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Birch wood flooring is not as common a species as say oak or maple, but rather predominately a north-eastern species especially around the great lakes. It is sought after for its light creamy colours that fit well with country living and pine paneling. It has much softer colours than its hard maple cousin.
It is much easier to stain than maple, if you are trying to achieve rich dark colours on say stair treads or railings to match a dark mirage floor.
Dimensional Stability: Average, less stable then red oak but better than maple or beech.
Durability: Although the tech notes suggest it is stiff & dense, I have found from customer feedback that it dents more easily than red oak or maple in your daily environment. This maybe a function of the geographic variation in harvesting the wood... northern, slower grown wood will be denser than that harvested farther south.. so I'd guess it density varies with its harvesting location.
Janka Hardness Scale: 1260
(the higher the # the more dense)
Colour Variation: There are about 50 species of birch, with only a couple being harvested commercially. Wood can have a significant range of colours from pale straw colour to a deep reddish brown similar to cherry, often with a nice curly pattern, with greater colour variation in the lower grades of hardwood flooring. I do find it quite a pretty wood.
Colour change: Birch wood floors can show significant yellowing on exposure to strong lighting, but this is consistent with its natural colouring.. that being said, most flooring manufacturers do add a UV protectant to the finishes to retain original shading. It reacts quite similarly to white pine and often used as a matching hardwood to this type of interior paneling.
Denting: Dents and scratches are more frequent on Birch flooring, given its lower density. They are also more visible on the higher grades of birch floor that have more consistent straw colouring and limited grain pattern to disguise any imperfections.
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