Popular in modern homes, ash has distinct grains that come at competitive prices. Ash may require more maintenance than other popular hardwoods, but it makes up for that imperfection by its graceful look and its resilience—it’s an extremely hard wood. Ash comes in attractive light tones, takes light stains well, and comes in a range of grades. With the option for northern (cleaner) or southern Ash (more character). With smooth surfaces, ash absorbs stains unevenly compared to other hardwoods, and is resistant to dents and scratches.