White, light, and pale are the chicest tones available in hardwood flooring these days. These light hued floors look fresh and modern and fit well with most contemporary décor. The pale color of light hardwoods makes a room feel larger, airier and more open, rather than dark and restricted. Here at Floor Coverings International of Hillsborough, knowing all about hardwood flooring is our business. That’s why we’ve looked into the wood species that best suit this interior design trend. If you’re looking to go for modern, pale hardwood floors, these are the wood species to look at.

White Ash

The botanical name of White Ash is Fraxinus Americana, and this patriotic name differentiates it from its relatives Blue Ash, Green Ash, and Oregon Ash. White Ash grows primarily in the Eastern United States and is often use in the making of baseball bats and other sporting goods. White Ash has a Janka rating of 1320, making it slightly harder and more durable than the industry standard of Red Oak at 1290. This makes White Ash an ideal wood for flooring, as its strength to weight relationship is excellent. The heartwood of White Ash tends to be more of a light brown, while the sapwood contains the desirable light beige tones.


Bamboo is not technically a hardwood like the other species on this list. In fact, bamboo is actually a grass, which is then stranded and fused together to form hardwood planks. The tone of bamboo is naturally pale and almost white. Some bamboo is carbonized for deeper colors, but this tends to weaken the boards, so bamboo is ideally suited for those pursuing the pale simplicity of lightly toned floors.

White Oak

White Oak is different from its sibling Red Oak, which is the most commonly used flooring species in North America. So common in fact, that most other hardwood species compare all of their qualities to those of red oak. Despite it’s popularity though, Red Oak tends to be less durable and resistant to rot than White Oak, which has a Janka rating of 1350 and is rot resistant enough that it is commonly used in boat building. Furthermore, in comparison to Red Oak’s cozy warm tones, White Oak features pale brown and nearly white sapwood, making it a more sophisticated and stylish choice than its softer sibling.


Beech, both the American and European varieties, tends to come in shades of pale cream, with pink and brown overtones. With a Janka rating of 1300, it is just another wood species on this list whose durability is above the industry standard. Beech is an affordable hardwood that is often underappreciated, as some consider its minimal look to be bland. If you’re looking for a modern pale hardwood flooring, Beech will get you the best floor for your money. Beech is also commonly used in the construction of musical instruments.

For more information on hardwood flooring, contact Floor Coverings International of Hillsborough, Flemington, and Princeton, NJ today!