Are you sitting in your San Diego home, perplexed by the multitude of choices of hardwood flooring? With so many varieties and brands, determining the best quality hardwood flooring can indeed be a confusing task. As homeowners, we all want the best for our homes — flooring that not only enhances the aesthetics but also stands the test of time. But where do you start?

With the importance of this investment, it’s critical to be armed with the right knowledge and support needed to unlock the highest quality in hardwood flooring. Whether you’re considering the classic oak, the robust maple, or the exotic Brazilian walnut, the key is understanding each type’s unique characteristics and benefits.

Here’s a quick snapshot for those in a hurry:

  • Best overall wood species for hardwood flooring: Oak
  • Best for high-traffic areas: Maple
  • Most durable: Brazilian Walnut (Ipe) with a Janka hardness rating of 3684
  • Eco-friendly option: Bamboo
  • Best grade of flooring: Prime grade flooring for a uniform, clean look
  • Best hardwood flooring brands: Sheoga, Mercier, Mullican, Mirage

Comparative Infographic of Wood Species - best quality hardwood flooring infographic pyramid-hierarchy-5-steps

Stay tuned as we delve deeper into this topic and help you unveil the secret to exceptional hardwood flooring in the subsequent sections. From understanding the different flooring types and species to deciphering the significance of hardwood flooring grade, we’ve got you covered!

Understanding Hardwood Flooring

Before we begin our journey to find the best quality hardwood flooring, it’s crucial to understand what hardwood flooring is and what it brings to your home.

What is Hardwood Flooring?

Hardwood flooring is a type of flooring made from the timber of hardwood trees like oak, maple, and hickory. Known for its durability, warmth, and timeless aesthetic, it can significantly enhance the appeal of any living space. The cost of hardwood flooring can vary, depending on the type of wood, its quality, and the complexity of the installation process. But don’t worry, we’re here to guide you through it all!

The Benefits of Hardwood Flooring

There’s a reason why hardwood flooring is a popular choice among homeowners. Here are a few key benefits:

  • Durability: Hardwood floors are renowned for their durability. With proper maintenance, they can last a lifetime—significantly longer than other types of flooring like carpet or vinyl.

  • Easy to Clean: Unlike carpet, which can harbor dirt, stains, and allergens, hardwood floors are easy to clean. They are a perfect choice for households with kids, pets, or allergy sufferers.

  • Aesthetic Appeal: The natural beauty of wood, along with the variety of colors, grains, and styles available, allows hardwood flooring to complement any interior décor.

  • Adds Value: Hardwood floors are a sought-after feature for many homebuyers. Installing hardwood flooring can boost your home’s resale value, making it a great long-term investment.

The Disadvantages of Hardwood Flooring

Like everything else, hardwood flooring has its downsides. They can be more expensive upfront compared to other flooring options. But remember, the longevity and value they add to your home make them a worthwhile investment in the long run.

Hardwood floors can also be susceptible to scratches and dents, especially in high-traffic areas. However, many hardwood floors can be refinished multiple times to restore their original beauty.

Lastly, hardwood flooring requires regular maintenance to keep it looking its best. But don’t let this deter you. With the right care, your hardwood floors can remain stunning and functional for decades.

In the next sections, we’ll explore the different types of hardwood flooring, the best wood species for flooring, and much more.

The Different Types of Hardwood Flooring

One of the first steps to finding the best quality hardwood flooring is understanding the different types of hardwood. Broadly, hardwood flooring is categorized into two types: solid hardwood flooring and engineered hardwood flooring. Each type has unique characteristics, benefits, and considerations, which can influence your final decision.

Solid Hardwood Flooring

Solid hardwood flooring is a timeless choice appreciated for its exceptional durability and classic beauty. It is made from a single piece of wood, typically about ¾ inch thick, and is available in a range of species, including oak, walnut, and cherry. Each plank exhibits unique grain patterns and colors, adding a touch of elegance to any room.

The major advantage of solid hardwood is its longevity. When well-maintained, this type of flooring can last for decades, making it a worthy investment. However, solid hardwood is generally more expensive than other types, and it may be more susceptible to changes in moisture and temperature.

Engineered Hardwood Flooring

Engineered hardwood flooring offers an economical alternative to solid hardwood, without compromising on aesthetics. It consists of a thin layer of hardwood veneer on top of several layers of other wood types. This structure enhances the stability of the flooring, making it less prone to warping from moisture and temperature fluctuations.

