American Hardwoods
Real American Hardwoods

For reasons of current fashion, custom or convention, many American Hardwood species are unexplored or under-used, despite their appeal and commercial functionality. But for three specifying professionals, hardwoods are the go-to material. Here are their thoughts and preferences.

  • “Years of doing taught me about hardwoods,” said Bernard Wharton, partner in the Norwalk, CT, firm Shop Reno Wharton Architecture. “It’s not about what’s trendy at the time, it’s about wood that not only looks good but is also really durable.”

“I like putting ash on floors. It accepts finishes well and, with its consistent grain, is incredibly handsome in its natural state.” But “Oak is the greatest. It has a pronounced grain and can be stained any color you want. And using oak is traditional, not trendy-like owning a pair of gray flannels.”

  • New York-based interior designer, Charles Pavarini III said, “I specify hardwoods according to what the outcome of my design projects is going to be. Sometimes I use hickory on floors, instead of maple or oak. Its graining is special, giving a completely different look.”
  • “I would say we use U.S. hardwood in every project,” Jane Frederick, of Frederick + Frederick Architects in Beaufort and Charleston, SC, said. “We choose cherry for flooring because of the color-a dark tone with a reddish tint. When we have clients who want really dark floors, we always choose black walnut for its subtle grain and rich tone.”

It’s no surprise that the functionality, durability and sheer beauty of hardwoods are making them the material of choice in all types of settings, from schools and workspaces to healthcare facilities and performance venues. Think fresh and consider the entire palette of American Hardwood species.


Species Guide



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