Beech hardwood floors? vs maple vs oak

hereigoApril 21, 2009


Anyone have any opinions on Beech hardwood floors? Looking into putting hardwood floors into my 1 bedroom condo and I like the lightness of the Beech wood but am leary since all i've been hearing about is maple and oak as ones to go with. thanks in advance!

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I would recommend laminate. One of the great advantages that laminate flooring has over other types of flooring is how easy it is to keep clean. Once installed, the after care that laminate flooring requires is very little and extremely simple, and if it is carried out regularly, your floor can be kept looking like new for many years to come.
Generally speaking a simply brush over with a soft headed brush or a very slightly damp mop, is all that is needed when cleaning laminate flooring. Follow this with the use of a vacuum cleaner around the edges of the room, and also around any larger pieces of furniture that cannot be moved, and that is all that is generally required.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2009 at 7:24AM
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If you want temporary flooring, plastic laminate would be a good choice.

Know that any engineered wood flooring, regardless of brand, will be susceptible to denting damage. Oak will hide denting better than the finer-grained species. However, I just examined an oak floor from a major manufacturer that suffered severe dents even before the owners moved in.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2009 at 9:42AM
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American beech is fine for a hardwood floor. It is about the same density as red oak and it has only moderately noticeable grain. Less grain does mean that dings and dents will be more noticeable. It is slightly less dimensionally stable than oak or maple, but that should not be a problem unless you go over 3 inches wide and/or have wildly fluctuating humidity levels in your home. Color wise, American beech does have some variation between heartwood and sapwood.

European beech is a very uniform wood with very little color variation and generally finer grain due to slower growing conditions in northern Europe versus the USA. It tends to produce higher grades of wood than American beech, although you can get American beech in clear grades too.

If you want American beech in greater than 3" widths, then I would suggest rift and quartersawn material which is more dimensionally stable and also has a linear grain pattern and very pretty ray fleck in the 90 degree quartersawn portion.

Here are a few links (pictures) that I quickly found:

    Bookmark   April 22, 2009 at 10:07AM
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thanks so much for the replies. thanks for the info jrdwyer-i do want to put hardwood in rather than laminate.
any opinions on oak vs. maple? likewise vs. beech?

    Bookmark   April 22, 2009 at 11:42AM
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It's all a personal preference as far as the look or style you desire. The factors that play a roll include size or sizes of floor boards, color of wood/finish, grade of wood, grain pattern of wood, and site finished versus prefinished installation.

Be aware that the higher grades (clear,select) will tend to be more uniform in appearance, whereas the lower grades (#1 Common, #2 common) will have more variation in color and/or visual defects like mineral streaks or knots.

Lots or grain and/or a low sheen finish will visually hide dings and dents that can occur. The most visible grain will be with R&Q oak or ash or hickory and it will be in a linear pattern. Moderately visible grain will be found in beech or birch. The least visible grain pattern will be found in maple.

A cathedral grain pattern is found with plain sawn lumber/flooring and is most noticeable with oak, ash, hickory, or other coarse grain hardwoods. This style seems to be currently out of fashion.

Maple is also a good wood for flooring and it is used on gym floors throughout the country. With a durable, low sheen finish and some care, I think it could remain attractive for a long time before needing a refinish.

We have mixed width, wide plank, R&Q red oak, #1 common, and site finished in our upstairs. It works well with our family and 30# dog. It has held up well for 3.5 years and is very stable and the dings and dents don't show. I won't say we abuse this floor, but it has seen dirty shoes and dog/cat claws and kids riding toys and yet it still looks good. My son's Plasma car has scratched the surface finish here and there (Waterlox), but this type of finish is considered soft and can be touched up down the road. I'm not sure how well the harder finishes would hold up against a 5 year old and his car.

Finally, the great thing is that almost all hardwood floor finishes can be redone to look like new again. When the surface finish of sheet vinyl or laminate gets scratched and dull, the product gets tossed in the landfill.

Best of luck with your remodel.

    Bookmark   April 23, 2009 at 11:41AM
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