What is exotic hardwood flooring?
Exotic hardwood flooring is manufactured from the timber of trees from South America, Africa and Asia. Exotics usually have more color and grain variations than domestic hardwoods, and many varieties change color significantly over time. Most exotic hardwoods are extremely hard, which makes this flooring durable, but also difficult to work with. For this reason, exotic hardwood floors should be installed by an experienced professional.
Varieties of exotic hardwood
There are many species of exotic hardwoods that are used in flooring. Here are some basic details:
Brazilian Cherry, also called Jatoba, is one of the hardest exotic varieties. The reddish brown with black streak color variations are extreme and deepen with time.
Brazilian Walnut, also called Ipe, is harder than Brazilian Cherry. There is some moderate color variation from medium brown to deep chocolate brown. The grain is straight.
Bloodwood, as you might guess, has a vivid dark red color. The grain is fine with a straight or slightly interlocked pattern.
Amendoim, also called Brazilian Oak, is light to medium golden brown with slight red undertones. The grain has a slightly wavy pattern.
Tigerwood has a very distinctive appearance. This exotic wood is pale gold to medium brown with dark wide stripes that resemble tiger stripes. The color will darken some over time, but the stripes will still be quite pronounced.
Brazilian Hickory, also known as Macchiato Pecan, is another super hard wood. The colors are light and dark so there is distinct contrast in the overall look. The grain is a mix of irregular and straight patterns. While it is somewhat sensitive to light, the color stays more consistent than many other exotics.
Royal Mahogany has color ranging from medium to dark reddish brown. This wood is more uniform in color than many exotics.
Santos Mahogany, also known as Cabrueva, is a deeper reddish brown color than Royal Mahogany with some gold in the color. The grain pattern is very fine.
Purple Heart has a definite purple tone to the color of this exotic wood. Over time it will age to a deep purplish brown. The pattern of the grain varies.
Unfinished vs. prefinished hardwood flooring
Exotic hardwood flooring is available both unfinished and prefinished. Unfinished flooring will have to be sanded, stained and protective coated on site. Prefinished hardwood flooring comes from the factory with color and finish already on each board.
Unfinished flooring is less expensive and many people don’t mind the extra effort because you can get a custom color and finish. Finishing on site makes it easier to match existing flooring or other décor. Since the wood is sanded on site, any slight height irregularities caused by the subfloor can be compensated for when sanding. Unfinished flooring will also not have a micro bevel edge to it, like prefinished flooring does. Some people do not like the micro bevel either for its looks or because it can collect dirt in the little v-shaped groove where the boards meet. With unfinished flooring, wood filler can be added after installation to cover up any nail holes or minor cracks.
Since prefinished flooring has the finish applied at the factory, it is done so under optimal conditions. The finish on prefinished flooring usually has a longer guarantee and lasts longer than finish applied on site. Because the finish on prefinished flooring is adhered so well, if you wanted to change it, it has to be sanded down further. This means it cannot be refinished as many times as unfinished flooring can. Prefinished flooring is much easier and faster to install. There is no waiting for drying or curing and your room can be used again right away.
Whether you are looking for exotic hardwood or other flooring materials, the professionals at Gowdy Flooring can help with your project. If you have questions about our products and services, call us today at (806) 353-6226 or contact us via email on Contact Us. We welcome your visit to our showroom and office at 5205 S. Coulter St, in Amarillo, Texas.