Oak is one of the strongest and most often chosen woods. It provides a smooth, clean, surface finish. Walnut burl, while exceedingly expensive, offers a unique design that will elicit comments from everybody that views it. Pine, while softer than most other wood species, is a popular choice because of its depth and beauty, but it is less durable.
Other woods include Beech and Maple that both are light in color and often associated with contemporary homes. Elm, while harder to get, is a stunning floor material with a very unusual grain pattern. These are the most popular woods, but the list is nearly endless and includes many domestic and exotic species. The flooring material that you finally select will likely depend on where you live. Remember, too, that any hardwood species you choose can be obtained natural or pre-finished with a lustrous and durable surface coating of polyurethane at the factory.