Engineered hardwood is perfect for areas such as basements and kitchens that are often exposed to these changes. Its layered construction allows it to be refinished a few times, extending its lifespan and enhancing its value for money.

Both types of hardwood flooring have their own set of advantages and can be a great choice depending on your specific needs and budget. At California Flooring and Design, we offer an extensive selection of both solid and engineered hardwood flooring, ensuring you find the perfect match for your home.

The best quality hardwood flooring is not just about the type but also about the species of wood, the finish, the installation, and, most importantly, the care it receives over the years.

The Best Species for Hardwood Flooring

When it comes to the best quality hardwood flooring, the species of wood you choose plays a crucial role in the overall durability, aesthetics, and cost. Below we explore some of the top choices for hardwood flooring.

Oak Hardwood Flooring

Oak Hardwood Flooring - best quality hardwood flooring

Oak is a classic choice for hardwood flooring due to its robustness and timeless beauty. Oak’s strong grain pattern is perfect for masking minor flooring mishaps like scratches and dents, making it a great option for high-traffic areas. Its natural color variation adds character to each plank, enhancing the overall aesthetics of your home. Red oak is especially popular, known for its warm, pinkish-red undertones.

Maple Hardwood Flooring

Maple Hardwood Flooring - best quality hardwood flooring

Maple is the perfect choice for contemporary and minimalist interiors because of its light, neutral color and straight, fine grain. Known for its remarkable durability, Maple hardwood flooring is tough, making it an ideal choice for high-traffic areas. Though slightly more expensive than Oak, Maple offers a reasonable price for its quality and durability.

Ash Hardwood Flooring

Ash Hardwood Flooring - best quality hardwood flooring

Ash is a domestic hardwood that offers a nice contrast to Oak and Maple. With a strong grain pattern and light to gray color tones, Ash hardwood flooring is a perfect match for those seeking something different. What’s more, it’s even harder than Oak, making it suitable for high-traffic areas.

Walnut Hardwood Flooring

Walnut Hardwood Flooring - best quality hardwood flooring

Walnut hardwood flooring is renowned for its rich, dark color and elegant grain pattern. It’s well-suited to bedrooms and formal living areas where foot traffic is minimal. However, Walnut is softer than some hardwoods, making it more prone to dings and scratches. Despite this, its opulent aesthetics make it an enticing choice for homeowners looking for a luxurious feel.

Cherry Hardwood Flooring

Cherry Hardwood Flooring - best quality hardwood flooring

Cherry hardwood flooring is often associated with luxury. Its rich, warm hues and smooth grain give it an elegant and sophisticated appeal. However, Cherry is a bit softer than other hardwoods, making it more prone to scratches and dents. Despite this, the luxurious charm of Cherry hardwood flooring is worth the investment.

At California Flooring & Design, we offer an extensive selection of these hardwood species, each with its unique allure and benefits. Our expert team is always ready to guide you in making the perfect choice that suits both your aesthetic preferences and budget.

The Importance of Hardwood Flooring Grade

Choosing the best quality hardwood flooring also involves understanding the significance of the wood’s grade. The grade of hardwood flooring refers to the quality of the wood, its appearance, and the number of natural characteristics present, such as knots, streaks, and color variations. Let’s delve into what hardwood flooring grade means and why it matters.

What is Hardwood Flooring Grade?

Hardwood flooring grade is a classification system that indicates the quality and appearance of the wood. It refers to the number of natural characteristics present in the wood, such as knots, mineral streaks, and color variations.

The grading system for hardwood flooring is generally divided into four main categories: Clear Grade, Select Grade, #1 Common Grade, and #2 Common Grade.

  • Clear Grade: This is the highest quality of hardwood flooring. It’s free from most imperfections, such as knots and streaks, offering a uniform color and appearance. This grade is often the most expensive due to its pristine quality and consistency.

  • Select Grade: This grade has slightly more natural characteristics than Clear Grade, with minimal color variations and small knots. It still provides a uniform appearance but with a bit more character.

  • #1 Common Grade: This grade has more color variations and knots, giving the flooring a more rustic and natural look. It’s less uniform than the Clear or Select grades but is often favored for its unique character.

