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How to Choose the Right Hardwood for Each Room


Hardwood flooring adds a timeless and elegant touch to any home. With its natural beauty and durability, hardwood has become a popular choice for homeowners. However, selecting the right hardwood for each room requires careful consideration. Factors such as room functionality, traffic, and moisture levels play a significant role in making the best choice. 

In this blog, we will explore essential factors to consider and provide guidance on how to choose the right hardwood for each room in your home.

Assess Room Functionality


The first step in selecting hardwood flooring is to evaluate the functionality of each room. Different rooms have unique requirements based on their purpose and usage patterns. For example, living rooms and family rooms are high-traffic areas that require durable hardwood flooring. Consider hardwood species like oak, hickory, or maple, known for their strength and resistance to wear. 

On the other hand, bedrooms, being low-traffic areas, prioritize comfort and aesthetics. Species like cherry, walnut, or mahogany offer warmth and richness to create a cozy ambiance. Kitchens and bathrooms, exposed to moisture and spills, require hardwood that can withstand these conditions. Engineered hardwood or species like teak or bamboo are more resistant to moisture and provide a suitable option.

Understand Hardwood Species

There is a wide variety of hardwood species available, each with its own unique characteristics. Understanding these species can help you make an informed decision. 


Oak is one of the most popular hardwood flooring options due to its durability and timeless appeal. It comes in two main varieties: red oak and white oak. Red oak has a warm, reddish hue, while white oak has a slightly darker and more neutral tone. 

Both varieties offer excellent hardness and resistance to wear, making them suitable for high-traffic areas like living rooms, hallways, and kitchens.


Maple hardwood flooring is known for its light colour and smooth, consistent grain pattern. It provides a clean and modern aesthetic, ideal for contemporary or minimalist interior designs. Maple is moderately hard and can withstand moderate foot traffic, making it suitable for bedrooms, home offices, and dining areas.


If you’re looking for something that’s durable and distinctive, hickory is an option worth considering. It is one of the hardest domestic hardwood species available, making it an excellent choice for areas with heavy foot traffic or homes with pets and children. Hickory is commonly used in living rooms, entryways, and even commercial spaces.


Those who want dark hardwood floors may be interested in walnut. It adds warmth and luxury to any room, making it perfect for formal dining rooms, master bedrooms, and executive offices. While walnut is not as hard as some other hardwood species, it can still withstand moderate foot traffic in low-traffic areas.


Cherry hardwood flooring is prized for its reddish-brown colour that deepens and develops a beautiful patina over time. It has a fine and even grain, lending a classic and elegant look to the interiors. Cherry is softer than other hardwoods, so it is best suited for low-traffic areas like bedrooms, studies, and formal living rooms.


Ash hardwood flooring offers a light and creamy colour with prominent grain patterns. It is less common than other hardwood options but provides a unique and stylish look. Ash is moderately hard and can handle regular foot traffic, making it suitable for living rooms, kitchens, and home offices.


While technically not a hardwood, bamboo is an increasingly popular flooring option due to its sustainability and durability. Bamboo is actually a type of grass that resembles hardwood and comes in various colours. It is highly resistant to moisture and can be used in kitchens, bathrooms, and basements. Bamboo is also suitable for any room in the house, including living rooms and bedrooms.

Consider Hardwood Hardness


The hardness of a hardwood species is measured on the Janka hardness scale, which determines the wood’s resistance to denting and wear. Rooms with heavy foot traffic, areas prone to impact, and places occupied by pets require hardwood with higher hardness. However, keep in mind that harder woods may be more challenging to install. Balancing durability and installation considerations is essential to find the right hardwood for each room.

Evaluate Colour and Style

One of the best things about hardwood flooring is that it comes in a variety of colours. From bright hardwood floors to brown hardwood floors, there’s something for everyone. The colour and style of the hardwood can greatly impact the overall aesthetic of a room. 

Consider factors such as natural vs. stained flooring options and the grain and texture of the wood. Choosing a colour and style that complements your room’s design and desired visual impact is important in creating the desired ambiance.

Factor in Maintenance Requirements

Maintenance is an essential consideration when choosing hardwood flooring. Some species require more upkeep than others. Exotic hardwoods like Brazilian cherry or teak are beautiful but may require additional maintenance, such as frequent polishing or specialized cleaning products. 

On the other hand, domestic hardwoods like oak or maple generally have lower maintenance needs and are easier to care for. Consider your lifestyle and willingness to invest time in maintenance before making a decision.

Determine Budget and Cost

Hardwood flooring costs can vary significantly based on factors such as species, grade, and installation complexity. It is important to determine your budget and select hardwood that fits within it. Remember to consider the long-term investment aspect as well, as higher-quality hardwood may require less frequent replacement, thus saving you money in the long run.

The Best Hardwood Floors in Toronto

Selecting the appropriate hardwood flooring for each room requires thoughtful consideration of factors such as room functionality, hardwood species, hardness, colour, maintenance requirements, and budget. By understanding the specific needs of each space and matching them with suitable hardwood options like oak, maple, hickory, walnut, or cherry, you can create a harmonious and functional environment. 

At Capital Hardwood Flooring, we have a variety of options to help you complete any aesthetic. Contact us today at 416-536-2200 to learn more. 

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