There are many hardwood species to consider when starting a new flooring project in your East Bay home. Every type offers different style, color, and durability and it can be daunting to find which is the best for you. Floor Coverings International East Bay is here to help you narrow down your choices. Today we are looking at a popular hardwood for contemporary homes: birch.


East Bay Birch Hardwood A Snapshot of Birch

Birch floors have a beautiful color variation that comes from using both the sapwood and heartwood. The sapwood is characterized by creamy, golden hues that offer a very light profile to brighten up any room. The heartwood is normally a darker brown or red that creates a striking color contrast. The blend of the heartwood and sapwood is perfect for any home looking to make a statement with their hardwood flooring. However, if you have a modern home and want a more uniform look, it is possible to construct entire floors out of just the sapwood or heartwood. Birch also accepts stain very well and can be modified to match another color scheme you have in mind.

Which Birch Is Right For You?

On top of choosing heartwood or sapwood, there are three different birch variations to choose between. All three stay relatively close to the creamy and bright shades we discussed earlier, but vary drastically in durability. The durability of hardwood is measured on the Janka scale, which highlights how much pressure a specific species can withstand. Paper birch, the softest variety, has a score of 930. The most popular, yellow birch, feels very similar to oak or maple and scores a 1260. Finally, sweet birch, the hardest birch and one of the harder domestic species available, has a Janka score of 1470.

If you live in a busy household or have four-legged friends running around, we suggest choosing a harder variety of birch. The hardness will resist any superficial scratches and dings, and the light color will help mask any acquired damage. However, if you want more comfort for your joints or often spend a good amount of time on your feet, paper birch might be a better choice for you.


Birch is an affordable and versatile wood perfect for any home in the East Bay. Before you buy, it is best to look at the variety of colors and understand the difference in hardness before you commit to birch. Schedule a free consultation with our Floor Coverings International East Bay mobile showroom so we can bring samples straight to your door. Call us today!


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