Design Confidently, Live Comfortably


From the leopardwood of South Wales to the purpleheart of South America, exotic wood species can bring visual interest to your floors and their increased popularity has taken much of the mystery out of obtaining them.

In the past several years, many large flooring manufacturers have introduced exotic species into their lines, and they can be found in both solid planks and engineered products.
Some exotic looks -- including teak and bamboo -- are even available in laminate. This could be an economical alternative if your worldly style doesn’t match your domestic budget. In solid-plank form, exotic woods can cost twice as much as comparable domestic species, although engineered products are often closer in cost.


From exotic to everyday The popularity of exotic species such as Brazilian cherry has led many major manufacturers to include them among their engineered products, thus lowering their cost.

The beauty of exotic species, from ipe to kempas, is often in their rich colors and their durability. Many, including Brazilian walnut, tigerwood, and tiete rosewood, are considerably harder than oak or maple.

Because of their swift growth rate, a number of tropical woods have been acclaimed as particularly environmentally friendly. But the best way to be certain you’re getting an environmentally friendly floor is to make sure it bears a stamp from the Forest Stewardship Council. The FSC is an environmental group that tracks wood products from the forest to the retail shelf and certifies those that are harvested and milled in an environmentally sound manner.



While not technically wood, bamboo and cork are two good options if you’re looking for something that’s both unusual and ecologically friendly. Bamboo is harder than many woods, and cork is soft to the foot, resilient, and sound-deadening.



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IN THIS ARTICLE:
Introduction
Solid Wood
Engineered Wood
Exotic Species
Reclaimed Wood
Laminates
Resources

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SCOTT PHILLIPS

COURTESY OF BRUCE HARDWOOD FLOORS BY ARMSTRONG




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