Is alder a hardwood? Yes, alder is considered a hardwood – but only just. It is a hardwood at the soft end of the sprectrum. Alder hardwood is a star of American hardwood species. Of course, its applications vary depending upon the grading of the wood. It is relatively soft compared to other hardwood species.
Especially in the United States and Canada, alder is currently used for a variety of specialty interior products including mouldings, furniture cabinets and doors. But it is as alder floor products where this hardwood species really shines. Alder plank flooring can be sourced in multi length and widths (including wide plank), so it has you covered for all your plank flooring needs. Read on and get some background info if it is the right choice for you.
Alder A Much Sought After Option For Wood Floors
It is much sought after for hardwood flooring applications, especially knotty alder and red alder, which makes for a fantastic floor finish with its durability, unique grain pattern.
How does it stack up as a flooring choice compared to other options such as oak and maple? It’s all about the attributes and suitability of it for your specific flooring needs.
Where to Use Alder For Hardwood Flooring
Furniture manufacturers like Alder wood flooring highly because of its uniform color, texture, and elasticity, all of which make it one of the most popular woods on the market. the wood is a hardwood that is less dense than oak or maple but still a very durable choice.
Excellent Characteristics For Flooring
These characteristics make alder an excellent choice for those looking for beautiful hardwood floors. Alder is a relatively light wood and has moderate strength. It has a rustic, lived-in feel that is suitable for almost any setting for hardwood flooring. Due to its softer nature, high traffic areas such as foyers and hallways are not recommended for homes that do not wish to have a more lived-in look.
Avoid Areas Exposed To Water
As with any hardwood floor, alder floors should not be installed in any area that is frequently exposed to water such as bathrooms, kitchens, or mudrooms. The best locations for alder flooring include bedrooms, dens, and living rooms.
Alder Hardwood Care and Maintenance
Best For Low Traffic Areas
It is important to maintain the appearance of alder flooring as with all hardwood floors. Prevention is vital to keeping a hardwood floor looking beautiful. In areas that will receive high traffic, protection from furniture legs should be made with pads and runners. To optimally maintain alder flooring, it is best to trim animal nails so they don’t gouge the flooring, and it is necessary to remove heels from shoes before walking on the floor.
Sweep Regularly For Best Maintainance
Another factor to consider when caring for an alder hardwood floor is the finish that is applied. Different finishes require different care approaches. As with all hardwood floors, sweep the floor regularly and be sure to promptly clean any spills to prevent a stain from soaking into the wood.
Durability Of Alder Flooring
Ideal Janka Rating For Flooring
A hardwood floor’s durability is in part determined by its Janka rating. A good flooring option is somewhere in the middle since zero is the softest wood and 4000 is the hardest. Keep in mind that a rating of zero would be totally unacceptable due to being too soft and a rating of 4000 would be far too challenging to mill into flooring. A red alder’s Janka rating is 590, making it the most suitable and commonly used wood in flooring.
Has A Rugged Rustic Look
Hardwood flooring made of alder timber is therefore recommended for homes requiring a rugged surface. Although all precautions and maintenance guidelines need to be followed, floors made of this flooring will certainly show more wear and tear than floors made of hardwood that ranks higher on the Janka scale.
Workability Of Alder Hardwood Flooring
A variety of hardwood flooring can be made using alder, as the wood can easily be machined and turned. It can be nailed, screwed, or glued.
The wood can be sanded to a smooth grain and then finished as needed. Its smooth surface makes it easy to accept both stain and paint.
Versatile Staining Options
The color of the stain can be easily blended with mahogany, cherry, or walnut, allowing incorporation of stained alder into design schemes at a lower price but with a similar effect in things such as kitchen cabinets, general wood cabinets.
With alder, there is little to no degradation during the drying process, and its dimensional stability remains constant after drying. Lightweight and shock-resistant, the wood is a relatively soft hardwood with a medium density, low in stiffness with moderate impact resistance.
Frequently Asked Questions About Alder Wood Flooring
Is Alder a hardwood?
Alder is a hardwood but at the softwood end of the spectrum. It is often used for furniture and flooring. While it isn’t as hard or durable as many other woods, it does have its uses and some advantages to consider when using this type of wood.
Is Alder good for flooring?
Alder is a great wood for flooring, as it resists water and stains. Alder also has a tight grain that is resistant to splitting.
Is alder wood expensive?
A common misconception about this type of lumber is that they are more expensive than others such as oak or pine due to their rarity. However, this isn’t true at all actually, it’s quite the opposite! Alder boards typically cost less because they’re cheaper to produce and don’t have as many knots in them like some other types of woods do.
Is alder wood water resistant?
While alder is extremely resistant to rot when used underwater, it is very prone to decay when used above ground. Hence it is not water-resistant with typical use.
More About Alder – Botanical Name: Alnus
Alder wood is a popular choice for furniture frames, paneling, and other interior trim. Alder can be found in two varieties: red or white. Red alder trees are usually seen throughout the pacific northwest region of North America while white alders grow primarily in eastern North America.
In the Northern Hemisphere, Alder grows in areas between California and Alaska, as is best know in the pacific northwest. It is generally found between the states of Oregon and Washington. While there are numerous species of alder throughout the world, red alder is typically the species most commonly used in the woodworking industry today.
Domestic hardwood harvested in North America is relatively cheaper than imported exotic hardwood, and is referred to as domestic hardwood in the flooring industry. Different Alder varieties have varying shades of color ranging from white to pale rose. Red Alder tends to be a light tan to reddish brown and tends to darken and redden with age. There is no visible distinction between heartwood and sapwood.
Alder trees can mature between 25 and 40 years, but once they reach the age of 70, the quality of the tree declines. Trees reach an average length of ninety feet when fully mature.
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