Your Flooring: Zebra, Tiger, and Teak Wood, Oh, My!

Your Flooring: Zebra, Tiger, and Teak Wood, Oh, My!

In the first installment of my floors series, I reviewed a number of the features of some frequent wood species used for solid plank flooring that are typical in North America and Europe. In this second installment, I will review the features of a few less commonly used and exotic wood species that are also being used as flooring.

Some of those exotic forests are sustainably harvested and some aren’t. Any time you’re looking at wood flooring, make sure the wood you are buying bears the logo by the Forest Stewardship Council or the Sustainable Forestry Initiative. There is no need to donate to deforestation because you beautify your home so do your assignments.

Exotics are constantly considered in deciding on a flooring layout on account of their distinctive grain patterns, plus they are best left with natural finishes but your choices are infinite.

Paul Anater

Mahogany is an exotic wood with a checkered past and present. New World mahogany is nearly extinct in its once-extensive native range and is just now being sustainably harvested in Honduras. Check for all those sustainable woods labels when you purchase mahogany.

Mahogany is a highly durable, water-resistant hardwood when installed as floors. 20 years ago it was rarely encountered, but tree farms in Southeast Asia and the Pacific Islands have improved the supply. Interestingly enough, Les Paul guitars are made from mahogany due to its density and acoustic attributes.

Confirm the origin of mahogany flooring. The flooring shown here are not just farmed sustainably, they are turned into flooring by workers that are paid a living wage and treated like human beings.

Mahogany
Experts:Timeless, classic hardwood.
Cons: Confirm the origin, may be unsustainable
Suggested uses: Throughout the house, inside or outside
Cost range: $10 to $20 a square foot

Paul Anater

Cherry flooring – $15

North American Cherry is an increasingly common wood species used for flooring. It’s beautiful, close-grained and smooth. It takes a variety of stains well and shows up in the marketplace in colors that range from cherry in its natural condition, to nearly black.

But cherry is around 25% softer than red oak and it’s highly reactive to sun. It’ll darken noticeably at a bright room. Be cautious using it in areas with a lot of dog and or child traffic.

Cherry
Experts: Absolutely magnificent, adds interest without dominating a space
Cons: Not as springy as other hard woods, use caution in high-traffic areas
Suggested uses: Living rooms, dining rooms
Cost range: $1 to $15 a square foot

Paul Anater

Flooring – $15

Hickory is starting to appear as flooring too. It’s significantly harder than oak and it has a grain pattern and colour variation that won’t quit. It’s a propensity to put in a rustic atmosphere in any room where it’s used so it’s a natural choice if you’re drawn towards rustic or country designs.

Its hardness makes it a logical selection for busy households.

Hickory
Experts: Really hard, beautiful grain pattern
Cons: Tends to give a Nation air wherever it’s used
Suggested uses: Living rooms, hallways, kitchens, foyers
Cost range: $5 to $15 a square foot

Carlisle Wide Plank Floors

Walnut flooring – $15

There is. However, all that beauty is sold at a cost.

North American Walnut is just marginally harder than North American Cherry. This usually means it will mar and dent in reaction to chair legs and spiked heels so be careful where you use it.

Walnut
Experts: Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful
Cons: Relatively soft, constantly dark
Suggested uses: Living rooms, dining rooms, stair treads
Cost range: $10 to $20 a square foot

Paul Anater

Lyptus flooring – $10

Lyptus is a eucalyptus hybrid developed by the Brazilian corporation Fibria. It has grown on sustainably-managed plantations and distributed in North America by Weyerhauser.

It’s a gorgeous wood having a fibrous grain pattern similar to mahogany. Unlike mahogany nevertheless, it could be harvested after 15 years of expansion. It’s significantly harder than oak and is easy to mill and complete. Lyptus is available all over the world and is growing its market share each year. If sustainability is just one of those things you’re searching for in a flooring material, consider Lyptus.

Lyptus
Experts: Gives the sense of mahogany in a lower cost
Cons: Tends to draw attention to itself
Suggested uses: Living rooms, dining rooms, kitchens, hallways, stair treads
Cost range: $5 to $10 a square foot

Paul Anater

Rosewood flooring – $8

Rosewood is an exceptionally hard wood with a grain pattern that is distinctive. Its colors range from light yellow to nearly purple. Rosewood has been popular for centuries because of furniture making and has recently been turned into flooring planks. It is an unusual wood species, due largely to its historical over-harvesting. However, in recent years it has started to grow on sustainable farms.

