Comparing Mesquite And Other Wood Species

There are many options when choosing what kind of hardwood floor you want for your home. One may wonder how to decide. Well, it all depends on what you’re looking for. Ultimately, you want to use what best suits your likes and needs. Faifer & Co. recommends mesquite wood for homeowners who value both beauty and durability.
There is no denying there are many types of wood floorings, highly recommended by a lot of experts. Some floors are made out of naturally strong wood that can withstand the test of time. Others are engineered wood floors that are made to be more resilient to humidity. Check out this article to find out more about solid or engineered hardwood.

In between, there is a whole range of wood flooring you would like to look at. In this instance, we will be covering hardwood floor species like Cherry, Walnut, Oak, Maple, Hickory, Bamboo and our favorite Mesquite. Here is a bigger, broader list you can take a look at!


Cherry has a fine, straight grain with red to pinkish hues. While American Cherry is more medium-toned, Brazilian Cherry is darker cherry-tone and, surprisingly, one of the few hardwoods that will darken with age. Brazilian Cherry is rigid and thus durable. Just like Mesquite wood, both scored above the 2000 Janka Hardness Scale.


Walnut colors range from chocolate brown to yellow. It has long straight to wavy grains. It typically coated with a clear finish to bring out the grains, which create depth. It’s usually associated with antique style furniture. While both, American Black Walnut and Brazilian Walnut species, are considerably strong in the Janka Hardness Scale, American Black Walnut it’s relatively softer at 1010 Janke Hardness scale than Brazilian Walnut and Mesquite. Brazilian Walnut is one of the hardest species with a 3680 rating!


White Oak, Red Oak, Tasmanian Oak. The most commonly used are either Red or White Oak. Red Oak has red/pink undertones while White Oak and Tasmanian Oak have yellow/ golden undertones. Since Oak is naturally light, they can be stained to the tone you’d prefer. Oak is grainy; Red Oak tends to have stronger graining than the smoother White Oak; they have tiger-stripe grain or water-like swirl patterns respectively. In the Janka Hardness Scale, the three are around the 1300s.


Rating 1450 on the Janka Hardness Scale, Hard Maple is considered very durable. Maple has a very light, creamy color with sometimes reddish or gold grain tint. Because of its light color, it takes well to color stains. It usually has a long soft grain but in rare instances, it can have different grain appearances like Bird’s Eye Maple.


Hickory has a very light, creamy color tinged with medium brown patches. It has long, brown, grain streaks with a couple of swirls. Hickory has a very strong rating 1820 on the Janka Hardness Scale. It’s shock resistant and it used on other things like sporting goods or fishing rods.


This new “green” alternative is being considered more nowaday. Bamboo is classified as grass. Since it matures in five years, bamboo sources are replenished much faster. If manufactured correctly, Bamboo floors can be as has as Oak floors. In-depth research is recommended if you’re choosing bamboo floors in order to purchase good quality and long lasting floors.


In contrast, Mesquite is among the strongest wood species, rating 2345 on the Janka Hardness Scale. This makes it a great contender against other woods for high-traffic areas and can withstand the test of time.Mesquite has reddish to brown colors with its sapwood being more yellow-toned. Mesquite will darken as it ages. It has straight to wavy grain, with knots or other irregularities which make Mesquite very unique and attractive. Honey Mesquite is native to North America while Black Mesquite is from the Gran Chaco region of South America. Black Mesquite is medium to chocolate brown and can be just as coarse and Honey Mesquite. There are many, many more species for flooring and you can explore them, here.In the end, it’s up to you but, if you’re looking for warming, red-toned floors that can withstand generations of family steps and is manufactured in the U.S. we will recommend Faifer & Co. Mesquite wood floors.



Mesquite Wood Stair Parts & Components

Mesquite wood displays rich character and color not found in other hardwoods. The handsome appearance, unparalleled strength and rustic Texas style complete a grand entrance for any stairway. Faifer and Company, Inc supplies a full range of artfully-crafted mesquite wood stair parts to complete simple and elaborate staircases of all varieties.

Faifer and Company’s mesquite wood selections are reclaimed pieces from Texas ranchlands, carefully chosen for their aged charm and inimitable detail. The individual pieces combine to create a striking impression and complementary Texas motif in your foyer, living room or basement. An extensive selection of sizes with nosings, risers and reducers allows you to create any staircase and fulfill your unique elevation, height and aesthetic requirements.

Browse the stair gallery to take a closer look at completed mesquite wood staircases. See the parts listed below to start building your staircase and contact Faifer and Company Inc. for distinctive wooden stair treads and risers in Texas.

Stair Gallery

Mesquite Nosings – 1 1/16″ x 3 ½” x Random Length – Mill Run

Mesquite Risers – 3/4″ x 8″ x Random Length – Mill Run

Mesquite Treads – 1 1/16″ x 12″ x Random Length – Mill Run

Mesquite Reducers – ½” x 3” x Random Length – Mill Run

Mesquite T-Moulding- ½” x 1 7/8” x Random Length – Mill Run

Mesquite Flooring Basic Installation

Concrete Sub‐floor Glue Down

  • Moisture test concrete sub‐floor.
  • Float floor flat to ¼” inch in an 8 foot radius
  • Using a 1/8”x¼”x¼” square notched trowel, spread adhesive over a 2 foot by 2 foot area. Install planks in adhesive and continue process until entire area is installed.
  • Roll floor with 50 lb. To 80 lb. roller to make sure adhesive makes good contact with flooring. Do not allow traffic for a minimum of 8 hours on floor or as recommended by Manufacturer of adhesive.
  • Let adhesive set up overnight before starting the sanding process.
  • Sand with 60 grit paper to flatten.
  • Apply Filler (Wood Flour with floor sawdust mix) or you can use cherry or black walnut wood fill to fill cracks. If filling large cracks and knots you can use System Three epoxy for a more natural appearance.
  • Sand with 80 grit to flatten filler, finish with 120 grit.
  • Seal floor with floor polyurethane such as Dura Seal, Waterlox or Tung Oil per manufactures recommendations

Hardwood Flooring Grade Description

Strip Wood Flooring

#1 and Better

Will have clear and possibly small knots, checks and other natural defects allowed, along with the natural varying color of the wood. Sapwood is not allowed on finished surfaces. Lengths vary from 9 inches to 48 inches with tongue and groove. Ends are square cut. On average the lengths will vary between 16″ – 22″.

