Hardwood vs. Softwood Flooring: What is the Difference?

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If you’ve shopped around at different flooring companies in Chicago, you already know there are a lot of flooring choices out there. When you’re getting ready to choose a wood floor, one of the biggest choices you’ll have to make is whether to install hardwood or softwood flooring. Each type of wood flooring has its advantages and drawbacks, which you’ll need to understand to make an informed decision about your floors. So, let’s take a close look at hardwood versus softwood flooring, so you know the difference between these two wood choices.

Softwood Flooring


Softwood flooring comes from evergreen trees such as pine, spruce, cedar or fir  trees. Softwoods have a lighter color than most hardwood flooring choices, and a looser grain. Most softwood flooring choices are more prone to wear and tear from pets’ nails, heels, and scratching than their hardwood counterparts, so they may not be a good flooring choice for busy families. You will definitely need the name of a good Chicago floor refinishing company if you decide to go with softwood flooring!  However, since many softwoods have a fine, clean appearance, they could be good choices in rooms that will expect less foot traffic. Additionally, because softwoods are a faster growing, more prevalent form of timber, they often cost less than hardwoods.

Hardwood Flooring

Hardwood flooring comes predominately from deciduous trees like oak, maple and hickory. Hard wood floors come in a wide variety of colors and styles, and tend to have closed grains.  Because the hardwoods vary in appearance so much from one another, they offer homeowners a tremendous amount of options. True to their name, this flooring is more durable than softwoods and can hold up to considerably more wear and tear. However, the slow growing hardwoods are in greater demand, and are usually the more expensive choice when it comes to wood flooring.

There are considerable differences between hardwood and softwood flooring. As you begin discussing options with your hardwood floor installation company in the Chicago area, make sure you consider your current lifestyle and budget, so you can make the best flooring choice for yourself. Good luck!