If your question is specific to Georgia, the answer to that question is laurel oak; live oak; and longleaf pine. If you want to get even more specific, the yellow poplar grows in the Augusta area.

It’s important to understand, however, that even though wood floors are classified as hardwood, they aren’t all hard, especially yellow poplar. In fact, while the yellow poplar is strong, it’s hardness rating is less than some species classified as softwood. It may not be the best choice for hardwood flooring, but definitely has a place in the world of decor, such as on cabinet frames and artisanal items such as bowls and platters.

Laurel and live oak

There are two kinds of oak, white and red. Laurel oak falls into the red oak category and has many of the same characteristics as red oak: hardness and strength, as well as moderately priced. As in red oak, laurel has a reddish-brown tone and because of the value, it is used for wood floors and is also a preferred item among woodworkers of cabinets and other furniture.

Live oak is more like white oak. Like white oak, it’s a little darker and takes stain well. It’s dense, so it can be a little difficult to work with.

Popular domestic wood floor species

We understand that you might want to support local businesses, so the best advice for that is to choose a domestic species, rather than an exotic, for your hardwood floors. Domestics are grown within the United States, while exotics are grown without. Right now, the most popular domestics are red and white oak, maple, walnut, cherry, and hickory. Exotics are dark, dramatic, and ultra-hard.

Choosing the right species for hardwood flooring

Do you have extra durability needs or high foot traffic? Hickory is known as the hardest domestic, but you may also want to check the Janka Scale. It rates the hardness (impact only) of both domestics and exotics. The higher the number, the stronger the wood. Do you prefer a lot of knots and grains, such as in white oak, or would you rather something more subtle like cherry. Discuss these details with your flooring expert.

With over 40 years of experience, we can help you sort it all out. Come into the A&D Carpets & Hardwood showroom for information about hardwood flooring, as well as to schedule your free in-home estimate. We’re in Augusta, Georgia and we service Martinez, Evans, Augusta, and North Augusta.