Common Hardwood of Boise, Idaho



There are many different types of hardwood used in Boise, Idaho.  There is much more to looks when it comes to species.  If you are attempting to match a hardwood floor, it is especially important to understand what separates the species or else your floor will not match at all.



Red and white oak are probably the most common types of hardwood floors used in Boise, Idaho.  Red oak has a more open grain pattern then white oak and has a reddish hue to it.  As far as width is concerned, in older homes it tends to be much narrower; such as 2 1/4" wide.  Occasionally, really old floors will have 2" x 1/2" material.  This is much more rare and is harder to find.  This width and heighth usually has to be custom milled, this entails a higher price usually.  White oak is harder then red oak, but both work well for floors as they are stable and are fairly durable.  Both red and white oak take stain well.



Maple is another very common flooring used in Boise, Idaho.  Maple is what you typically see in basketball courts.  It is very light in color and almost has a marble look to it.  Maple is harder than oak and stands up pretty to being lived on.  Maple is a little more tricky to work with, but if done correctly can look stunning.  One thing about maple, is that stain can tend to be blotchy so most people shy from staining maple.  However, with the proper practices, blotchiness can be reduced when staining.



Hickory is another light color material with a lot of variation.  Typically in Boise, you will find that hickory floors usually tend to be on the more rustic side.  Hickory  a very hard wood, so it stands up to wear and tear very well.  Also, it is sought out for mostly for its rustic appearance.  One thing to keep in mind about hickory, is that it isn't as stable as some of the other species.  This means that it will move more then other species and seasonal gaps might be larger than other species.  If done in a summer cabin, then you can expect the seasonal gaps to be even larger as the house isn't kept in ideal conditions year-round.



Cherry is on the softer side of things.  Most people would agree that due to how soft it is, it is not suitable for flooring.  However, cherry can make for a very pretty floor.  Because of how soft it is, cherry needs to be sanded carefully as it is easier to "dish out" which simply means a divot sanded into the floor.  Cherry also doesn't accept stain very well and might require a conditioning step for best results.  Cherry has a dark red tone to it and can sometimes appear to be brown in color.



Birch comes in two flavors, red and yellow.  Both red and yellow birch are softer woods.  Typically the best way to tell the difference between the two is that yellow birch almost has a blonde effect.  However, with old finish on them, it can be very hard to tell the two apart.  As with cherry, birch doesn't accept stain well either, but it can be done.  Birch also tends to move around a lot with the seasons.  In my opinion, while beautiful, birch also isn't very suitable for floors.



Occasionally, in Boise, Idaho we might run into some exotic species.  Usually, it is Brazilian Cherry (Jatoba) or Brazilian Walnut (Ipe).  Both of these woods are extremely durable and are at the top of the Janka Scale.  The Janka scale is a scale that lists all the species of hardwoods from softest to the most hard.  Brazilian cherry has a dark red tone with beautiful grain patterns.  Brazilian walnut has a variation between dark green and dark red tones to it.  Both of these are extremely beautiful and extremely durable.  With the inherent beauty and strength, comes a hefty price.  If budget isn't an issue and you are looking to stun and ah, then these are the ones for you.  While I have been asked to stain these in the past, typically these woods are left natural as they are absolutely gorgeus.


While this isn't a complete list, this is what we run into most of the time in the Boise, Idaho area.  If you need help determining what species of floor you have, we would love to help!  Contact us today!