Almost any type of wood could be used to build furniture, but some woods have always been favored for their beauty, durability, and workability. Being able to identify the type of wood used for your furniture can help you determine its true value. Wood identification can be the deciding factor when you aren't certain if a piece is worth refinishing or if it should be trashed.

White Oak

  • Color: Warm natural brown tones that when naturally finished can coordinate with virtually any interior color scheme.  White oak takes stain very well and is often used to customize color, as the neutral tone of the wood allows the stain to achieve a more consistent accurate tone.

  • Grades: Original grade will contain knots, mineral streaking, ingrown bark and even an occasional worm hole; best used for when a more rustic country feel. Signature grade is a mix of the original and heirloom grades. By using the whole log and mixing character boards with refined cleaner boards, you create a very natural organic look. Heirloom grade will allow for natural tone variation from board to board, but minimizing the knot content creates a much more refined look

  • Design options: Add a texture. Texture is a great way to make your floor look aged. Scrape the edge to create a historically accurate seam or brush the face for a more worn look. Also, White Oak takes stain very well, so is often used to customize color because the neutral tone of the wood allows the stain to achieve a more consistent accurate tone.  

  • Durability: White Oak is extremely hard and will withstand even the most difficult traffic while resisting dents and dings of everyday life.

  • Best for: Any area of the home where a timeless design foundation is desired.

Hickory

  • Color: Hickory is best known for its color variation. It contains light beige to darker brown heart tones, contrasting with the cream color of the sap that runs down the edges of the board. Many customers choose to highlight this natural variation by simply finishing the wood in a clear finish.  However, using a stain can neutralize the color variation.

  • Grades: Original grade will contain knots and mineral streaking in grown bark; best used for when a more rustic country feel is desired. Hickory is unique in that the character is darker black and really stands out in sharp contrast to the lighter wood. Signature grade is a mix of the original and heirloom grades.  By using the whole log and mixing character boards with refined cleaner boards, you create a very natural organic look. The heirloom grade will allow for natural tone variation between the heart and sap from board to board, but minimizes the knot content thereby creating a much more refined look.

  • Design options: From scraping the edge to create a historically accurate seam, to brushing the face for a more worn look, texture is a great way to make your floor look aged. Hickory takes stain very well and is often used to customize color. However, if you go too dark it will be difficult to determine the difference between Hickory and White Oak. Mid to lighter tones will maintain some of the natural color variation that Hickory is prized for.

  • Durability: Hickory is extremely hard and will withstand even the most difficult traffic while resisting dents and dings of everyday life.

  • Best for: Any area of the home.  

Walnut

  • Color: Walnut is best known for its dark brown color. When finished with an amber or oil finish, it darkens to a rich chocolaty tone. However, more recently clear finishes are being used to achieve a lighter brown tone with a hint of gray. Walnut is rarely stained, as it is so prized for its natural color.

  • Grades: Original grade will contain knots in grown bark and other character from the original timber. This grade is best used for when a more rustic country feel is desired. Walnut is unique because the heartwood is dark brown and is similar color to the knots. Signature grade is a mix of the original and heirloom grades. By using the whole log and mixing character boards with refined cleaner boards, you create a very natural organic look. Heirloom grade in Walnut will still contain some knots; a slight amount of sapwood and color variation in the heartwood. It is still a more formal floor overall, but will have more character than the Heirloom Grade in other woods.  

  • Design options: Walnut is widely chosen for a brushed or foot-worn texture. A thinned stain can be used to achieve a more monochromatic color tone. 

  • Durability: Walnut is softer than other hardwoods and will show some dents and dings from every day wear.

  • Best for: Any area of the home.