Rosewood does not get its name from its coloration. Instead, it receives its name from its rose-like scent. A rosewood piece of furniture or rosewood-floored space will smell like a spring garden for years and years.

Rosewood
Experts: Its distinctive grain pattern and odor add character to any home
Cons: An eye grabber with a checkered past
Suggested uses: Living rooms, dining roomsand kitchens and bathrooms
Cost range: $8 to $25 a square foot

Paul Anater

Brazilian Cherry flooring – $7

This is what’s sold as Brazilian Cherry. Brazilian Cherry isn’t a legitimate cherry at all, and it’s known as jatoba in Brazil. Whatever its called, it’s an exceptionally hard wood and in my estimation, has a lot of these characteristics of cherry than cherry.

Whatever you call it, Brazilian Cherry tends to be sustainably harvested and it’s always extremely resilient.

Brazilian Cherry
Experts: Many of the characteristics of mahogany, tends to be sustainably harvested
Cons: Might be overwhelming for little chambers
Suggested uses: Living rooms, dining rooms, kitchens and bathrooms
Cost range: $3 to $8 a square foot

Paul Anater

Zebra wood floors – $15

Zebrawood is a Central African, tropical hardwood that’s come into vogue in the West. But it’s an environmental nightmare, even despite its beauty.

Zebrawood, or Zembrano, is something to avoid. Before too long, that won’t be hard to do as the source is drying up due to overharvesting.

Never purchase Zebrawood unless it’s upcycled from another usage. You will find stranded bamboo alternatives that abound and are almost indistinguishable from the real thing.

Zebrawood
Experts: Very distinctive grain pattern, very hard and resilient
Cons: Unsustainably harvested, use caution when buying
Suggested uses: Not recommended due to its harvesting issues
Cost range: $15 to $20 a square foot

Paul Anater

Tiger wood flooring – $9

Tigerwood is just another wood species having a troubled history. It’s an African indigenous tree that’s left a heritage of overharvesting and deforestation. But in recent years, it’s been farmed in South America having a greater record.

Do not purchase wild-cut, African Tigerwood. Instead Search for FSC- or SFI-certified, South American rose Tigerwood.

Tigerwood
Experts: Really hard and Gorgeous
Cons: Has a number of the same problems as Zebra Wood does with its source
Suggested uses: Living rooms, dining roomsand kitchens and bathrooms
Cost range: $10 to $15 a square foot

everythingwood.org.uk

Teak flooring – $10

Teak is a deciduous tree native to Southeast Asia but currently commercially farmed through the tropics. It’s an material and reclaimed, teak goods that are upcycled abound.

The natural resins in walnut heartwood are water- and insect-resistant and it’s been used in ship building for centuries. The very same features make it an obvious selection for use in toilets, kitchens and outdoor decks. Though it’s not the toughest wood out there, it’s among the most dense and few forests will dull a sword quicker.

Teak
Experts: Water- and insect-resistant, durable
Cons: Its density may make installment more expensive
Suggested uses: Decks, living rooms, dining rooms, kitchens and bathrooms
Cost range: $10 to $25 a square foot

Paul Anater

Gum flooring – $10

The native hardwoods of Australia, in this case Spotted Gum, are showing up outside of Australasia with rising frequency.

Spotted Gum makes a stunning flooring, while it’s an exotic species or not. Because I reside in North America, I know very little about Australian hardwoods. Do any of our Australian Houzzers have a notion about the forests that are offered for flooring?

Spotted Gum
Experts: Beautiful patterns in its normal grain
Cons: May be too busy when you’re looking for a subdued flooring
Suggested uses: Living rooms, dining rooms, kitchens, foyers, bathrooms
Cost range: $10 to $20 a square foot

Inside my 2 part series, I’ve covered almost all of the species most people encounter when considering solid plank floors. Stay tuned for when I’ll review engineered flooring and how they are different from plank flooring!

Next: Watch more floors guides
Your Floor: An Intro to Solid Plank Wood Floors
5 Complex Wood Floors

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