4 Differences Between Domestic Hardwood and Exotic Hardwood

Rod Lorenz

Wood, prized for its natural beauty and versatility, is one of the most popular materials for flooring. To no surprise, hardwood floors increase the value of any home because of their classic appeal and durability.

When it comes time to choose the right hardwood flooring for your home, you can pick between domestic or exotic hardwood.  Each has unique qualities that make them different.

What is Domestic Hardwood?

Domestic hardwood is sourced from trees that grow in the United States or Canada. Examples of domestic trees used for hardwood flooring include maple, cherry, birch, and oak.

What is Exotic Hardwood?

Some of the most popular exotic hardwoods are Amendoim, Brazilian Cherry or Asian Walnut.

Difference Between Domestic and Exotic Hardwood

1. Price

The main pro of choosing domestic hardwood over exotic hardwood is that domestic hardwoods are generally easier to making them (often but not always) less expensive. Exotic hardwoods come from a wide variety of places worldwide, such as Africa or Central America and that distance can translate into higher costs.

2. Availability

Many homeowners will prefer domestic hardwood over exotic wood species because the choice supports local markets and also more available. However, one of the most desirable traits of exotic hardwood is that it is sourced internationally and is more for homeowners that like rarer elements that can be prized, conversational pieces for their homes.

3. Hardness

Compared to exotic wood species, domestic hardwoods rank in the low-medium range in hardness.  Exotic species are typically grown in tropical areas, so they tend to be denser than domestic wood. They rank in the medium-high range in hardness.

It's important to note that the wood's level of hardness does not necessarily equate to durability. And remember, whether domestic or exotic, different wood species each have their unique appearances. Therefore, your decision may rely more on the wood's appearance, including its color and grains, than what country the wood originated from.

4. Color

Domestic hardwoods, such as Oak and Maple, have a softer, whiter tone and lack the rich, deep color of exotic woods. Exotic hardwoods, such as Brazilian Cherry wood, tend to be darker in color and have a rich hue that many people looking for deeper wood tones will enjoy.

If you want to know more options on hardwood flooring or if you’re thinking about starting a flooring project, don’t hesitate to contact one of our design consultants or call 920-984-3383, 800-354-9902. We would be glad to assist you.

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