We’ve covered traditional wood, but why not explore the wild side of hardwood flooring? Check out these awesome exotic wood flooring options.
Welcome back, in part one of this series, I introduced you to some domestic hardwood flooring options including birch and hickory, and explained the concept of wood hardness. Today, I want to talk about exotic hardwood flooring.
Exotic woods are known for their hardness, which makes them more durable and usually more expensive than your typical domestic woods. Because most exotic species rank higher on the hardness scale than domestic woods, they are a great idea for areas of your home that have more traffic, like the kitchen and dining room. In this guide, I will introduce you to 8 different types of exotic hardwood flooring (just a taste of the exotic wood flooring options out there). I hope you enjoy!
The first question you're probably asking yourself right about now is what are exotic woods and where can I find them? Exotic woods are simply wood species that are typically found outside of North America, namely Africa, South America, and Australia. Whenever someone refers to a wood as being exotic, it most likely means that it was not grown locally.
Southern Chestnut: Southern chestnut is a beautiful golden brown species of wood. It is similar in color to teak, but without the striping. Southern chestnut is uniform in color, ranging from “a tannish brown with golden highlights to a medium tan/chestnut brown.” This species of wood is native to Belize, Mexico, and Guatemala.
I love the appeal of southern chestnut hardwood flooring. There's simply something magical about it. Isn’t there? I love the variety of colors that hardwood floor designs provide and the innate beauty they add to a room. I think the designer of the interior above did an amazing job mixing modern elements with different aspects of nature. This is definitely a favorite of mine!
Brazilian Teak: Brazilian teak is one of those woods that can be used for flooring in any room in your home and still look beautiful. It is a hard, dense wood with a color that ranges from medium brown to dark reddish brown. Some darker pieces of Brazilian teak may exhibit black striping, which only adds to its exotic appeal. If you’re looking for a rich tan brown color (maybe for hardwood floors in the kitchen), then Brazilian teak flooring is the perfect choice for you. Brazilian teak is grown in Bolivia, Brazil, Costa Rica, and Peru.
The quality exotic flooring in the office above is not as glossy as the image of the southern chestnut hardwood flooring, but I find it quite appealing and a great combination with the room’s decor. Don’t you think it just looks pretty? It really helps make this room feel very earthy to me!
Acacia: Acacia is one of my favorite hardwood flooring options. The color varies from board to board adding a unique design element wherever it is used. Though this wood has many different shades, it can still be sleek, professional, and utterly beautiful. If I was to incorporate custom hardwood floors into my home I would choose acacia because of its superior appeal. This would be the ideal wood for the type of home I want. I would use wood floors in my kitchen and have my cabinets and stove in black and the rest of the decor in white. This would give me a monochromatic effect with a nice accent from the acacia hardwood flooring.
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Brazilian Pecan: Brazilian pecan is my favorite hardwood flooring of all time. I love the drama that it offers a room because of its contrasting colors. The mix of dark and light tones offers a creative and visually appealing effect. I like the artistic capabilities of this expert hardwood flooring option and how it can completely captivate a room. You have to be careful with such a dramatic flooring option as it might overshadow your decor. However, in this photo, the designer added many different layers to the room, but still kept it quite simplistic in nature. The image is mesmerizing.
Tigerwood: Tigerwood flooring gets its name from its tiger-like stripes. The wood has a dramatic, contrasting color scheme that many people find fascinating. Its heartwood is “typically a medium reddish brown with irregularly spaced streaks of dark brown to black.” You can totally see the tiger stripes within the wood! Over time, the color begins to darken and become more deep or robust. With natural luster and a fine, uniform texture, this superior hardwood flooring species is beautiful to design with. This wood species can be found from areas in Mexico southward to Brazil.
Tiete Rosewood: Tiete rosewood (or Andean cherry) is a pale pink to dark purplish red color. Over time, the original color will begin to redden. This wood’s grain is typically straight with bland patterning, which exhibits a uniform appearance and color. Tiete rosewood is an extremely dense wood, which can be difficult to work with, but its unique rose color will brighten any space. If I was able to pick a unique wood color, I might go with this one. It would just be fun to try to play with! This wood species can be found in Bolivia and Paraguay.
African Mahogany: African mahogany has a heartwood that is medium to dark brown and tends to have a stunning purple tint. The deep browns and purple undertones of this wood tend to darken as the wood gets older. African mahogany is the name designers and others have given this hardwood in order to mark its resemblance to mahogany, even though it is not "genuine mahogany." This wood species is native to West Africa. I love how bright it looks, and it really makes this space feel light and fun! Plus, the furniture choices here are perfect!
Brazilian Cherry (Jatoba): Brazilian cherry is known for its rich golden luster. It’s popular in the world of luxury and is ranked high for its quality. This wood species can be found in southern Mexico, Central America, and northern Brazil, Bolivia, and Peru. Brazilian cherry is not the same species as domestic cherry; it is simply named that due to similarities in its appearance. Brazilian cherry’s “heartwood varies from a light orangish brown to a darker reddish brown, sometimes with contrasting darker grayish brown streaks.” The color tends to darken upon exposure to light. I find that it turns into a gorgeous shade, and would be lovely in any home!
That about does it! Did you love these one-of-a-kind exotic hardwood floor patterns as much as we do? I hope you’re inspired to look for types of flooring that will add a fun and fresh twist to your home! If you are, let us know in the comments below. Also, don’t hesitate to share this post with other interior design lovers. Thanks for reading!
**Special thanks to the following websites for providing me with all the details I could have ever wanted on wood species: Wood Flooring International, Mirage Floors, and The Wood Database. Featured image via Ark Floors, Houzz, and Houzz.