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Exotic Hardwood Flooring Ideas for Your Home

Featured image for "Exotic Hardwood Flooring Ideas for Your Home" blog post. Dark hardwood flooring.

A beautiful variety of floor planning for your idea of ideal maintenance!

Looking to replace that dull and boring looking floor with some exotic hardwood ideas for your home? Does your floor need some serious remodeling or repairing that you’ve been putting off for a while? Need a better floor that suits your needs, whether it’s the need for something more durable, trendy, or beautiful?

If you are thinking of remodeling your home, one of the biggest questions you might be asking yourself is what type of flooring should you use. There are tons of factors to keep in mind when looking. Sustainability, maintenance, value, design, and what foreign elements it can resist are just a few factors in finding the perfect flooring material for your home.

While there are many traditional wood floorings on the market, perhaps you have a taste for finer, less common interior design aesthetics. In this blog, we will be covering various exotic hardwood ideas for your home that will turn your house into a one-of-a-kind work of art.

What is Exotic Hardwood Flooring?

Exotic flooring is a term given to wood flooring options that have been sourced from somewhere other than North America. What sets these types of flooring apart from American flooring other than its region of origin is that these exotic hardwood ideas for your home are often more durable and uniquely colored than their fellow American competitors.

They also tend to be more costly, due to their natural beauty and impossible-to-mimic colorations that other more common woods cannot be stained to look like. Choosing wood that has been responsibly sourced is imperative to conserving the deforestation that can take place in obtaining wood from sources such as North American logging companies.

Types of Flooring

There are many options to choose from when it comes to finding perfect, exotic hardwood ideas for your home. There are so many factors to consider such as the price, durability, quality, appearance, and how in style the particular kind of flooring is at the moment. This section will discuss some great options that will be sure to beautify any living space.

Exotic hardwood flooring.
Bedroom with exotic hardwood flooring.

Brazilian Cherry Hardwood Flooring

Despite this flooring’s name, Brazilian cherry wood does not come from cherry trees. Nor does it come solely from Brazil. Also found in Peru and Mexico, this wood gets its name from the vibrant, red hues. Brazilian cherry which is also sometimes known as Jatoba is a popular choice of flooring believe it or not as it is able to warm up any of your rooms.

This flooring will create a reddish hue for itself in less than a year. What makes this type of exotic hardwood ideas for your home the most imported flooring in the United States is the versatility that it has, the density, and the hardness of the material.

It’s so hard, it has been ranked at a higher hardness level than red oak. That and the four-sided tongue and groove on the sides for easy installation make it a desirable option out of the other exotic hardwood ideas for your home. Since it is ranging from yellowish to reddish-brown upon being milled, and sensitive to light, it holds the ability to be the ideal type of flooring to brighten your house.

Brazilian cherry flooring ages into an attractive fiery red color that will be the showcase of any home. With the color, its added durability, and popularity, it is a practical yet classy investment, but that’s only one of the many exotic hardwood ideas for your home.

Brazilian Walnut Flooring

If you plan on putting your floors to good use, then Brazilian walnut should definitely be on your list of floors to choose from. As one of the most durable exotic hardwood ideas for your home, this flooring option will not get damaged easily and is therefore perfect for those who expect lots of heavy traffic on their floors.

That’s right, with a high score of at least 3500 on the Janka hardness test, this is one of the hardest woods on the earth making it more resistant to damage. This is due to its immense density making it less likely for dents and scratches from everyday traffic to appear. This flooring is dark brown, with a more subtle variation than many of the other exotic hardwood ideas for your home covered in this blog post.

It is resistant to a variety of outside factors that makes this option denser. Well oiled Brazilian walnut floors are sure enough to keep away moisture making it resistant to mold. Insects won’t be a problem with this grade of wood. This is because the oils make it resistant to any bugs that could eat it away, from termites, mites, and even spores, thus making it last longer.

If you want the perfect wood for refinishing then this kind of wood has refinishing and refurbishing properties that’ll help it last for decades with the ability to be refinished dozens of times. Brazilian walnut flooring can be installed over a heating system due to the fact that it is resistant to fire, having the same resistance as steel and concrete.

However, these amazing qualities make it one of the most expensive, exotic hardwood ideas for your home on the market. But have no fear, for the next flooring option is always here.

