Beyond Oak And Maple: Exotic Woods To Use As Flooring

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Beyond Oak And Maple: Exotic Woods To Use As Flooring

28 October 2022
, Blog

When you hear the term "hardwood floors," you probably imagine a floor made from either oak or maple. Indeed, these are really common woods used for flooring, and for good reason. They are both hard, straight-grained, and easy to mill into long, flat boards. However, they are not the only woods with these characteristics. If you would rather have a more unique wood floor, here are some more exotic woods that are well-suited to the job.


If you want a dramatic floor that nobody will be able to ignore, then tigerwood is a wise choice. This wood is named for the dramatic striping in its grain. The huge light and dark color variations make the wood really stand out. Tigerwood is mostly obtained from South America, so it has to be imported to the U.S. Therefore, it can come with a pretty high price tag. However, it is a really durable and moisture-resistant wood, so you'll get plenty of years of enjoyment for your money.


Kempas is an exotic hardwood that doesn't get as much attention as it deserves. It is very hard and therefore a great choice for flooring. Its grain is not overly dramatic like tigerwood, but it does have some speckles and spots that really stand out. Kempas is imported from Malaysia, but it's a rather abundant wood, which keeps the price manageable. Just be aware that it darkens with UV exposure, so you won't want to use it for flooring in a really sunny room.

Brazilian Walnut

Also known as ipe, Brazilian walnut is one of the hardest woods in the world. It will stand the test of time in a hallway or other high-traffic area. It has a medium-dark color, a bit lighter than walnut from North America. Its grain is straight and true, which makes for a very polished look. This would be a good wood to use for a luxury home.


Hailing from Brazil, jatoba is one of the better-known exotic hardwoods. It has a medium brown color with hints of red. Jatoba can easily be sanded down and refinished again and again, making it a long-lasting and versatile option for flooring. If you like the straight grain of cherry but want something with a bit more drama, jatoba is a great choice.

Consider these unique hardwoods for your flooring. With any of them, you can create a floor that makes everyone say "wow." 

For more information about custom wood flooring, contact a local company.