When it comes to hardwood flooring, you are probably familiar with oak, pine, cherry, and maybe one or two more. If you are interested in a finding a unique hardwood style, consider birch! While it may not be as well known, that does not take away from the wonderful qualities it can bring to your Calgary home. Join us as we take a close look at birch to see if it is right for your next project!
Birch trees are distributed across Northeastern North America and can grow up to 100 feet tall. There are three species of birch that all have a very similar coloring and aesthetic but vary in one important category: durability. Each wood is measured on the Janka scale and is given a score based on the amount of pressure in pounds it can hold. These are the three birch options for you to choose from:
- Paper Birch: almost considered softwood, paper birch has a durability score of 910. Paper birch is good for low-traffic rooms or homes without children and pets.
- Yellow Birch: Yellow birch has a Janka score of 1260, about the same as red oak. Yellow birch is safe to use in busy households, but be sure to apply a durable sealant to protect against heavy traffic or dropped items.
- Sweet Birch: with a Janka score of 1470, this is the strongest and most commonly used birch species. Active households with children or pets are best off with sweet birch. It will resist scratches and dents easily and last you a lifetime.
Color & Grain
The unique coloring of birch hardwood comes from using a mix of the lighter sapwood and darker heartwood. The contrast between golden tan hues and reddish brown streaks creates a beautiful profile that fits with many aesthetics. Rustic homes may enjoy a hand-scraped birch, while a modern home may enjoy a polished wide plank style. The color variation brings a lot of character to the room so if you are looking for a subdued floor, you may consider using only the sapwood or heartwood, or choosing a more uniform hardwood such as beech.
Get started with a free in-home design consultation from your local team at Floor Coverings International Calgary to view samples of birch floors. This durable, beautiful, and versatile wood just might be the perfect option for you. Call us today!
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