  • #2 Common Grade: This is the lowest grade and features the most natural characteristics, including larger knots, streaks, and significant color variations. This grade offers the most rustic and natural look among all grades.

The Best Grade for Hardwood Flooring

The “best” grade of hardwood flooring largely depends on your personal preference and the look you want to achieve in your home. If you prefer a clean, uniform look, then Clear or Select grade could be the best choice. These grades offer minimal knots and color variations, providing a sleek and refined appearance.

However, if you desire a more natural or rustic look, then #1 or #2 Common Grade might be more suitable. These grades have more character, with knots and color variations that can add a unique charm to your home.

At California Flooring & Design, we understand that every homeowner has unique preferences and needs. That’s why we offer a wide range of hardwood flooring options, from Clear Grade to #2 Common Grade, ensuring that you find the perfect match for your home. The best quality hardwood flooring isn’t just about the hardness of the wood or the species you choose – the grade also plays a significant role in determining the overall quality and aesthetic of your flooring.

The Most Durable Hardwood Flooring Options

When you’re investing in hardwood floors, you’ll want to consider durability along with the aesthetics. The hardness of the wood species significantly influences its durability and longevity. But what are the most durable options when it comes to hardwood flooring? Let’s explore two of the toughest contenders in the hardwood world: Brazilian Walnut and Hickory.

Brazilian Walnut Hardwood Flooring

Also known as Ipe, Brazilian Walnut is often considered the hardest of the hard in hardwood flooring. Its impressive Janka rating of 3684 makes it an exceptionally durable material for hardwood flooring. This beautiful wood with a tight grain and dark hue adds a touch of sophistication to any room.

However, it’s important to note that its superior hardness comes with a higher price tag. Furthermore, sourcing can be a challenge as it’s considered a rare wood. Nonetheless, if durability and elegance are what you’re after, Brazilian Walnut is a clever choice for the best quality hardwood flooring.

Hickory Hardwood Flooring

Another durable and affordable option is Hickory. It’s a symbol of rustic charm and is one of the hardest domestic hardwoods available, boasting a high Janka hardness rating of 1820. Hickory is not only superior in durability, but it also offers a rich color variation, ranging from light to dark brown. This adds a distinctive charm to your home and can beautifully complement various interior design styles.

Despite its durability and beauty, Hickory remains a cost-effective option. So, if you are looking for a blend of strength, personality, and affordability, Hickory hardwood flooring could be your ideal choice.

In summary, both Brazilian Walnut and Hickory offer excellent durability options for hardwood flooring. Your choice will depend on your personal taste, budget, and the specific needs of your home. At California Flooring and Design, we offer a wide range of durable hardwood flooring options, and we’re always here to help you choose the best fit for your home.

Choosing the Right Hardwood Flooring for Your Home

Selecting the best quality hardwood flooring for your home involves more than just picking a wood species. It requires careful consideration of several factors including budget, type of hardwood, color or stain, texture, and sheen level. Let’s explore these factors in more detail.

Creating a Budget for Hardwood Flooring

First things first, you need to determine how much you’re willing to spend on your new hardwood flooring. Keep in mind that while the upfront cost might seem high, investing in high-quality hardwood flooring can actually save you money in the long run. This is because hardwood floors, especially those made from more durable wood species, can last for decades if properly maintained.

Selecting the Type of Hardwood

Next, you need to decide between solid and engineered hardwood. Solid hardwood is made from a single piece of wood and offers a classic, timeless look. However, it’s generally more expensive and less resistant to moisture compared to engineered hardwood. Engineered hardwood, on the other hand, is made from several layers of wood and offers better stability and resistance to humidity fluctuations. Your choice between these two types will depend on your personal preference, budget, and the conditions in your home.

Choosing the Wood Species

The species of wood you choose plays a significant role in the durability and appearance of your floor. Some of the most popular types include oak, maple, cherry, and walnut. Each species has its own unique characteristics, so consider which style best fits with the colours or style of your house, and which you like best. For instance, if you have heavy foot traffic, pets, or small kids, you might want to consider a harder type of wood such as hickory or maple.

Selecting a Wood Stain

The color of your hardwood floor can greatly affect the overall aesthetic of your home. Therefore, it’s important to choose a stain that complements your home’s style and decor. As Patrick Bewley, vice president of marketing at Duchateau Floors, suggests, start by selecting the colour range that you’re most attracted to. Bear in mind that your hardwood floor will be in every room, so choose a color that you’re comfortable with seeing every day.

