Shannon & Waterman Blog
About Plank Wood Floors, Flooring, Interior Design, Tree Species Guide

Choosing a Wood Species that is Right for You

Hardwood floors are a great investment with many benefits, but when selecting the right hardwood floor for your space, how do you know which species of wood to choose? Selecting the right wood species comes down to your personal preference, lifestyle, and location of the floors.


First, ask yourself what color of wood are you looking for: warm or cool, light or dark?

Light woods (like Hickory) generally make a room appear more open and airy.   

Hickory - No Stain

Medium woods (like Oak) generally make a room appear warm and cozy.

White Oak – Tiger’s Eye

Dark woods (like Walnut) generally make a room appear elegant and refined.

Walnut – No Stain

To see a full list of species and colors from Shannon & Waterman, Click Here.


Now that you’ve picked out the color that fits the ambiance of your home, let’s take a look at your day-to-day lifestyle. Are you retired and living alone, or do you live with young children and pets? Some hardwood floors are harder than others, making them more durable. Taking this into consideration when picking your perfect hardwood floors will better ensure your floors look beautiful for many years.  

Each wood species is rated by its hardness and durability using the Janka Scale. The National Wood Flooring Association’s Janka Scale gives a good indication of how likely a wood is to dent or show other wear. The higher the number, the harder the wood, the greater it’s durability.


Are you installing hardwood floors in a bedroom, living room, or a high-traffic hallway? Keep in mind that areas that are prone to more foot traffic will collect dirt, moisture, scratches, and spills, which can affect the color and finish of the wood. The natural grain patterns in lighter-colored woods help minimize the visibility of scratches, whereas the deep tones of darker woods and finishes typically will make them more obvious.

Walnut - Rosemont Estate Wide Plank Floors from the Amelia James Collection

Whatever your thoughts may be about your custom hardwood floors, Shannon & Waterman’s custom wide plank flooring professionals will work closely with you to help select the perfect species, finish, and texture to complete your vision. May your renovations begin!

Every newly crafted Shannon & Waterman wide plank floor has its beginnings in our family-owned, old growth forests. For generations, we’ve masterfully managed our forests for true sustainability—ensuring that we always have the mature trees necessary to supply the densely grown, stable, and generously proportioned wood to create the floors of your dreams. In addition, many of our products are FSC® certified.

The complete Shannon & Waterman line of products can be viewed on our website here: S&W Floors. Give us a call at (844)-315-2520 for more information.