What Are The Most Popular Exotic Species?

Hardwood flooring has become increasingly popular in North America. Because of its popularity, something has happened: homeowners are on the hunt for the most unique hardwood options. In order to stay ahead of the Joneses, many Americans have turned their attention to exotic hardwoods. In regards to unique appearance and practicality, here are some of the most popular exotic hardwoods sold in North America.

Santos Mahogany – This exotic hardwood hails from Southern Mexico as well as Central and Southern America. Santos mahogany has a fair degree of color variance and ranges in color from light golden brown all the way to dark purple and sometimes even burgundy. Fun fact: Santos mahogany is not actually a mahogany at all. It was given its name in a marketing ploy even though the species is much denser and stronger than true mahogany. Santos mahogany is popular not only because of its rich color variation and interlocked grain pattern but also because it is incredibly durable and resistant to denting and scratching.

Tigerwood – This flooring species was given its name because of its uncanny tiger-like appearance. Dark orange in color and striped with interlocked veins, this hardwood is the most exotic and unique looking of them all. Tigerwood is a Brazilian wood that is incredibly dense and strong. In fact, tigerwood is stronger than oak and prized for its durability. Although tigerwood is strong, it does have one weakness: it is no match for sunlight. Some homeowners like tigerwood because of its tendency to deepen in color when exposed to sunlight, and yet others find this quality an inconvenience. When tigerwood is installed outdoors, it deepens in color uniformly; however, when installed indoors near a window, only the part that is exposed to direct sunlight will darken. Even with it reacts to sunlight, tigerwood is one of the most durable and exotic looking hardwoods on the market.

Brazilian Oak – Naturally grown in South America and parts of Brazil, Brazilian oak, also known as Tauari, has a hardness and density very close to that of beech. Brazilian oak is tan in color and has very few imperfections in the wood. Most Brazilian oak is marked high on the grade scale because of its visual appeal. Brazilian oak is popular because it resists denting and traffic wear very well while at the same time being softer than most South American hardwoods. Its softer characteristics make it easy to cut, shape, and install.


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