Hardwood flooring that is found in North America is considered a domestic product. The most common domestic species include red and white oak, American cherry, hickory, maple, ash and American walnut. On the other hand, softwoods, or conifers, have needles. Widely available U.S. softwoods include cedar, fir, hemlock, pine, redwood, spruce and cypress. In a home, the softwoods are used primarily as structural lumber and not as often as flooring.
Today wood flooring is also offered in a variety of hardwood species that are not found in North America. These floors offer many unique and visually striking appearances that are distinctly different from the North American hardwoods. Many of these exotic species are photosensitive and may change color over time. Please refer to sample panels for the level of photosensitivity of each product. In addition, exotic hardwood species, like Brazilian walnut, Brazilian cherry, Asian walnut, Santos mahogany, teak and tigerwood are generally much harder than Domestic hardwoods. Keep in mind that ALL hardwood floors will scratch and dent regardless of its hardness rating.