Walnut floor.
Walnut flooring is a strong and long-lasting flooring option for homeowners.

Teak Flooring

Originally found in Southeast Asia, teak wood can initially range from light yellow to reddish-brown. Along with its warm amber appearance, it also has a grain and straight pattern making it suitable for traditional decorative looks.

It maintains a lasting shine. Thanks to the naturally rich oils it ages like wine, as it turns into a golden brown that acquires intricate, dark brown streaks and hues all without artificial oils or treatments. Since this wood has to be imported from such a distance, it can be more costly than the other exotic hardwood ideas for your home.

Teak wood is also softer than many of the other options covered in this blog, so purchasing engineered teak floors will increase its durability. When engineered, it is also ranked as one of the hardest kinds of wood resisting scratches, dents, and damage that regularly occurs in the typical room. The natural oils also help it stand against moisture making it unlikely to be damaged by water, with enough sealer that will repel many insects that try to destroy the floor.

It also perseveres against drying and cracking, not only making the shine lasts for years but assuring that there won’t be any splinters that’ll need to be sanded down. This wood has many varieties, however, and the quality of your purchase ultimately determines the durability and cost because it takes 40 to 60 years to harvest at the very least and 120 years at the most to mature. With that and the fact that it’s very hard to install, it has led to illegal trading because of how in high demand it is.

Acacia wood flooring

With more than 1300 species, acacia wood offers an enormous variety in its coloration. A trending choice with designers and homeowners alike, Acacia wood gives a unique texture that makes any floor look appealing. Just like the previous types of exotic hardwood ideas for your home mentioned, to add to the appeal, Acacia wood flooring is easy to maintain with the natural wax that coats the flooring.

Dust may be a problem which is why you can use the Champion Old Fashioned Dust Mop to attract then subtract dust with its electromagnetic strands that can be reused without the need for a refill. With this, you can say goodbye to the use of toxic chemicals and hello to a high-quality cleaning tool that can get hard to reach places with its wedge design.

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With all these reasons and the fact that it can be used to clean ceilings and walls, it’s no wonder why customers have given this mop an overwhelming amount of positive reviews.

Acacia is a hardwood that can range from warm tans to deep browns, with golden undertones that darken as it ages.  You can pick from a vast collection of colors available to you. In terms of hardness, this wood is very durable. It is packed in the durability department, and will hold up for 50 to 100 years, withstanding the brutal wear of time and many feet. Blackwood flooring is one type of acacia worth mentioning.

It comes from Australia and parts of Africa and is one of the most fire-resistant wood floorings available. If you’re interested in being eco-friendly and saving the Earth a little, then acacia is just for you since it grows quickly, is managed well, and is recyclable. It adds personality to any of your rooms and is well worth the price.

Tigerwood Flooring

Looking for unbelievably unique and exotic hardwood flooring ideas for your home? This flooring is exactly that. True to its name in how its burls and colorations look much like that of a tiger’s pelt, tigerwood floors offer eclectic and stunning visuals to a living space. It has a red to brown color tone with a dash of black stripes. This thick wood is found in Central and South American tropical forests.

With grains that contrast greatly from dark brown to honey-colored orange, tigerwood is the perfect embodiment of an exotic jungle- in the form of wood flooring. Not only does it bring a heavy accent to your home, but those black stripes can either be wavy or straight making it distinguishable from other types of wood.

It is extremely durable ranking at around 2160 on the Janka hardness scale and contains natural oils that provide protection from insects, mold, humidity, and other forms of decay and wear. The only potential downfall to this exotic flooring is that sunlight dulls the trademark stripes that give tigerwood its name, darkening the light orange hues.

This makes it hard to easily distinguish the contrasts that had been so vibrant before. It is, however, a fast-growing wood type so just keeping the floor out of direct sun exposure can help prolong the tiger stripes.

Shopping on a Budget

There are a huge variety of durable hardwood floors out there that can save your floors from wear and tear. Other kinds of exotic hardwood ideas for your home include birch flooring which can come in red and yellow colors to bring warmth into your home. Red and white oak floorings are also examples of durable flooring. However, those kinds of wood come at a price which can be a problem if you’re shopping on a budget.

