Hardwood vs Softwood – What’s the Difference?                                        

Choosing the right type of floor is important. You want something that’s going to look good, blend with the rest of your home or office, stand up to some wear and tear and is easy to maintain and clean. When choosing a timber floor, you are faced with a choice between softwood and hardwood. But what exactly is the difference between these two types of wooden floors? And what are the benefits and downsides to each? Read on to find out more!

Some Basic Biology

Before we get into the nitty-gritty of the topic, we need a quick biology lesson. Hardwood comes from trees that are known as angiosperms or flowering plants. Softwood, on the other hand, comes from trees that are called gymnosperms – which have no fruits or flowers and have seeds that form on the leaves or scales of the plant.                                                                                                                            

Types of hardwood trees include balsa, beech, maple, oak, walnut, teak and alder. Some examples of softwood trees are cedar, fir, juniper, pine, redwood and yew.

The Benefits of Hardwood Floors

Hardwood floors have a few benefits. Firstly, the timber is usually specifically harvested for flooring, ensuring a stable fit and a straightforward installation. Hardwood flooring is also very easy to clean and maintain, as they don’t accumulate much dirt, dust or debris. Just keep it vacuumed, mopped and dry and you’re set!

As a well finished and polished floor, hardwood is very aesthetically pleasing too. It is quite strong and durable, and will stand up to areas that have a lot of foot traffic. A quality hardwood floor in your Auckland property will also raise its value, should you ever consider selling.

Now let’s take a look at the other side of the equation.

The Benefits of Softwood Flooring

The first and most obvious point of difference in a softwood floor is that it costs less. For those looking to build or renovate on a budget, softwood flooring is an excellent way to save some money. Softwoods can also be treated to increase their hardness and durability. Softwoods are often lighter and can provide a more rustic appearance. They may be suitable for those choosing a more modern, lighter theme for their home décor.

The Verdict

If you are looking for a more traditional, authentic looking floor for your property that will stand up to high traffic and look amazing, then you should choose hardwood. However, if you are looking to save some money and are in a safer, low impact environment, softwood may be your best bet.


The Wooden Floor Company is your flooring specialist in Auckland. We’re happy to provide you with some more hints and tips on choosing the right floor for your needs. Please come on down to our showroom, or contact us over the phone to find out more!