A Worthy Alternative to Oak or Maple Hardwood Floors

shutterstock_36636067 (c)yampi shutterstock_297384563 (c)Breadmaker

Birch hardwood flooring is a popular alternative to oak or maple in the Medford, Oregon area. Birch hardwood offers durability and a subtle grain pattern. Choose a birch hardwood floor to add a subtle yet warm look to your space. Here are some things to consider with this species.

Birch Basics

Birch wood flooring offers color variations between the sapwood and heartwood of the tree, which is not often seen with other domestic wood species. The sapwood of a tree is the outer portion that provides nutrients to the organism and continues to grow, while the heartwood of a tree refers to the core of the tree. Heartwood tends to be more moisture and rot resistant. In terms of coloring, sapwood can range from a white to light yellow, while the heartwood tends to be brown with a reddish tint. There are three main types of birch that are used in flooring: paper, yellow, and sweet.

  • Paper Birch: Aptly named, this type of birch tends to be the softest of the three. While it won’t feel like you’re walking on paper, this type of wood flooring may be better suited for less frequented areas.
  • Yellow Birch: In general, yellow birch tends to be harder than the paper variety, and is about the same hardness as an oak or maple. Yellow birch hardwood comes in two color varieties as the sapwood and the heartwood can produce different coloration.
  • Sweet Birch: Sweet birch hardwoods are generally the hardest, so you can rest assured that they can be installed in a variety of settings. Sweet birch flooring can also come in two color variations.

Pros & Cons

Our Medford, Oregon customers find that birch hardwood flooring is just as durable, easy to clean, and stylish as any other hardwood flooring option. In addition, the subtle graining pattern is perfect in modern settings as it’s not considered a “character” wood. Birch is a great wood species if you are looking to create a custom look in your home; the wood accepts stains easily and evenly to provide a great look.

However, some lower grade birch especially can have a significant amount of color disparity from plank to plank. If you don’t like this look, opt for a higher grade of birch or consider a different wood flooring species. While all hardwood floors don’t hold up well when moisture or humidity is involved, this is particularly worrisome for birch. It is especially prone to damage when moisture or humidity is involved, so be sure to properly circulate air in your Medford, Oregon home and avoid installing it in a mudroom or bathroom.

Overall, birch is a great choice throughout the Southern Oregon area because of it’s subtle grain pattern and durability. Let the team at Floor Coverings International help you find the best hardwood floors for your home whether it’s birch, maple, or oak. Call today to schedule your free estimate where we’ll even bring the samples to you! We serve the Klamath Falls, Ashland, and Medford, Oregon areas.

Photos: (L) yampi/ Shutterstock. ©yampi.   (R) Breadmaker/Shutterstock. ©Breadmaker.

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