Birch is dramatic and unique. It is beautiful too. The look and feel of birch ranges from a yellow-tone to light red with brown hints so it’s a very versatile choice in wood flooring. If you’re thinking of using birch wood flooring for your home, keep reading to find out all about it.
Birch Hardwood Floors
Browse Birch Hardwood Floors
History of Birch Flooring
The use of birch trees in North America dates back to the Native Americans who used them for shafts for arrows and also to cover their canoe frames. They graced the floors of many historic New England houses. They hail from the Northeast and Lake States, typically. They are also found in Georgia and in the Appalachian Mountains. Sweet birch and yellow birch are the types most commonly used for wood flooring due to easy access and their durability.
Birch is considered a spiritual wood, symbolizing purification and thought to bring renewal. Birch trees are planted at the White House to honor the mothers of the U.S. presidents. Interestingly, the name “birch” means “a tree whose bark can be written upon”.
Pine wood flooring dates back to the early Colonial American days when it was used in wide-cut boards in the majority of the homes. Because of its beauty, durability, and availability, it was the most widely used wood.
Of all the varieties of pine, Heart Pine was most loved. The wood from the massive trees that grew in the South was used in plantation homes, private homes, and in public buildings as well. It was not only used for flooring but in furniture making too. Sadly, it was used up. It is practically impossible to find Heart Pine now but fortunately, the other varieties live on.
Benefits of Birch Wood Flooring
There are many positive aspects to using birch for wood flooring including:
- Strength: Birch is the ideal strength for use in flooring. Yellow birch rates 1260 on the Janka scale and sweet birch is 1470. Yellow is most commonly used and is just a tad harder than maple. Birch is soft enough to be relatively easy to work with yet hard enough to withstand all it is exposed to.
- Workability: Although birch isn’t easy to work with in the absence of hand tools, when you have access to tools, it is a very nice wood to work with. It has excellent machining qualities. It has dense texture and can take dark stain well if that is your intention. Birch also does well when nailed as it often is when used for flooring.
- Durability: Birch is an excellent choice for high traffic area. If you have pets or children, birch may be your best bet. It is moisture resistant so it is ideal for bathrooms, kitchens, and in homes that are near the lake, river, or ocean or are in humid geographical locations to an extent but it is not recommended for areas where it might encounter long-standing water situations.
- Aesthetics: Birch is great for most any room, no matter what the décor is because it goes with practically everything. There is a wide range in colors it will go with too since there are two color choices which have patterning in them for enhancement. It goes with modern decorating schemes as well as rustic and most everything in between.
- Sustainable: When you go with birch wood flooring, you can feel good about your choice. The trees grow freely and rampantly so the supply is constantly being replenished.
The Downside of Birch Wood Flooring
There are a few drawbacks to using birch wood flooring such as:
- Not Super Strong: Birch isn’t the strong of woods although it’s not the softest either. It can show dents if something heavy is dropped on it.
- Maintenance: You will want to keep your birch flooring in good condition with preventative maintenance as well as repairs. If it is let go, you may end up with expensive replacements.
What to Know Before You Purchase Birch Wood Flooring
Birch wood flooring is an investment worth doing right. It is best to get the best quality you can afford since birch flooring lasts decades.
Likewise, birch floors are worth investing in the instillation process too. It’s not the easiest wood to work with so hiring a professional to put it in is a wise idea.
Birch floors are rich and beautiful. Birch is one of the most versatile type of wood flooring and is sure to add the charm and functionality you are looking for.