Flooring Home Improvement

Guide to Domestic & Exotic Hardwood Flooring

Domestic & Exotic Hardwood Flooring

Learn the Differences Between Domestic and Exotic Hardwood Flooring

Have you decided to install hardwood flooring at home? That’s just the first decision you will be making. When you enter a hardwood flooring store in Mississauga, Toronto or elsewhere, you are likely to come across two essential types of flooring: domestic and exotic wood.

But what are they and how do you decide which is best? This guide breaks down the main differences so you can make the best choice.

Let’s dive right in.

Domestic vs. Exotic Hardwood: Which Should You Choose?

The options available in hardwood flooring stores can be overwhelming. With so many brands and wood types, doing your homework helps.

But before we get to their differences, let’s understand what domestic and exotic hardwoods are.

Domestic Hardwood Flooring

Domestic hardwood refers to wood species found in North America. They are usually warmer and look more neutral than exotic hardwood. Common species include maple, cherry, birch, and oak. If you are looking for traditional flooring, domestic hardwood is your best choice.

Exotic Hardwood Flooring

Exotic hardwood is imported from different parts of the world, especially tropical regions, and does not grow in Canada or the US. Some exotic hardwood species include jarrah, canary whitewood, ebony, Brazilian cherry, Ipe, Purpleheart, and Australian cypress. They are luxurious and look best in more contemporary spaces.

Now, let’s have a look at the difference between domestic and exotic hardwood flooring.

Domestic vs. Exotic Hardwood Flooring

There are four main factors where exotic and domestic hardwoods differ.

  1. Price

When shopping for hardwood flooring in Mississauga and Toronto, price is an important factor in this significant investment. It is recommended that you to be realistic about your budget and avoid overshooting it.

Domestic hardwood is generally more affordable than exotic hardwood as the latter is imported from different parts of the world, which adds significantly to its cost. It is always a smart idea to check out the cost of flooring materials in Mississauga before making a decision.

If you are working with a smaller budget but love the look of hardwood, consider other flooring options like engineered hardwood or vinyl.

  1. Appearance

Hardwood is classic and well-loved for its appearance. Since natural wood is photosensitive, it tends to undergo natural colour changes caused by oxidation and exposure to sunlight or other natural elements. This process happens to both finished and unfinished hardwoods thanks to exposure to UV rays. However, the colour either fades or darkens over time, depending on the species of wood.

Since exotic hardwoods are not local, they tend to react to light exposure more rapidly and drastically than domestic wood species. For instance, Brazilian cherry tends to undergo rapid colour changes compared to domestic red oak.

Some people love how these colours darken or fade; others, less so. If you are not sure how your hardwood is going to react, it is best to consult with experts to install the right hardwood flooring for your space.

  1. Availability

Hardwood flooring requires expert installation. Your contractor may suggest that you buy a little extra for your project in case there is a shortage. Its availability is the key to finishing in a timely manner.

Domestic hardwood trumps its exotic counterparts in this regard. This is because it may be difficult to find the exact type again once it’s gone. Domestic hardwood is more readily available in local flooring shops in Mississauga at great prices.

  1. Durability

Hardwood floors are the top choice of prospective homeowners because of their durability. Historic Canadian homes often have hardwood floors that are over a century old and are still as good as new.

The hardness of your hardwood floor certainly helps enhance its durability. Exotic hardwood trumps domestic hardwood in this regard, as it tends to be harder. But that does not mean domestic hardwood is less durable. When installed and maintained well, hardwood floors can last a lifetime.

Domestic and exotic woods are both great flooring choices, but each has its pros and cons. That is why it is a good idea to always do your research before making a choice. Getting a hardwood floor is an investment that will last a lifetime, so take your time when choosing between domestic and exotic wood flooring. Always prioritize your lifestyle needs and budget. Don’t hesitate to ask flooring experts questions when making your choice, especially if you find it difficult to narrow them down.

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