Investing in a solid, highly durable wood flooring will almost certainly guarantee that you will spend less money in the long run due to not having to frequently pay for damages to repair or replace. If you aren’t looking for long-term home investment, or you simply don’t want to spend the money, then these alternative flooring ideas for your home are some ways to reduce the costs. Unlike buying most other things on a budget, buying cheaper flooring doesn’t need to equal buying lower quality.

Hardwood floor with dog.
Hardwood flooring is a great long-term investment in your home.

Laminate

Buying laminate flooring, while not as durable, will still offer your home the same vibrant colorations that solid exotic floorings would, without the hefty price tag. Likewise, investing in engineered exotic flooring lowers the cost because the middle layers of the flooring consist of the more-affordable plywood, rather than a whole piece of hardwood.

At high-end qualities, laminate can stand against the stains and messes that could be made in any room. Not only is this kind of floor trending at the moment, but designers have made it so that it replicates wood and stone flooring with the added possibility of mimicking the appearance of weathered wood.

Requiring little maintenance, it is easy to maintain since dirt and dust aren’t as big of a problem and as an added plus it is installed as a new floor over your old floor in any room as long as it’s not carpet.

Laminate flooring has the versatility to work in any room as it has a certain resistance to water and if you can get finished laminate flooring, it can cover other floorings and be easier to replace. While it also holds heat and is soft like carpet, this, however, may also reduce the durability of the flooring in comparison to a solid, durable piece of exotic wood.

Bamboo

Hailing as one of the fastest-growing plants in the world, bamboo is one of the most useful exotic flooring ideas for your home when on a budget. While not necessarily a hardwood, this plant makes for a stylish and contemporary design for your floor with a lot of benefits to using it. As one of the most common types of flooring, bamboo is easy to maintain with the reasons being that it is easy to clean. Caution should be taken as it can be easily scraped.

Certain types of bamboo, however, such as strand woven bamboo or darker bamboo, can be made more durable through carbonization. Engineered chestnut bamboo, for example, has been ranked as 1,400 on the Janka hardness scale. It can coordinate with bamboo of any width and can be installed easily with glue.

Bamboo, in general, is also a renewable resource depending on how the planks are made as bamboo stalks grow faster than most hardwood. Along with its abundance, bamboo is very cheap, saving both the planet and your wallet even at higher qualities when installed in your home. You can even install them by yourself as bamboo is easy to install and can even be repurposed as anything else such as blinds or whatever your creative mind desires.

Bamboo floor.
Bamboo flooring is a popular hardwood alternative for many homeowners.

Cork

Another type of flooring that’s a current trend is cork flooring. Although not as popular as the other exotic hardwood ideas for your home, they are warm and flexible making them good to use in just about any room. When enough sealer is used on the material, it also makes for easy maintenance as it may only require occasional cleaning.

The design makes for a natural look which is appropriate considering that it comes from nature, the bark of cork trees. Not only is it natural, but it is the most eco-friendly flooring type due to the fact that when cork flooring is done serving its purpose it will break down into the environment as it is biodegradable.

Another reason why cork flooring is found in almost every home is that it’s just about as cheap as the dirt it comes from and is easy to take care of. It isn’t invincible, however, since it can be damaged without much effort. One must put layers of sealer over it especially if you have pets with claws.

To make up for any faults, cork flooring is much more comfortable than most other materials, making trips and falls on it not as painful. As if that wasn’t enough, it may be a joy to hear that cork only requires some occasional sweeping and vacuuming.  If you were looking for a DIY flooring project then this is the perfect material to start with. It’s easy to install so whether you want to do it yourself or pay someone else to do it, it makes for a cheap and easy project.

Maple

Going back to exotic hardwood ideas for your home, maple hails as one of the most popular hardwood flooring options in the United States, as trim maple hardwood flooring can fit any decor styling in any home. The coloring has an even appearance that can make the furniture on top of it pop. The blonde sand-like hues and the smooth and subtle grain patterns make it ideal for darker and lighter furniture to be showcased, especially in minimalist and modern homes.

Fitting for large and small rooms alike, it is also known for its ability to take on a beating as it is the same wood used in bowling alleys and gyms ranking at 1,450 on the Janka hardness scale. Unlike the other flooring types on this list, you don’t have to give up quality for affordability as maple wood is durable and cheap.

