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North American hardwood flooring options: basswood

Posted on February 22nd, 2012 In: Articles, Floor Sanding Services Articles

Although many British households prefer to stick to native hardwood flooring species such as oak or opt for exotic tropical hardwoods, another possibility is to consider the unusual types of wood that hail from North America.  One example of such a wood is Tilia Americana, which grows in both Canada and the United States.  Widely marketed as basswood, this species has several other trade names including beetree, limetree, linden and linn.

Basswood is one of the paler options for hardwood flooring.  The heartwood of this species varies from an unvariegated white shade to a very pale brown that can exhibit a hue that is almost pink.  The sapwood offers similar colours, though it tends not to stray into shades of pinkish brown.  The grain of basswood planks tends to be very fine and straight, and the texture of basswood is similarly fine and smooth.

Disadvantages of basswood

Although the lovely colour range is one of basswood’s strongest selling points, some homeowners shy away from this species because it is somewhat susceptible to decay caused by organisms that attack wood and feed on it.  This drawback can be minimised through thorough finishing, which can prevent attack organisms from reaching the wood layer.

Basswood also has a fairly low Janka harness rating; it scores barely above 400, which is only a third of the rating that many kinds of oak can boast.  This makes basswood a soft hardwood that will scratch easily.  Any scratches, of course, can be eliminated by contacting a floor sanding services firm.

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