Mill Run

Will have semi clear, small to large knots, checks and other natural defects allowed, along with the natural varying color of the wood. Sapwood is not allowed on finished surfaces. Lengths vary from 9 inches to 48 inches with tongue and groove. Ends are square cut. On average the lengths will vary between 16″ – 22″.

End Grain Flooring

Wood Blocks – Only one grade available.  Knots, checks and other natural defects are allowed. Partly filled with black epoxy.  Width is 3 inches and lengths from 2 inches to 5 inches.

Products are 1/2 inch in thickness.
All material is of 100% South Texas origin.

Mesquite Wood Flooring Hardness & Stability

Relative Hardness of Selected Wood Flooring Species

The Janka (or side) hardness test measures the force required to embed a .444 – inch steel wall to half its diameter in wood. It is one of the best measurements of the ability of a wood species to withstand denting and wear. By the same token, it is also a good indicator of how hard or easy a species is to saw or nail. Northern Red Oak, for example, has a Janka hardness rating of 1290. Brazilian Cherry, with a rating of 2350, is nearly twice as hard. If you’re accustomed to working with Red Oak and decide to tackle a job with Brazilian Cherry, you can expect it to be much harder to cut and nail.

Wood Species Rating
Ipe 3680
Brazilian Teak 3540
Brazilian Cherry (jatoba) 2820
Live Oak 2680
Purpleheart 2520
Spotted Gum 2473
Mesquite 2345
Santos Mahogany 2200
Sydney Blue Gum 2023
Merbau 1925
Jarrah 1910
Hickory/Pecan 1820
Padauk 1725
Wenge 1630
Brazilian Maple 1500
Sapele 1500
Hard Maple 1450
Australian Cypress 1375
White Oak 1360
Tasmanian Oak 1350
White Ash 1320
Beech 1300
Red Oak (Northern) 1290
Birch 1260
Iroko 1260
Antique Heart Pine 1225
Thai/Burmese Teak 1078
American Black Walnut 1010
Black Cherry 950
Southern Yellow Pine (Longleaf) 870
Southern Yellow Pine (Loblolly & Shortleaf) 690
Douglas Fir 660

.Source: Hardness ratings for most species taken from Wood Handbook: Wood as an Engineering Material (Agriculture Handbook 72, Forest Product Laboratory, Forest Service U.S. Department of Agriculture; revised 1987). Except for Australian Cypress, Wenge, African Padauk, Merbau and Santos Mahogany, which were provided by International Hardwood Flooring; Heart Pine by Mountain Lumber and Mesquite by Mesquite Products of Texas.

Douglas Fir rating is an average of ratings for coast, Interior West and Interior North species.

Relative Stability of Selected Wood Flooring Species

(Ranked by percentage of tangential shrinkage from green to oven-dry moisture content)

The numbers in the chart reflect the dimensional change coefficient for the various species, measured as tangential shrinkage or swelling within normal moisture content limits of 6 – 14 percent. Tangential change values will normally reflect changes in plainsawn wood. Quartersawn wood will usually be more dimensionally stable than plainsawn.

The dimensional change coefficient can be used to calculate expected shrinkage or swelling. Simply multiply the change in moisture content by the change coefficient, than multiply by the width of the board.

Example: A mesquite (change coefficient – .00129) board 5 inches wide experiences a moisture content change from 6 to 9 percent – a change of 3 percentage points.

(Calculation: 3 x .00129 = .00387 x 5 = .019 inches).

In actual practice, however, change would be diminished in a complete floor, as the boards’ proximity to each other tends to restrain movement. The chart is best used for comparison.

* Although some tropical woods such as Australian Cypress, Brazilian Cherry, Merbau and Wenge appear in this chart to have excellent moisture stability compared to domestic oak, actual installations of many of these woods have demonstrated significant movement in use. To avoid problems later, extra care should be taken to inform potential users of these tendencies prior to purchase.

Wood Species Rating
Beech 11.9
Jarrah 11.0
White Oak 10.5
Hard Maple 9.9
Yellow Birch 9.5
Hickory/Pecan 8.9
Brazilian Maple 8.8
Northern Red Oak 8.6
Brazilian Cherry (jatoba) 8.5
Bubinga 8.4
Brazilian Walnut (Ipe) 8.0
White Ash 7.8
American Black Walnut 7.8
Brazilian Teak 7.6
Southern Yellow Pine 7.5
Sapele 7.4
Douglas Fir 7.3
Black Cherry 7.1
Santos Mahogany 6.2
Purpleheart 6.1
Thai/Burmese Teak 5.8
Wenge 5.8
Padauk 5.2
Merbau 4.6
Iroko 3.8
Mesquite 3.2
Australian Cypress 2.8

.Source: stability ratings taken from Wood Handbook: Wood as an Engineering Material (Agriculture Handbook 72, Forest Products Laboratory, Forest Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture; revised 1987).