Choosing which materials to use is one of the hardest aspects of remodeling. Nowadays many options exist to appeal to every homeowners’ unique needs; some are economical, while others are cutting edge and new to the modern construction industry, such as rammed earth. When it comes to environmentally-friendly options, however, not too many materials can compete with good old-fashioned hardwood.
Few people realize that hardwood for luxury floors and doors doesn’t have to come from exotic places or endangered species. Many amazing and beautiful sustainable species of American hardwood are available on the market and are more affordable than many realize.
Oak belongs to the genera Quercus, which is very diverse and successful, with many unique species around the world. In particular, the US boasts of two renewable hardwood oak species. White oak can be found all over the Midwest and Eastern coasts, whereas the red oak species extend from Canada into most of the US. Both species produce tough woods that accept several finishes for a great effect.
Of all the sustainable species of American hardwood, maple is one of the most subtle. The best finishes for this wood are soft golds to medium browns. Maple has very delicate grains and a soft appearance that make it a flexible option for decorating different types of interior furnishings such as cabinets, floors, and trim.
When it comes to woods that have a uniquely American style, look no further than Alder. It’s a beautiful species that grows naturally along streams throughout much of the West coast. Once worked and finished, alder typically has a beautiful honey-gold color and featured rustic knots throughout. Its hardiness and homestead appearance make alder especially good for exterior features, and one of the best options for wood garage doors.
Of all the renewable species native to the US, cherry is easily one of the more exotic options. The grains of this species are naturally well defined with color shifts. Because the wood already contains peachier hues than other words, cherry takes red stains very well. The result is a stunningly deep and rich look worthy of the most luxurious of projects.