carmel hardwood flooringAt Floor Coverings International of Carmel, we work with families in the greater Carmel, Fishers, Zionsville, McCordsville, Westfield area to find their dream hardwood floors. One of the most common questions we get from Carmel homeowners is, “With all of the choices out there, how do I decide on just one hardwood?” Here is a quick guide on your many hardwood options:


The tree from which your hardwood is derived greatly affects the final product, namely: durability, color, and grain pattern.

  • The durability of a hardwood is reflected in its Janka hardness score. Woods like white oak, with a score of 1,360, are solidly in the middle. At 995, Cherry may emit a gorgeous glow in natural light, but extra precautions should be taken to protect it from dings and scratches.
  • Color makes a big difference for your home’s aesthetic. We carry hardwoods in a range of colors from blonde maple to deep, rich hickory. Some hardwood species have unique color properties. Mahogany, for example, changes its color depending on the viewing angle.
  • It might seem insignificant, but the grain pattern of your hardwood can make a big difference. Some hardwoods, like white oak, have subtle, straight grain lines and swirls. Red oak has crazy, unpredictable lines and swirls, giving it a natural, authentic look. Woods also differ in terms of the contrast between the wood and its grain. It can be minor, in the case of white oak, or major, in the case of pine, which features dark, dramatic lines.

Board Width

Hardwood floorboards come in a variety of widths. Wider boards give your space a more airy, open feel whereas thinner boards feel more cozy and intimate. When referring to board width, here is some helpful vocabulary:

  • Strip refers to hardwood that is three inches or less in width. This has been the standard sizing since the industrial revolution.
  • Plank hardwood flooring is between three and five inches wide.
  • Wide plank hardwood is over five inches in width.

Learn More

There are still many things to consider when choosing a new hardwood, but luckily, your local flooring experts at Floor Coverings International of Carmel are here to help. Call today to schedule a complimentary consultation with one of our design associates!

Photos © Andrey Burmakin