Beech, American – Total Wood Species Guide

PROS: I’ve seen this material in parquet as well as strip floor. It has a nice light brown to orangey-tan color. There are interesting color variations to beech flooring. It is as tough as nails. It’s a very stable and straight grained material that would hold up well in sports courts and for commercial uses. The grain is closed. It is a good substitute for maple and has a warmer appearance. It has very fine graining and a uniform texture. Its hardness is almost the same as red oak. It holds nails well. When it is exposed to sunlight, it doesn’t change color significantly. It is slightly harder than red oak. Beech floors wear evenly and retain their beautiful sheen as they wear. Because they wear evenly, these floors are suitable for high traffic areas.

CONS: If you insist on staining this wood you will find only the lighter dye stains will have any enhancing effects. This material has pores too small for a conventional pigment stain to be used. So hard, it’s difficult to sand. It does have a tendency to split and warp. Be careful when you are nailing this wood that it won’t split. Beech holds nails well. It is also susceptible to high shrinkage.

TREE FACTS: Awhile back beech was not a common wood. The reason being that it has a tendency to crack when it is air dried. Nowadays, beech is kiln dried. This drying process is much more successful and has made beech a popular floor covering. American beech is acclaimed to be the “Mother of the Forest” because of its highly nutritive humus. Beach has an ancient past. The Aryan tribes of Asia used the smooth, pliable bark of the beech tree to carve out messages. These carvings were cut out of the bark and left intact. They were referred to as “bok” which has evolved to become our modern-day “book”. The American beech tree grows throughout the eastern United States. It is grown for commercial use in the central and middle Atlantic states.