The Main Differences Between Hardwood and Softwood in Flooring

Rod Lorenz

In flooring, both hardwood and softwood are used, but many people don't know the difference between the two.

Botanical Differences

Most people believe that hardwood is harder and denser than softwood. That’s usually true, but there's more to it than that.

When you look at their botanical aspects, the two are distinguished by the reproduction of the trees, not by how they look and perform when used in flooring. Hardwood mostly comes from trees that lose leaves annually, while softwood comes from evergreen trees that don't lose their leaves. And hardwoods are generally slower growing than softwoods.

Appearance Differences

Both hardwood flooring and softwood flooring look good, although hardwood offers more design possibilities.

Pine is the most-used softwood for flooring. Pine can be stained to achieve many colors and looks, and it’s well-suited for the rustic look that many people prefer for their homes.

Hardwood is extremely popular in flooring for several reasons, one of which is undoubtedly the flexibility of its appearance. Hardwood comes in many colors, textures, and natural patterns, and it can fit into any interior-design style.

Longevity and Maintenance Differences

Softwood floors, especially those made from pine, can be quite durable, but they are still more prone to scratches and dings than most hardwood floors.

To see for yourself the differences in hardwood, softwood, and other flooring options, please visit our showroom in Black Creek, Wisconsin.

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