When you hear the words “cherry tree,” what comes to mind? For some, it’s the beautiful hardwood cherry flooring that enlivens any home with a unique reddish hue.
Have you ever seen solid cherry flooring and longed for the luscious look for your own home?
Just as the cherry tree lends beauty to its natural surroundings, cherry flooring lends warmth and style to many home environments. If you’re planning to install new floors in your home, these helpful considerations for cherry flooring will get you started on the right path.
Cherry Flooring Choices Add Warmth to Any Room
As an inherently softer hardwood, American cherry wood is susceptible to marks, dents, and marring from chair legs, high heels, pet nails, and other sharp objects. The color will be fairly light when first installed but will dramatically darken over time, especially when exposed to sunlight. Those who want natural cherry wood floors typically enjoy watching the floor evolve and develop a “rustic” character.
As you may have guessed from its name, cherry wood is slightly more red in tone than other woods. A red-blond option is bright and crisp, while a reddish-brown lends a warm and cozy feel to a room; both versions complement a variety of decorating schemes.
Although not technically cherry, Brazilian cherry wood is also available. It features a deeper and redder tone than the American cherry, but it is still within the medium-tone range. As with American cherry wood, Brazilian cherry will darken over the course of several months. Other cherry tones tend to redden. Keep that in mind when comparing cherry wood options for your home.
Features of Cherry Wood
Cherry woods have a straight grain with a fine, uniform texture that is silky smooth, while the grain of Brazilian cherry resembles that of oak. It can also include small streaks of black or dark brown, as well as small flecks or gum pockets that are naturally occurring. These features add an interesting element to the overall look to help attract attention and break up any suggestion of blandness.
Pros and Cons of Cherry Flooring
Cherry flooring is a popular choice for homeowners and has been for several decades. DIY-ers often choose cherry hardwood planks because they are easy to install; you’ll find they are easy to nail and glue into place. Some of the pros of using cherry include:
- Available in your choice of prefinished or unfinished condition (looks good either way)
- Easy to clean for day-to-day traffic
- Easy to maintain over the long run with normal care
- Offers a smooth, even finish
- Easy to work with for do-it-yourselfers
If you choose unfinished cherry, you will still need to stain (if you wish), seal, and finish the flooring upon installation.
Some of the cons of cherry wood floors include:
- Dirt, grit, and pet toenails can easily scratch the surface; over time, you may see deeper scratches
- Fading can be an issue in direct sunlight (use window blinds or window treatments to prevent this)
- Excess moisture can warp and damage cherry flooring (we don’t necessarily recommend cherry flooring for basements, bathrooms, or laundry rooms)
Consider where you want to use the flooring and what kind of traffic the room sees. We recommend cherry hardwood floors in areas with light to medium traffic. You may also want to protect high-traffic areas with an area rug or runner.
Janka Ratings for Cherry Wood
Woods are rated for hardness using the Janka scale; the higher the number, the harder the wood. The American cherry tree is the softest cherry wood variety, which is one reason it is easy to work with. Here’s a look at the different types of cherry wood and their ratings:
- American cherry, 950
- African cherry, 1010
- Patagonian cherry, 2800
- Brazilian cherry, 2820
- Bolivian cherry, 3190
Harder cherry woods may be preferred for flooring because they are more difficult to scratch or dent. A dry or damp mop can be used for everyday cleaning, and ongoing maintenance should include periodic re-sealing, as you would do with any wood floor.
Cherry Flooring Available in Hardwood or Engineered Planks
The beauty of cherry flooring is available as solid hardwood or engineered planks. Both are real wood with all the benefits described above.
Engineered planks consist of a wood core similar to plywood and a hardwood veneer on top. The core adds strength to the overall plank and helps protect it from heat and moisture conditions that can cause large, solid wood planks to shrink, warp, split, and buckle.
Some homeowners choose engineered planks as an alternative to solid wood when they want the hardwood look in their finished basement or next to a heat source. Keep in mind that you’ll still need to control the heat and moisture.
Cherry wood is more expensive in price than other hardwoods, with similar installation costs, but the unique look and warmth of American cherry can offset the extra cost. If cost is a deciding factor, you can also consider laminate flooring that layers the look of cherry hardwood over a wood composite.
Preview Your New Floor Using Our Online Hardwood Wizard
If you’re considering cherry flooring, Harman Floors can help! Call us at 585-546-1221 with any questions or to request a free quote. Use our hardwood wizard to view your options and get a preview of the look of each type of flooring can add to your home.