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North American Basswood Flooring: A Unique Alternative

Posted on August 12, 2023


Discovering the Elegance of Basswood Flooring from North America

In the timeworn homes of Britain, many find solace in the rich, earthy tones of native oaks or the exotic allure of tropical hardwoods. But from the sprawling forests of North America comes a whisper of an alternative – the Tilia Americana. Spanning from the verdant expanses of Canada to the rugged terrains of the United States, this tree, more commonly known to the common merchant as basswood, carries tales and names as varied as the lands it inhabits – beetree, limetree, linden, linn.

When one envisions basswood laid beneath their feet, think of the pale embrace of morning light. The heartwood ranges from a pristine white reminiscent of untouched snow to a pale brown that, in certain light, teases with a near-pinkish hue. Its sapwood sings a similar song but seldom strays into the realm of rosy undertones. One cannot help but be charmed by its fine and straight grain, as though sketched by a masterful artist, and a texture smooth as the surface of a tranquil lake.

Yet, nature, in its vast wisdom, rarely grants perfection. Basswood, for all its visual elegance, has its vulnerabilities. Its vibrant colours, undoubtedly a siren’s call for many, sometimes stand overshadowed by its predisposition to the whims of wood-hungry organisms. Such is the balance of nature. However, with a protective embrace of a thorough finish, the wood can be shielded from these insatiable invaders.

Moreover, while basswood might whisper tales of North American forests, it lacks the hardy resilience of its oak cousins. Its Janka hardness rating is a testament to this, resting only a bit above 400. It’s a tender hardwood, wearing its experiences in the form of scratches. Yet, in every mark, there’s a story, and should one wish to erase the tales, the skilled hands of a floor-sanding artisan can restore its pristine nature.

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