It wouldn’t be wrong to say that hardwood flooring never goes out of style in India. Everyone from Bollywood celebrities to the who’s who of India Inc. is continuously exploring new techniques and themes around wooden flooring for their homes and offices.
Of course, there are more opulent types of flooring, such as those made of natural stones and designer mosaic available in the market today. But the warmth, hardness, and charm of real wood are difficult to beat. At least, in the eyes of Indians.
But with the cool choice comes the questions about its lifespan in the largely humid climate of India, the level of maintenance required, and overall value for money. All of this depends on the type of wood that you use for your flooring. Therefore, it is a good idea to take a look at the best kinds of wood for the Indian climate. A deep dive into the forms of interior architecture to see what’s cooking and what types of wood are preferred by designers.
Here’s a quick look at the top five kinds of real wood used for hardwood flooring.
P.S. This list is unordered and only comprises hardwood types. It is different from the general types of wooden flooring which may also include engineered (artificial) or laminated wood.
Oak is the most common type of hardwood flooring
Oak tree wood (known as baloot in Hindi) is the most common type of wood used for hardwood flooring in India and elsewhere in the world. This is due to its high resistance to nicks, dents, scratches, and other forms of external irritation. This property ensures its longevity while also allowing for low upkeep, much like how tiled floors (the most common type in India) rarely require maintenance.
It is a great choice for someone who does not like the idea of rugs and carpets on the floor. Plus, the hard, grainy pattern that the oak surface usually comes with, also adds that desired feeling when you walk on it barefoot.
If it’s that luxurious feel that you are expecting with your flooring, then oak should be your first choice. Naturally, it is also one of the expensive kinds, compared to our other four picks.
Cherry wood for a neat look
Cherry is another common type of widely used wood type for flooring purposes. Two of its most prominent features are:
- It darkens with age which is why it is not a popular choice for some people who want their rooms to be as bright as possible.
- Provides a neat look due to its naturally dark colours and sanded finishing.
As noted, it is one of the rare hardwood flooring kinds that are sanded after application. This ensures that the hardness is mitigated to an extent. But the downside of sanding is that it is highly susceptible to scratches. So, if you own pets (a cat?), we won’t recommend cherry. In that case, why not check out maple or mahogany?
Maple is one of the toughest woods
Ever played in a bowling alley and wondered how they execute the glossy finish to that flooring? The answer is maple, one of the strongest and most popular wood kinds used for flooring.
Its unique selling point is the grain pattern that gives a more enhanced effect when compared with its oak counterpart. Similar to other kinds mentioned in this list, maple is also quite durable and resistant to most weather conditions including rains. But remember that over years of use, maple wood tends to form a yellow layering on the surface (especially on unused areas). While this can be fixed with advanced cleaning, it can affect the look of your flooring.
But, if it’s genuinely high longevity you are looking for, let us introduce you to mahogany.
Mahogany for the royal look and feel
As you might have already guessed, those who want a rich and royal look with a touch of old-school pizzazz prefer mahogany. It’s durable, water-proof, and long-lasting (even longer than oak) – all the parameters perfect for an Indian home.
More commonly used as a material to build furniture, mahogany is very expensive and can cause your interior designing budget to shoot up. If you are tight on it, consider the next best option: pine.
Go with pine for its softness and affordability
Remember the grainy surface that we earlier talked about for oak flooring? Well, that is often the case with hardwood flooring unless you make some tweaks to the real wood.
If you do not like that hardness on your floor, consider pine flooring which is one of the softest types available currently. (Cherry, which we discussed above, can also qualify for this requirement.)
Pine (known as devadaar in Hindi) is usually fixed above the thin-set as long planks that look like sunmica plywood. It is durable enough to take care of all the seasonal weather changes in India. And it does not require much maintenance save for some routine annual fixes in and around the corners.
If you are someone who is exploring the best types of wooden flooring for your new apartment, this guide is all you need to begin that conversation with your contractor. Although these five types rule the roost when it comes to hardwood flooring, other species like bamboo, walnut, and ash are also used.
In the end, it all depends on how you want the flooring to look, how it feels, and how long it lasts. Which again, depends on whether your house is an apartment in a highrise or a multi-storeyed house on the ground level. If you want to check all these parameters to the positive, pick one of the above five. For more assistance and expert advice, feel free talk to us.