Hardwood flooring seems to be on everyone’s wish list. Studies show that it continually tops the list of desires when homebuyers go shopping – this study found that 81 percent of buyers want hardwood flooring in the living areas.
But what if you’re not sure you want traditional hardwood? What if you don’t want what your neighbors have, and are looking for something different?
What are exotic hardwood floors?
Exotic hardwood floors are crafted from materials made from hardwood species not commonly found in the region where the flooring is being installed.
These species are often sourced from tropical or subtropical regions and have unique grain patterns, colors, and durability characteristics. Examples of exotic hardwood species include Brazilian cherry, teak, mahogany, and tigerwood.
Exotic hardwood floors are generally considered more luxurious and expensive than domestic hardwood floors due to their rarity and the cost of importing them. They are also highly prized for their durability, resistance to wear, and distinctive appearance.
However, it’s important to note that the environmental impact of sourcing exotic hardwoods can be a concern, and it’s important to purchase them from sustainable sources to minimize harm to the environment.
How are exotic hardwood floors different from traditional hardwood floors?
You want hardwood flooring. Yet you want something different. That’s usually how homeowners first come across exotic hardwood floors.
It gives you a chance to enjoy what you’ve come to love about traditional hardwood. Yet it gives you something more:
Hardwood species – Exotic hardwood floors are made from species not commonly found in the region where they are being installed. That means they take on different aesthetics than what is commonplace throughout our local area. Homeowners are drawn to exotic hardwood for its looks, but it can also bring varying durability factors with it.
Appearance – Exotic hardwoods have distinctive grain patterns, colors, and textures that are often more vibrant and exotic-looking than traditional hardwoods.
Durability – Exotic hardwoods are generally harder and more durable than traditional hardwoods, making them less susceptible to scratches and dents. For many homeowners, that can mean exotic hardwood flooring will last years longer than more traditional varieties.
Cost – Exotic hardwood floors are typically more expensive than traditional hardwood floors due to the cost of importing and the rarity of the wood.
Environmental impact – Exotic hardwoods are often sourced from tropical or subtropical regions, which can lead to concerns about deforestation and sustainability. Traditional hardwoods may be more readily available and easier to source sustainably.
Ultimately, the choice between exotic hardwood and traditional hardwood comes down to personal preference, budget, and environmental concerns.
Let’s talk about exotic hardwood floors and sustainability
You’ll find a lot of conversation over installing exotic hardwood around sustainability. Does it make sense to use more exotic hardwood when more traditional varieties are carefully grown in your local community?
There is a way to ensure both. If exotic hardwood tops your wish list, there are a few important factors to consider to ensure that you are making an informed and sustainable choice:
Species – Research the different exotic hardwood species available and choose a species known for being durable, stable, and suitable for your climate and environment.
Origin – Look for exotic hardwoods sourced from sustainably managed forests or plantations. Certification organizations such as the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) can help you identify sustainably sourced materials.
Harvesting practices – Choose a supplier that can provide information about the harvesting practices used to obtain the wood. Look for suppliers who use responsible forestry practices, such as selective harvesting rather than clear-cutting.
Transportation – Consider the carbon footprint of transporting the wood from its country of origin to your location. Look for suppliers who use environmentally friendly transportation methods, such as shipping by sea rather than air.
Maintenance – Choose a species that is low maintenance and will not require harsh chemicals or excessive water use for cleaning.
Also, choose a reputable supplier with a good sustainability and environmental responsibility track record. That’s where it pays to work with a local flooring company that can help you find the perfect flooring to suit your needs.
When choosing between exotic hardwood and traditional hardwood flooring, these are things to consider:
Are you ready to finalize your decision between exotic hardwood and traditional hardwood flooring? Here is the advice we offer to all of our clients:
Appearance – Exotic hardwoods are known for their distinctive grain patterns, colors, and textures, while traditional hardwoods may have a more classic or familiar look. Consider which type of flooring will best complement your decor and personal style.
Durability – Exotic hardwoods are often harder and more durable than traditional hardwoods, making them more resistant to scratches, dents, and other types of wear and tear. Consider the amount of foot traffic in the space where the flooring will be installed and choose a material that can withstand heavy use.
Cost – Exotic hardwood flooring is generally more expensive than traditional hardwood flooring due to its rarity and the cost of importing it. Consider your budget and whether the higher cost is worth it for the unique look and durability of the exotic hardwood.
Maintenance – Exotic hardwoods may require different care than traditional hardwoods, such as specialized cleaning products or finishes. Consider the maintenance requirements of the flooring and whether they fit with your lifestyle and preferences.
Choosing between exotic hardwood and traditional hardwood flooring depends on personal preference, budget, durability, and maintenance. Both types of flooring can be beautiful and aesthetically pleasing, so it’s crucial to weigh the pros and cons of each and choose the option that best meets your needs.