Exotic hardwood flooring has become a fashionable design trend accelerating in popularity over the years, as species such as the distinctively striped Tigerwood and the warm and elegant Brazilian Teak become modern alternatives to traditional North American-based species.
Imported from countries such as Brazil, Africa, and Australia, these exotic hardwood options offer a unique personality for your home – not to mention they’re a great way to showcase your elegant home décor!
Over the past couple decades, the exotic hardwood market has grown dramatically, as more and more people make the transition from carpet to more natural styles – also providing the option for a more hypoallergenic lifestyle. After all, wood can be cleaned more easily and will not harbor allergens.
These sleek and vibrant woods even offer commercial appeal, as Banana Republic stores across the country have been furnishing Australian-native hardwoods for the past two decades.
Differentiating from Domestic Hardwoods
There is a variety of types and sources of exotic hardwoods, as different species originate from all over the world and from a growing number of manufacturers.
One relatively common characteristic of exotic wood species is hardness. Aren’t all hardwoods hard? Not necessarily. Species such as Ipe, Teak, Mahogany, and the majority of other exotic species are significantly harder than traditional domestic hardwoods, providing a more durable option for high-traffic and pet-friendly homes.
Exotics tend to combine rich, pronounced grains with vibrant and more dramatic colorations. Species like Tigerwood and Brazilian Pecan, for example, can display night-and-day contrasts between color tones, from deep-brown to light-tan colors, all on the same board. These options provide your home with an upscale, contemporary feeling that contrasts the traditional presentation of domestic wood flooring.
Brazil is the home of some of the most popular exotic hardwood species, as the country has diverse ecosystems and broad geographical landscapes that offer the manufacturing industry an array of resources.
One of the more popular Brazilian wood species is Jatoba (commonly known as Brazilian Cherry), which exhibits salmon red to orange-brown tones that exude a vibrant and colorful luster.
Cumaru (Brazilian Teak) is a highly dense wood containing mostly yellowish to medium brown tones, but also comprising red and chocolate colorations. Other popular Brazilian hardwoods include Tigerwood, Ipe (Brazilian Walnut) and Amendoim (Brazilian Oak).
Other Exotic Species
- Sapele: An African species much similar to Mahogany, harboring reddish- and sometimes purplish-brown colors.
- Wenge: An espresso-colored African species containing deep brown colors with black streaks, almost resembling ebony.
- Australian Gum: Nicknamed Sydney Blue Gum, this Australian species contains a vivid complexion of reddish colors, from pinks to light browns to burgundy reds.
- Acacia: One of the hardest wood options available, this species has unique swirling grain patterns and extraordinary color variations including a dynamic blend of medium to dark brown, tinged with vibrant reddish oranges and light yellows.
Invest Your Time in Research
The source of exotic hardwoods can control price, quality, and availability. Naturally, choosing a flooring option that is harvested and manufactured outside of the United States can translate into a more costly project, due to steeper transportation costs, added border duties, and less-consistent supply and demand patterns.
So keep in mind your tastes and budget when considering your hardwood flooring options. Just Around the Corner is here to help. We have several hardwood brands that provide you a range of exotic options, including Somerset’s boisterous Rustic Mountain Acacia and Mannington’s deep-toned Mayan Pecan.
Contact one of our professional flooring representatives today!