Birch Flooring 101
If you like the look of maple, but need a hardwood at more of an entry level price point, you’ll want to take some time to check out birch flooring. Birch flooring has similar hardness to maple and oak, with light and dark color variations to provide visual interest. If you don’t like a lot of knots and visible grain in your flooring, birch flooring could be a good option for you.
There are several species in the birch family, but only three generally comprise the majority of what is used for birch hardwood flooring.
When looking for birch wood floors these are the names (types of wood) that you’ll most often see:
- Paper Birch (Betula papyrifera)
Paper birch is the softest of the birch wood floor types. Its hardness is about 910 on the Janka scale, a little bit softer than black cherry and red maple.
- Sweet Birch (Betula lenta)
Sweet birch is the hardest of the typical birch woods that are used for flooring. It’s a bit harder than sugar maple, red and white oak.
- Yellow Birch (Betula alleghaniensis)
Yellow birch is harder than paper birch, roughly equivalent to some oaks and green ash.
Birch most often has lighter sapwood and darker contrasting heartwood. Boards that feature both often display an attractive combination of lighter creamy shades mixed with dark red and brown tones. If you like this type combination of color variation, you’ll find it with certain varieties of birch hardwood floors.
When it comes to birch hardwood flooring quality and longevity, size matters. Here’s how River City Flooring’s engineered birch hardwood is better than the competition:
- River City Flooring’s Birch Hardwood Thickness is ½”. The “Other Guys’” is only 3/8”.
- RCF’s Birch Hardwood Flooring is 6” wide, while the “Other Guys’” is only 5”.
- River City’s Birch Hardwood Flooring is up to 6 feet in length. With the other guys, you can only get boards up to 4 feet.
- RCF’s warranty on Birch Hardwood Flooring is 50 years. With the “Other Guys,” you are only covered for 15-25.