closed, subdued grain, with medium figuring and uniform grain texture. Occasionally shows quilted, fiddle-back, curly or bird's-eye figuring. Figured boards often culled during grading and sold at a premium.
Availability: Commodity item; figured grains limited.
Hardness: 12% harder than Northern red oak.
Durability: Dense, strong, tough, stiff, often used in bowling alleys and sports floors.
Sawing: Density makes it difficult
Nailing: good, fair resistance to splitting
Sanding: satisfactorily
Finishing: Good in natural finish, DOES NOT stain uniformly


Oak (Red)

(Quercus spp.)

Pros: One of the best values for your money. Stains very well. Very durable. Cons: Not very individual.
Color: Heart and sapwood are similar to sapwood lighter in color; most pieces have a reddish tone. Slightly redder than white.
Grain: Open, slightly coarser (more porous) than white oak. Plainsawn boards have a plumed or flared grain appearance; riftsawn has a tighter grain pattern, low figuring; quartersawn has a flake pattern, sometimes called tiger oak, tiger rays or butterflies.
Availability: Commodity item available in ALL types, styles, and sizes of flooring.
Hardness: Stiff & dense, resist wear, less durable than white oak.
Sawing: above average
Nailing: good
Sanding: satisfactorily, better than white oak
Finishing: Strong stain contrast, because of pores.


Pine (Southern Yellow)

(Pinus spp.)

Pros: Available in wide widths and long lengths Cons Significant expansion and contraction during seasonal changes, can be significantly greater when the boards are wider. Dents and scratches easily. Color: Heartwood varies from light yellow/orange to reddish brown or yellowish brown; sapwood is light tan to yellowish white.
Grain: Closed, with high figuring; patterns range from clear to knotty.
Hardness: Softer than Northern red oak; longleaf 870 Janka Table, 33% softer than Northern red oak.
Durability: Soft, fairly durable, not as resist to scuff, & dents as true hardwoods.
Sawing: good
Nailing: good
Sanding: Resin tends to clog sand paper, frequent paper changes are required.
Finishing: Using durable finishes can help minimize wear.



(Amaranth, Peltogyne spp)

Pros: Deep Purple color great for inlays or borders.
Cons: Very expensive.
Color: Heartwood is brown when freshly cut, turning to deep purple to purplish brown over time. Sapwood is lighter cream-colored.
Grain: Straight with medium to a fine texture.
Availability: Limited
Hardness: Harder than Northern red oak.
Durability: Very strong and dense.
Sawing: Moderately difficult, carbide tooling recommended.
Nailing: Good
Sanding: Satisfactorily
Finishing: Well, water-based finishes hold color better, has a tendency to bleed in some finishes.


Teak (Thia/Burmese)

(Tectona grandis)

Pros: Great for exterior use or near water. Weathers well with or without a finish.
Cons: Expensive.
Color: Heartwood varies from yellow-brown to dark golden brown, turning rich brown when exposed to sunlight. Sapwood is lighter cream-colored.
Grain: Straight; coarse, uneven texture.
Availability: Limited
Hardness: Softer than Northern red oak. Durability: Strength values are similar to those of American oak.
Sawing: Moderate ease, carbide tooling recommended.
Nailing: Good
Sanding: Clogs sanding paper. Finishing: Some finishes have adhesion/drying concerns due to natural oils in the wood.


Walnut (American Black)

(Jaglans nigra)

Pros: Dark rich color with great durability. Excellent for feature strips in a decorative pattern.
Cons: Can be expensive.
Color: Heartwood ranges from a deep, rich dark brown to a purplish black. Sapwood is nearly white to tan. The difference between heartwood and sapwood is great; some manufacturers steam the wood to bleed the darker heartwood color into the sapwood.
Grain: Mostly straight and open, but some boards have burled or curly grain.
Availability: Moderately
Hardness: 1010 Janka Table, 22% softer than Northern red oak.
Durability: Moderately dense, very strong.
Sawing: excellent
Nailing: Fair
Sanding: satisfactorily
Finishing: Nicely



(Panga-panga, Millettia spp.)

Pros: Great for feature strips.
Cons: Limited availability and expensive.
Color: Heartwood is yellow-brown when freshly cut,, turning dark brown to almost black with alternate layers of light and dark. Sapwood is yellowish-white and clearly demarcated from heartwood.
Grain: Straight when quartered; coarse texture.
Availability: Limited
Hardness: Quite a bit harder than Northern red oak.
Durability: average.
Sawing: Difficult, carbide tooling recommended.
Nailing: Good
Sanding: Satisfactorily
Finishing: Some solvent-based stains do not dry well.




Click above to View Janka Scale Hoboken PDF

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