Relative Stability of Selected Wood Flooring Species

The numbers in the chart reflect the dimensional change coefficient for the various species, measured as tangential shrink-percent. Tangential change values will normally reflect changes in plain sawn wood. Quarter sawn wood will usually be more dimensionally stable than plain sawn.

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

3 x .00129 = .00387 x 5 = .019 inches.

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

American Beech
True Hickory
Red Oak
White Oak
Hard Maple
Yellow Birch
Brazilian Cherry
White Ash
Black Walnut
Douglas Fir
Southern Yellow Pine
Heart Pine
Black Cherry
Santos Mahogany
Purple Heart
Australian Cypress

 More Stable ————————————————————————- Less Stable