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Tall Chi­nese grass is en­vi­ron­men­tally friendly; fea­tures dis­tinc­tive grain that shows the “nodes” of the stalks

PROS: A dis­tinc­tive mod­ern look, and it’s kind to the planet

CONS: Doesn’t sand well; very rigid, so sub­floor must be per­fectly flat DOU­GLAS FIR Pop­u­lar for its straight grain, the color varies be­tween brown and white on each board; great for rus­tic set­tings

PROS: Like pine, the look is per­fect for rus­tic homes, but typ­i­cally has straighter grain

CONS: Can lighten dra­mat­i­cally if ex­posed to sun­light HICK­ORY/PE­CAN Hick­ory and pe­can (typ­i­cally mixed by floor­ing man­u­fac­tur­ers) are hard­woods with wavy, ir­reg­u­lar grain and ma­jor color vari­a­tions

PROS: Wavy grain and color vari­a­tions look in­ter­est­ing in rus­tic homes

CONS: Hard­ness makes it dif­fi­cult to ma­chine and sand; nails can split the tongue-and-groove planks OAK

Clas­sic tra­di­tional wood with pro­nounced, wavy grain and a slight red tint

PROS: An el­e­gant wood that’s a nat­u­ral in log and tim­ber homes

CONS: Slightly pricier than its chief com­peti­tor, pine PINE

Per­fect for tra­di­tional log and tim­ber homes; di­verse enough for rus­tic or for­mal set­tings

PROS: In­ex­pen­sive; widely avail­able

CONS: Softer and easier to dent than many wood floors

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