The Best Hardwoods for Colorado Floors

October 30, 2015

Posted in macstaff

Hardwood comes from a vast variety of species.  Some are not appropriate for flooring because of their density, susceptibility to moisture, or other factors.  Even among the hardwoods used for flooring, some are better for certain climates than others.  Here in Colorado, where the weather is relatively dry, domestic hardwoods tend to be especially popular, though there are a few exotic species that do well, too.

Best Hardwoods for Flooring in Colorado


While Bamboo is a grass and not a wood, modern strand-weaving methods produce Bamboo flooring that is, in some cases, harder than hardwood.  Bamboo flooring is a popular choice among those concerned with environmental sustainability because it grows quite quickly and is generally not harvested from natural-growing forests.

Red Oak

Red Oak is by far the species used most often for flooring in the United States.  It is abundant and inexpensive and can be finished to suit practically any decor, making it one of the most versatile hardwoods available.

White Oak

White Oak shares many features with its cousin, the Red Oak, but, as its name would suggest, is a bit paler and more brown than red.  White Oak is an especially popular choice for those looking for pre-finished hardwood, as the variety of options available is quite impressive.

Hickory/ Pecan

Though technically different species, Hickory and Pecan are part of the same genus (also referred to as Hickory) and are so similar they are often sold together or interchangeably.  The grain of Hickory is its most outstanding feature, as boards often display sharp color variations that create a striking and unique look.  Hickory is also uncommonly hard for a domestic wood and makes a great choice for cabins and homes high traffic with a desire for a natural, somewhat rustic look.

alta vista historic walnut flooring
Wide plank Historic Walnut flooring from the Alta Vista Collection

American Walnut

Walnut often features a variety of figured grain patterns, which lend it a special beauty; this, combined with its natural luster, which increases over time, make it an especially recommended for natural oil finishes.

Brazilian Cherry (Jatoba)

Among the most popular of the exotic species sold in the United States, Brazilian Cherry offers a rich tone that only grows richer over time.  Significantly harder than most domestic species, it is an excellent choice for homes with families or pets who are looking for something a little special in their flooring choice.

Brazilian Walnut (Ipe)

One of the darker hardwoods popular in Colorado, Brazilian Walnut is another dense, hardwood good for high traffic areas.  Its darker hue creates a warm but sophisticated look that contrasts beautifully with lighter furniture and fixtures.


Much like Oak, Maple is a very versatile wood that can be stained to match most any decor.  It tends to offer a very consistent, understated grain and can withstand a good deal of wear and tear.


Ash is one of the palest woods used for flooring and creates a beautiful, open look that is clean and inviting.  Ash also displays an unusual shock resistance.

Final Thoughts

To help you figure out which of these species might best suit your needs, read about how to choose the best hardwood floors, or just come into the store.