Best Exotic Hardwood for Any Home Improvement Project

Best Exotic Hardwood for Any Home Improvement Project

Hardwood floors increase a property’s value by 5%, but you can expect that to rise when you install an exotic variety.

Exotic hardwood is durable, elevates your home’s style, and is easy to maintain. But with a wealth of options available, choosing the right option can be daunting. If you’re unsure which is best for you, you’ve come to the right place.

Here’s everything you need to know.

What Is Exotic Hardwood?

Before installing exotic hardwood floors, it’s important to know what sets them apart from the traditional wood found in most homes. Exotic wood is sourced from regions outside of North America and is known for its unique beauty and extreme hardness.

Whether you want to install exotic wood flooring in the living room or your backyard, hire a custom deck builder so they offer personalized designs to suit your taste.

The Best Exotic Hardwood Options

There’s a wide collection of the best floors for your home. But you must know the style of wood, its color, and how much of it so you can determine your home improvement budget. Consider these, for example:

Brazilian Cherry

If you’re interested in exotic home improvement, consider Brazilian cherry. It’s distinctive thanks to its fiery red appearance which deepens as it ages. Not your thing? Luckily, you can get Brazilian cherry flooring in yellowish and reddish-brown so it’s not as intense.


You’ll notice tigerwood thanks to its red-and-black striped aesthetic, similar to a tiger’s coat. Tigerwood makes a dramatic statement to any room but sunlight washes the color out so be mindful where you install it. It’s extremely durable and contains natural oils that protect it from mold, humidity, and insects.


Hailing from Indonesia and Malaysia, Kempas is a pinkish-brown wood so it’s a more subdued option. This is great if you want a reliable, solid hardwood floor that doesn’t take the spotlight from your furniture. Plus, it’s durable and low maintenance, perfect for busy homeowners.


Teak comes in an array of shades starting from light yellow to a deeper, reddish-brown. This is popular because it has a lasting shine and is suitable for traditionally styled homes. Teak isn’t the most durable but you can get an engineered teak floor so it’s resistant to scratches and dents.

Brazilian Walnut

Otherwise known as ipe, Brazilian walnut is extremely durable so it’s perfect for outdoor decking or high-traffic areas. Plus, it’s well-oiled so it withstands moisture, mold, and insects so you needn’t worry about termites.

Brazilian walnut is dark brown but it’s possible to find subtle variations including creamy colors to yellow hues.

Sapele Mahogany

Sapele Mahogany is a wavy-grained hardwood that comes from Western and Central Africa. This exotic hardwood is perfect if you want a softer, luxurious style in your home. But Sapele is sensitive so once you move a piece of furniture, you can still see the outline.

Australian Cypress

If you’ve got a rustic-style property, Australian cypress is for you. You can choose between the cream or honey-colored flooring that has dark knots in it. Australian cypress is fairly durable and has a natural resistance making it the perfect addition to bedrooms and living areas.


Paduak has a unique look and you can choose between a deep, dark brown hardwood or one with lighter hues. This option is great if looking to cover a high-traffic area because it’s resistant to cupping and abrasions. To enhance its color, apply a water or lacquer-based finish to keep the red hues crisp.


Imported from Cameroon, zebrawood has alternating light and dark stripes which creates a dramatic look. Zebrawood is diverse with styles, great durability, and is low-maintenance. Further, this exotic hardwood doesn’t accumulate dust, all it needs is a weekly vacuum and mop to make it shine.


Ebony is one of the most unique hardwood floorings as the black hues add drama and texture to your home. Native to West Africa, ebony is known for its hardness, weight, and stability so it’s perfect for high-traffic areas like the living room. Make the most of your ebony floor by giving it a regular polish so its smooth finish dazzles guests.


With acacia wood, you’re spoiled to choice thanks to the 1,300 various species. Acacia wood gives your home a unique edge because of its grain so add it to your dining or living room for an inviting atmosphere. A major bonus is how it’s easy to maintain as acacia wood only needs a natural wax twice a year.

Leopard Hardwood

Leopard hardwood is rarer than most on this list and is native to Brazil and Chile. You’ll notice it has dark specks of colors so it’s like a leopard’s coat (go figure!) which adds texture to the home. This is perfect for any room that’s lacking character or needs an update.

Spanish Cedar

Native to Argentina and Mexico, this exotic hardwood looks like mahogany but softer so it’s easier to work with. You’ll notice its beautiful rose-colored finish and the smell will transport you to the forests of South America. But it’s not as durable as other options so don’t install this in high-traffic areas.

Those Are the Best Exotic Hardwood Options

Now you know the top exotic hardwood options to consider.

Whether you want to install outdoor decking or elevate your living room, there is a wide selection of styles on offer. It’s possible to find wood with flecks of gold or dark stripes so you can tie the room together, increase the property’s value, and wow guests.

But get it professionally installed as they have the expertise and equipment to do a fine job. Happy shopping!

Hopefully, you found this article helpful. If you’re interested in similar content, check out our posts on everything from Home Improvement to Real Estate.

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