If you’re in the market for new hardwood flooring, there are different wood species you can choose from. Ash is native to eastern and central North America and makes an excellent wood for flooring. In this article, I’ll cover more about ash wood flooring, its appearance, how to finish it, and its pros and cons.
Ash Wood Flooring Appearance
Ashwood flooring has a wide range of colors, from lighter creamy white to light hues of grey and brown. The ash wood grain is large and can be enhanced once stained with a darker color. The appearance of ash wood flooring is one of the most desirable qualities of this type of hardwood flooring.
As pointed out, the grain pattern of ash wood is fairly straight but also features gorgeous swirling. This gives the wood some character when used as flooring but does not give it too much attention. The grain pattern of Ashwood can be seen as a fusion of Oak and maple grain patterns.
Ash Wood Flooring Durability
With a Janka hardness rating of 1320, Ash is a good wood to use as wood flooring. It is slightly harder to dent, and scratch marks on the flooring will be less visible. The grain pattern also helps conceal surface imperfections on this hardwood flooring for a better appearance.
Because it is a moderate hardwood, ash wood flooring also has good shock resistance and elasticity. This makes the wood great for larger and smaller spaces alike.
Finishing Ash Hardwood Flooring
Ashwood flooring is loved for its lighter creamy, and natural colored hues. Most of the time, ash wood flooring is left in its natural state without staining or adding color. You’ll add a protective clear top coat, and you’re ready.
However, if you want to add some color, ash wood can be easily stained to different colors because it lacks tannins. Because ash wood is open-grained, you can achieve the best results with either penetrating or gel stains.
Ash Flooring vs. Oak Flooring
Ash hardwood flooring has a very similar appearance to oak hardwood flooring. Oak comes in two popular species: Red Oak and White Oak. The Janka hardness of white Oak is slightly higher than Ash at 1360 compared to 1320. Red Oak has a slightly lower Janka hardness, standing in at 1290. However, when used for flooring, all these woods can handle a good amount of traffic and are resistant to denting and scratches.
When it comes to durability, Ash is more elastic compared to Oak flooring, which makes it best for high traffic, and it can also absorb shocks. This is the reason why baseball bats are built from ash wood. While Oak is not as elastic as Ash, it is still durable hardwood flooring.
For finishing options, both white and red oak flooring can easily be stained with different colors. However, although Ash is also easily stainable, it is not common to see them stained. Most people choose ash hardwood flooring because of its lighter, neutral, and natural colors.
There is not much difference in the cost of ash and oak flooring. Their price range is roughly similar, and both are readily available. However, Red Oak is more affordable because it’s more available compared to Ash or white oak flooring.
Pros of Ash Wood Flooring
- It is a durable hardwood flooring – With a Janka hardness or 1320, ash wood is a durable hardwood flooring that can withstand dents and scratches with ease. Ash hardwood makes a common flooring here in the United States because of its durability, spanning several decades.
- It’s elastic – Because ash wood is elastic, it absorbs shocks and other forces better. Its elasticity also makes it better for absorbing echoes when installed in large, open spaces. The elastic nature also gives Ashwood a more comfortable underfoot than harder wood floorings.
- Light-colored hues and grain – The light-colored hues of ash wood are good and blend into a contemporary style. Once ash wood flooring is installed, you don’t need to stain it for a better color.
- It can easily be stained – If you want to add some color to your ash wood flooring, it is easy. The porous structure of ash wood helps it take a stain very well to enhance the grain pattern.
- It’s easy to work with – Although Ash hardwood is relatively dense, it is easier to work with. You can drive a nail, screw, or finish it hassle-free.
Cons of Ash Wood Flooring
- Not sustainable or Eco-friendly – Here in the United States, ash trees are endangered, which makes harvesting and using them for flooring unsustainable. That does not mean you should not buy your ash hardwood flooring. However, you can explore other hardwood floorings that are more sustainable for use.
- Not Resistant to Moths and Termites – Naturally, ash wood is not resistant to termites and moths compared to other types of flooring hardwoods. If you live in climates that encourage pests to flourish, you’ll have to treat your ash wood flooring to make it resistant.