If you are installing hardwood floors into your home today, you will have more choices of types of hardwood than ever before.

What is exotic hardwood flooring?

Exotic hardwoods are sourced from regions outside of North America. Exotic species are known for their extreme hardness and natural beauty.

They are mostly very hard, cost more than domestic hardwoods, usually have wide and pronounced grains, vibrant and sometimes unusual colors and highly contrasting colors.


Bamboo Flooring

Bamboo is a wonderful natural floor covering that is environmentally friendly, relatively inexpensive, and fairly easy to maintain. It is similar to other hardwoods, and the type of bamboo that you get will range in relative hardness from durable Red Oak, all the way down to soft Black Walnut depending on the process that was used to manufacture it.

Janka Hardness Scale: 1,180 – 3000 lbf


Brazilian Cherry

This old favorite, also known as Jatoba, is a red hardwood hails often from Brazil, but also may be sourced from Peru and Mexico. Even though jatoba is not as popular as it once was, the good news for you is that the once sky-high prices have subsided to more reasonable levels.

Janka Hardness Scale: 2350 lbf – Extremely hard

Related: What type of flooring should I use?


Types of Exotic HardwoodsTigerwood

The showing and dramatic Tigerwood is perfectly named, It is known for its wildly contrasting wide grains. Tigers, zebras, any animal with stripes come to mind with this truly exotic-looking flooring. This flooring is sure to bring drama to a room. One unfortunate con is that over time the sun may fade those darker stripes, evening out the contrasts that first attracted you to this type of wood.

Janka Hardness Scale: 1,850 lbf



Kempas is a reddish-pinkish brown wood from Indonesia and Malaysia that attractively darkens when stained. Kempas creates no drama in your home; it just provides a good, solid hardwood floor that lets other parts of the room shine. It is a durable wood that is reasonably priced compared to other exotics. Kempas will progressively darken with exposure to sunlight.

Janka Hardness Scale: 1,710 lbf

Related: Types of Wood for Hardwood Floors


Sapele Mahogany: When a Straight Grain Is Too Boring For You

Sapele Mahogany is a tight, wavy-grained hardwood from tropical Africa. Good choice for people who want flooring that has a lush, wavy pattern with a rich and very upscale look. A possible issue is that areas which are carpeted, have sofas on them, or are otherwise covered may retain an outline.

Janka Hardness Scale: 1,410 (medium hardness)


Australian Cypress: Rustic With a Touch of Class

Australian Cypress is a very rustic-looking wood with whorls and pronounced grain. You will love it if you want to give your home a cottage or cabin feeling. A possible issue is that as far as hardwoods go, Australian Cypress is fairly soft and so is not the best wood flooring for a house with dogs.

Janka Hardness Scale: 1,375 lbf


Ipe or Brazilian Walnut: When Hardness Matters

Known as ipe or ironwood, Brazilian Walnut is one of the toughest hardwood floors available. Ipe is so strong and hard, it’s often used for exterior decking.

Janka Hardness Scale: 3,684 lbf – Extremely hard


Types of exotic hardwood flooring:

Tigerwood hardwood floor

  • Amendoim
  • Bamboo
  • Brazilian Cherry
  • Brazilian Maple
  • Brazilian Teak
  • Brazilian Walnut
  • Kempas
  • Merbau
  • Santos Mahogany
  • Tiete Chestnut
  • Tiete Rosewood
  • Tigerwood
  • Timborana

Art Z Flooring

Located in Geneva, IL, Art Z Flooring is one of the most trusted flooring, kitchen and bathroom renovators in the Fox Valley and suburban Chicago area.

Contact Art Z with your questions to learn more about our available kitchen remodeling and backsplash installation services.

For flooring and kitchens call: Art – (630) 677-1371

For backsplash and decorating call: Zaneta – (630) 918-9176