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How to Pick the Right Wood for Your Project

Did you know that not all woods are created equal? Here is a list of the most popular types of wood and the information you need to know to make the right selection for your project.

Janka scale: The higher the number on the Janka scale, the more durable the plank is.

  • Appearance: Red oak has warm undertones while white oak has a cooler sheen.

  • Durability: Red oak is 1290 on the Janka scale and white oak is 1360.

  • Important: This type of wood has an open grain which stains take well to.

Maple Wood: Lowes


  • Appearance: Maple has a subtle grain that usually darkens and yellows overtime.

  • Durability: Maple is a durable 1450 on the Janka scale. Fun fact, this type of wood is often used in bowling alleys!

  • Important: This wood has a closed grain and doesn't absorb stain well. When installing, use a water-based polyurethane finish.

Hickory Wood: Lowes


  • Appearance: Hickory has a very pronounced color variation which is perfect for a rustic look.

  • Durability: Hickory is a high 1820 on the Janka scale. This wood is perfect for high traffic areas.

  • Important: This wood is unlikely to warp under the humidity making it great for coastal areas.

Walnut Wood: Lowes


  • Appearance: Walnut is dark, rich and well-defined grain pattern.

  • Durability: Walnut is a 1010 on the Janka scale. It will show wear in tear in a few years in high traffic areas.

  • Important: This wood is mostly found in older homes.

Starting a new reno project? Let's work together! Call Adolfson Interior Design at (651) 468-6208 or email

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