Q: We’ve been wanting to put solid wood floors down in our home, when it is time to replace the carpet we laid after building our home. Recently, we had some water damage on the second floor which damaged our 1st floor master bedroom and on down to the basement. Well, instead of carpet in our bedroom we want to install a hardwood floor. Originally, we liked hickory for the strength. Since the damage, we are researching wood flooring and since we heat our home with a wood furnace in the basement, we aren’t too sure about hickory in our bedroom. The house gets very warm in the winter and our bedroom can range in the 80’s in the winter. Very warm. What type of hardwood floor should we install in our bedroom? We’re thinking Mesquite might do better in our bedroom, since it is the hottest room in the winter and coolest in the summer. In the next few days, we will have to make a decision. The restoration company will begin remodeling all the damaged areas. So we need to decide on a wood species for the floor and we are finding it difficult to make a decision because of the dry wood heat.
A: Mesquite isn’t a common species here in Canada, so I don’t really have any experience with it. It is fairly hard and I have noted that the harder, denser woods such as Hickory, Maple, Jatoba also tend to be more unstable with changes in climate, exhibiting greater shrinkage and gapping. Have you considered quarter sawn white oak? It is harder than red oak, has a unique tiger stripe sort of grain and stains well.