If you do find yourself wanting a harder wood flooring type, then you can consider the more premium Brazilian maple which is one of the exotic hardwood flooring ideas for your home that is prefinished, more durable, and engineered. Although it comes at a higher price, these exotic hardwood ideas for your home are a rarity that would make your house stick out in comparison with other houses.

Cat on maple hardwood floor.
Not only will you love your maple hardwood flooring, but your pets will too!

Pine

If you like the classics and something that won’t go out of style without a fight, then pine flooring is just for you. Pine flooring is an oldie and a goodie due to its ability to last for decades. Pine floors as old as 100 years are used for the full life span of homes whether it’s a modern home or a log cabin.

It is sustainable, which is the reason why it lasts so long even though it’s softer wood material than some of the other flooring options available. You can pick your poison when it comes to colors since it comes in a wide variation of tones such as gold yellow, brown and deep, rich red. Pine flooring typically comes unfinished.

Going with pine also means going green as pinewood grows fast and can be recycled from other building structures. While it may need regular cleansing to hold off on the wear and is a little trickier to install yourself, pine woods come at half the price of other hardwoods, saving your wallet on any wear that could be inflicted.

Classic, cheap, chic, and one of the best exotic hardwood ideas for your home accurately describe pine wood flooring, making it a great suggestion for those who are looking for a unique home flooring style.

Tile

Another popular choice of flooring found frequently in a bathroom, outdoor patio, and even kitchens, tile flooring is a very broad flooring type that can come with very different materials. For regular tile flooring, it is easy to keep clean and at a suitable quality, only needing an occasional cleaning with a broom or mop without the worry of dirt being absorbed, or water and humidity damage.

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Although heavy and hard to install yourself, its weight stands against anything that’ll try to crack it for decades. If you can manage to install it DIY style, then you can save a ton of money as tile flooring by itself is cheaper than one might think, costing as low as $5 per square foot. Getting someone else to install it may cost more, but you can get classy and glamorous designs to make any room look luxurious. Ceramic tiles aren’t the only available tiles however as other materials come in tile form.

Porcelain tiles, for example, are great for appearances and are less heavy but still durable for any room you decide to use it in, especially if it’s finished to make it more permanent. Rubber tiles are a great choice for those who want the luxury rubber flooring provides while paying a lower price and the freedom to choose the right custom color design.

The various types of tile flooring , along with carpet, granite, vinyl, and the other exotic hardwood ideas for your home all come with their benefits.

Luxury Floors

If you can afford to shell out a few extra bucks for your exotic hardwood ideas for your home then certain other options may appeal to you. For the right price, flooring can be durable, easy to handle, and trendy for any room that you may need. When people think of luxury floors, the first thought that may come to mind is jewelry encrusted floors.

Something like that can be found in the form of Pietra Firma Luxtouch tiles that come $1,000,000 per square and can hold up to hundreds and thousands of pearls, diamonds, and precious stones. While that is just an extreme example of luxury floors, you don’t need a mansion or a billion-dollar net worth to afford some of the following options.

While there are some fads of flooring such as handscraped wood flooring and colors at the moment like tan and white, there are floorings that are not only in style, but they also come in high quality and resonable prices.

Carpet

A familiar sight in apartments and bedrooms, carpet is a common flooring in almost all housing types that can come as either a type of flooring or as something to put on the ground. Whether it is on the stairs or in your bedroom, carpet flooring adds warmth and comfort to the surface it lies on along with bringing comfort to anybody that feels the surface.

It is also slip-resistant, having little to no risk of someone falling. It absorbs insulation for heat and sound. Less expensive than their wooden counterparts, carpet also offers the option of getting different styles and colors as the most used materials are wool, jute, nylon, acrylic, and polyester.

You can install the carpet type and color of your choice easily as long as you can handle the vacuuming to get any dirt or pollen that could be trapped in it and avoid staining it too much.

Dog on carpet.
Carpets are a popular luxury flooring option.

Mahogany Wood

Known for its brownish-red color and stripes, mahogany is one of the most well-known luxury exotic hardwood ideas for your home as it has been used for guitars, yachts, and boats. With that amount of versatility, it gives users the promise that it won’t shrink when it dries and it has a lot to offer for your floors.

