You have lots of choices - but there are some design distinctions that can help you decide on the right hardwood style for your space.
Species: Each species of wood has its own unique graining and character…dramatic and hearty perhaps, or refined and delicate. Generally, the finer the graining, the more formal the floor—while vigorous and dynamic graining creates a casual look.
Surfaces and finishes: Surface treatments differ substantially, ranging from ultra-smooth and glossy to hand-worked and textured. Distressed or hand-scraped woods have a relaxed and casual feeling. Satiny, smooth, or high-gloss surfaces are sleek and contemporary - and often more formal.
Colors: Darker colors tend to create a cozy, rich, traditional atmosphere. Lighter colors are breezy and contemporary.
Widths: One of hardwood’s newest trends, wider planks, work especially well in larger rooms. Narrow strips, which have a more classic feeling, add length to smaller spaces.