Choosing the Texture

Texture refers to the surface finish of the hardwood floor. It can be smooth, brushed, or hand-scraped. Brushing is a great way to add texture and accentuate the natural look of hardwood. However, not all wood species can be easily brushed, so this is a factor to consider when choosing your wood species.

Selecting the Sheen Level

Finally, decide on the sheen level for your hardwood floor. This doesn’t affect the durability of the floor, but it can influence how much wear and tear is visible. For instance, a matte finish limits the visibility of scratches, scuffs, and dirt, while a high-gloss finish reflects more light, making the wear and tear more visible.

At California Flooring and Design, we’re committed to helping you make the best choices for your hardwood flooring. We offer a wide range of high-quality hardwood flooring options and our team of experts is always ready to guide you through the selection process.

The Best Hardwood Flooring Brands

When it comes to the best quality hardwood flooring, several brands stand out due to their exceptional quality, durability, and aesthetic appeal. Here, we’ve compiled a list of top hardwood flooring brands that we recommend and trust.


Purparket is well known for its premium engineered hardwood flooring. The brand offers an array of modern and stylish options, making it a favorite among homeowners seeking both quality and aesthetic appeal. Purparket’s products are well-liked for their innovative design and robust construction, which provide long-lasting durability.


Mercier is a leading brand recognized for its high-quality hardwood flooring. The brand’s flooring options are available in a variety of wood species, colors, and finishes, allowing you to find the perfect match for your home’s decor. Known for their attention to detail and commitment to quality, Mercier products are a solid choice when it comes to durability and beauty.


Lauzon is a renowned Canadian brand that specializes in producing high-quality, eco-friendly hardwood flooring. Their products come in a range of styles and finishes, and they are particularly praised for their innovative Pure Genius technology, which helps to purify indoor air.


Mirage is another top contender in the hardwood flooring industry. Known for its superior quality and wide range of options, Mirage offers both solid and engineered hardwood flooring in a variety of wood species, colors, and finishes. Their products are designed to meet high standards of durability and aesthetic appeal.


Preverco is a leading manufacturer of high-end hardwood flooring. Their products are well-regarded for their durability, beautiful design, and innovative features. With a wide range of options, Preverco offers something for every taste, from traditional to modern styles.


Torlys is a brand that stands out for its commitment to sustainability and innovation. They offer a wide range of hardwood flooring options, including solid and engineered wood. Known for their durability and stylish designs, Torlys’ products are a great choice for those seeking high-quality flooring that blends functionality and aesthetics.


Boen is a globally recognized brand known for its high-quality hardwood flooring. They offer a wide range of options in various wood species, colors, and finishes. Boen’s products are known for their durability, elegance, and the ability to withstand heavy foot traffic, making them an excellent choice for both residential and commercial spaces.

Choosing the right brand is crucial when investing in hardwood flooring. At California Flooring and Design, we are proud to offer a wide range of high-quality hardwood flooring options from these top brands. Our team of experts is always ready to guide you through the selection process to ensure you find the perfect match for your home. From the initial selection to professional installation, we’re committed to providing you with the best hardwood flooring experience.

The Importance of Professional Installation for Hardwood Flooring

Investing in the best quality hardwood flooring is just the first step in enhancing the aesthetic appeal and value of your home. The next crucial step is ensuring these beautiful hardwood floors are installed professionally. At California Flooring & Design, we cannot stress enough the significance of entrusting your hardwood floor installation to seasoned experts.

The Role of Expertise in Hardwood Floor Installation

A professional hardwood floor installer brings a wealth of experience and skills to the project. They are well-versed in the nuances of different types of hardwood flooring, and can guide you in choosing the best one for your needs. They also employ specific techniques required to install hardwood flooring correctly, ensuring a seamless fit and finish.

Choosing a professional for your hardwood floor installation also means that they’ll be equipped to handle any potential issues that might arise during the process. These could include uneven subfloors or complex room layouts. Their expertise not only guarantees a better final result but also minimizes the risk of damage to your new floors.

The Impact of Professional Installation on Longevity and Durability

Hardwood flooring is known for its longevity. When installed correctly, hardwood floors can last for generations. A professional installation ensures that your floors are properly acclimated, aligned, and secured, reducing the chances of future issues like buckling, gaps, or squeaks.

