Exotic Hardwood: Top 5 Species to Install in Your Toronto Home

Are you looking to install exotic hardwood flooring for your Toronto home but are not sure which type to choose? AA Floors can help.

Natural wood flooring that is sourced from overseas (outside the United States and Canada) falls under the ‘exotic’ category of hardwood. It is best known for its unusual appearance.

It is undeniable that hardwood is one of the best flooring materials. But there are many hardwood species, so making a choice can be difficult. To that end, let’s explore the five top exotic hardwood species you can get for your home.

Best Exotic Hardwood Species to Install in Your Toronto Home

Choosing the right type of hardwood flooring is a challenging but necessary process. The same applies when choosing exotic hardwood. Here are some of our top picks.

1. Brazilian Cherry

Also known as Jatoba, this hardwood variety is a popular choice found not only in Brazil but Peru and Mexico as well. This fiery red hardwood may be exotic but it is also affordable. Many imported hardwoods are expensive due to their rarity, so this is a refreshing change.

Brazilian cherry is a durable hardwood variety that is rated 2350 on the Janka hardness scale. It can be refinished several times, and its planks are ideal for high-traffic areas in your home. On the downside, it shows water stains more easily than other hardwoods. When shopping at flooring stores in Toronto like AA Floors, make sure to look for the FCS (Forest Stewardship Council) certification to ensure your wood is ethically sourced.

2. Tigerwood

Do you want flooring for your Toronto home that is a little dramatic? Then tigerwood is the perfect choice. This hardwood’s name comes from its wide grains, which are very different from one another. A native to both South America and the African Congo, tigerwood is a unique home flooring choice.

Tigerwood Flooring

Tigerwood is a highly durable species which scores 2160 on the Janka scale, making it perfect for the busiest areas of your home. In addition to bringing a dramatic look to your space, it is also one of the best choices for moisture resistance. It should be remembered that no hardwood is waterproof, so a moisture barrier must always be considered.

Note: the dark stripes of tigerwood are susceptible to fading when exposed to sunlight for prolonged periods so judicious use of your window coverings is recommended.

3. Sapele Mahogany

Another great choice for homes, this is considered a top African mahogany. Its colouring can range from salmon pink to pale yellow and tends to turn reddish brown with age. It ranks 1410 on the Janka scale and is an ideal choice for areas with medium foot traffic.

If you are looking for flooring that will give your Toronto home a lush, rich look, then consider this key exotic wood. On the downside, Sapele mahogany is highly photosensitive, so it is advisable to use carpet or heavy curtains to protect its colour.

4. Australian Cypress

Are you fond of the rustic style of hardwood? Australian cypress, with its defined whorls and grains, is sure to catch your eye. Even though imported hardwood tends to be on the costlier side, this is considered a more cost-effective option. It is also highly sustainable and sourced from second-growth forests.

While Australian cypress is a great option, it is not as scratch resistant as these other choices and may not be suitable for a home with pets.

Please note that imported hardwood is more expensive than domestic varieties, so make sure to consider your budget in addition to your lifestyle before making your decision.

5. Brazilian Walnut

If durability is foremost in your mind, and you have the budget, nothing comes close to Brazilian walnut. Also known as Ipe, Brazilian walnut is one of the toughest hardwood species. It is found mainly in Central and South America and rates about 3680 on the Janka hardness scale. It is mostly used for exterior decking because of its strength and durability.

Brazilian walnut Flooring

Note that, being so hard, it is also difficult to work with. Make sure to hire professional installers to complete your natural wood flooring project for the best results.


Exotic hardwood is a great option for your Toronto property and can help improve its value significantly. There are so many hardwood species, each with its own unique set of benefits and drawbacks, that they need to be carefully considered before making your final purchase. If you are not sure where to start, get in touch with AA Floors. We will help you plan your project in no time.

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