Harder than oak, pine, and walnut, mahogany planks are sawed from logs, making this one of the durable hardwoods that can survive being scraped and scratched by anything from pets, water, termites, fungi, and pests. If you get the right kind of mahogany you can get a floor that’s hard to crack and easy to take care of since it’ll only need to be swept and mopped regularly.

What makes mahogany unique as well is that it’ll absorb sunlight, making it darker over time, which can be an interesting aspect depending on what kind of design you’re going for. If you can manage to put it together, then mahogany can be glued together and sanded down to get any kinks out and to resist any stains. It might be pricier than most other hardwoods but with what it has to offer, it just might be worth it.

Rubber

When it comes to heavy traffic indoor environments, rubber reigns supreme for multiple reasons. Once you get your rubber flooring, not only will it come with that new floor smell, but it also has the resistance to many things that could easily damage other floors. Rubber floors are often found in environments where there is a lot of pressure applied to it such as gyms, fast food restaurants, and playrooms due to how resistant it is.

It may not seem to be resistant due to how slippery it can be when wet or how comfortable it is to step on, but it is waterproof, pet friendly, kid-friendly, and can withstand scratches and abuse. On top of being able to resist tons of pressure, it’s possibly the easiest flooring type to clean and care for only needing a mop or some sweeping to take care of it.

The design is a major plus since one may opt to get rubber floors in many different vibrant colors of your choosing. It can fit any room except for the kitchen only because certain greases could stain it. Not only is rubber the easiest floor to maintain, but it’s the easiest to install since the sections only need to be locked together. Some use pins to keep it together. With pros like that, it’s no wonder why it’s expensive.

Rubber floor.
Rubber flooring is popular in heavy foot traffic environments.

Stone

If you’re looking for hard, then you’ll get something that is literally hard as a rock with this option. Stone flooring comes in different grades and different kinds of stone from marble, concrete, granite, and more minerals the rich earth has to offer.

Usually coming in tile form, stone floors are durable enough to last a lifetime.  Even a softer type of flooring like travertine and porcelain still manages to give the floor a distinct and elegant look.

Some stone flooring, on the other hand, is better suited for the exterior of your home rather than the interior. Good examples would be brick or concrete, which can be stained with any color to make your pool exterior or brick path. Easy to clean and relieving you of any stress as far as its lifespan goes, when sealed, stone can be resistant to messy stains and moisture that can ruin other floor types.

It is a terrific investment and even though it can be slippery, it can make whatever space it is on look gorgeous and true to itself.

Vinyl

With the final suggestion on the list, vinyl flooring can fit in your home as your new luxurious improvement. Vinyl can fit in any room as it is impenetrable against water, heat, and foot traffic on top of it. If you’ve been noticing a pattern with these floors, vinyl wood is easy to maintain and cleanse as manufacturers make vinyl floors finishes stain-resistant as well.

Since vinyl floors come in different forms including but not limited to hickory vinyl planks, luxury rigid vinyl, and flexible sheet vinyl. Not convinced? Well, vinyl doesn’t get affected by the weather which is how it stays comfortable to the touch and distinct by the look. That’s right, not only does it come in a diverse array of colors, but it can imitate the looks of other flooring types without any of the downsides they have.

If that isn’t enough, you can install it by yourself depending on which density and type of vinyl that you get but you would want to be 100% surethat’s the kind you want since it is harder to remove. If you get the right type, however, it can be an affordable luxury that won’t drain your bank account.

Person installing a vinyl floor.
Vinyl flooring looks very similar to hardwood, yet it is less expensive and more durable.

In Conclusion

These exotic hardwood ideas for your home and other flooring alternatives offer a wonderful opportunity to add a unique touch throughout your dwelling. Engineered hardwood flooring is only the beginning as there are so many others out there. Whether you need something cheap, something durable, a beautiful floor, or a luxurious ption to show off, you have tons of varieties to choose from.

For every home out there, there is a floor just waiting to be fitted to it. No matter your budget, there are ways to create the interior living space of your dreams without spending a fortune. By investing in these exotic hardwood ideas for your home, you are not only styling your home, but you are also setting the ambiance for your everyday living space for years to come.

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