Moreover, professional installers can apply the appropriate finishes and treatments to protect your hardwood floors from damage and wear. This enhances the durability of your floors, ensuring they stay beautiful and functional for many years to come.

The Value of Time and Effort Saved

While DIY projects can be rewarding, they can also be time-consuming and stressful, especially when they involve intricate tasks like hardwood floor installation. Professional installers have the tools and experience to complete the job efficiently, saving you considerable time and effort.

Additionally, a professional installer takes care of the entire process from start to finish, including preparing the subfloor, laying the hardwood, applying the finish, and even cleaning up after the job. This comprehensive service provides you with the peace of mind to focus on other aspects of your home improvement project or simply enjoy your new floors without any hassle.

In conclusion, professional hardwood floor installation is a worthwhile investment that ensures the quality, longevity, and beauty of your floors. When you choose a trusted company like California Flooring & Design, you can be confident in the craftsmanship and durability of your new hardwood floors.


Choosing the best quality hardwood flooring for your home is not just about the aesthetics, but also about the longevity and value it brings. The secret to exceptional hardwood flooring lies not just in the material chosen but in the craftsmanship that goes into its installation.

When it comes to hardwood flooring, species like oak, maple, hickory, and cherry are great choices due to their durability and unique attributes. Paying attention to the grade of the hardwood is also crucial as the higher the grade, the fewer natural defects the wood has, and the more uniform the color.

Moreover, brands like Purparket, Mercier, Lauzon, Mirage, Preverco, Torlys, and Boen offer high-quality hardwood floors that stand the test of time. However, it’s equally important to remember that even the best quality hardwood flooring won’t reach its full potential without professional installation.

At California Flooring & Design, we understand the importance of both quality materials and expert installation. We value quality and offer a diverse range of options, providing excellent service throughout the installation process and beyond. Our 5-year guarantee on our flooring products gives you peace of mind knowing that your investment is protected.

In the end, the key to ultimate quality in hardwood flooring is a blend of the right materials, expert installation, and meticulous maintenance. Understanding that your floors are more than just a surface to walk on; they’re an integral part of your home’s character and value. Thank you for joining us on this journey; we look forward to helping you bring your vision for beautiful, high-quality hardwood floors to life.

The journey to exceptional hardwood flooring doesn’t have to be overwhelming. With the right information and a trusted partner like California Flooring & Design, you can navigate hardwood flooring with confidence and ease.

About California Flooring & Design

Whether you’re a first-time homeowner or a seasoned property investor, finding the best quality hardwood flooring is a significant investment. At California Flooring & Design, we’re committed to providing not just high-quality products but also exceptional customer service.

Our Commitment to Quality and Customer Satisfaction

As San Diego’s largest hardwood flooring provider, our commitment to quality and customer satisfaction is unmatched. We pride ourselves on our ability to offer a wide range of top-notch hardwood flooring options, from the classic elegance of oak to the exotic allure of Brazilian walnut, all sourced from the most reputable hardwood flooring brands.

Our dedication doesn’t stop at providing high-quality products. We understand that the installation process plays a crucial role in the longevity and durability of your hardwood floors. That’s why our team consists of trained professionals who adhere to the highest standards of craftsmanship.

But don’t just take our word for it. Our consistently high ratings and positive feedback from satisfied customers, like Larry H. and Peter C., are a testament to our commitment to providing first-rate flooring solutions.

Our 5-Year Guarantee on Hardwood Flooring Products

We understand that investing in hardwood flooring means investing in the beauty and value of your home. That’s why we offer a 5-year guarantee on all our hardwood flooring products. This guarantee provides you with the peace of mind that any issues related to the installation of flooring products will be addressed promptly and effectively.

By working with California Flooring & Design, you can rest easy knowing that your investment is protected. Our 5-year guarantee is a testament to our confidence in our products and services, ensuring that you can enjoy the beauty, durability, and versatility of your hardwood floors for years to come.

When quality and customer satisfaction are often compromised, California Flooring & Design stands out. We’re more than just a flooring company; we’re a team of dedicated professionals committed to helping our customers create the homes of their dreams.

California Flooring and Design - best quality hardwood flooring

For more information about our products and services, contact us for a FREE in-home estimate or explore our blog for more hardwood flooring inspiration and advice.