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Domestic vs. Exotic Hardwood Flooring

Hardwood Flooring

You already know you want natural hardwood flooring, and that’s great: it’s the first step in narrowing down your renovation or remodelling options. But after you’ve decided you want hardwood as opposed to engineered hardwood or tile or laminate, it’s time to decide what species of hardwood flooring you’d like: domestic or exotic.

There are drawbacks and benefits to both kinds of hardwood, and that’s precisely what we’re going to discuss in this blog.

Domestic vs. Exotic Hardwood Flooring: Which is Right for You?

In our decades of installing hardwood flooring in the Greater Toronto Area and even across Canada, we can attest to the fact there is never one best type of flooring overall, but there will be the best type for you. The difference between domestic and exotic is primarily one of budget, aesthetics, and practicality.

Domestic Hardwood Flooring

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Domestic hardwood refers to North American species of wood. These include birch, oak, maple, and cherry.

While the characteristics of these woods differ greatly, the fact remains that domestic hardwood is considered to have a warmer and more traditional feel.

Domestic hardwood can also be less expensive than exotic hardwood since it can be found closer to home and less is spent in the distribution process. Closer to home also means it’s usually more environmentally friendly, as there is less transportation.

Exotic Hardwood Flooring

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Exotic hardwood flooring is imported from throughout the world—most often from tropical regions. Australian cypress, Brazilian cherry, walnut and purple hardwood are popular species.

Exotic hardwood flooring is more rare than domestic, giving it a striking and singular appearance.

Exotic hardwood is often—but not always—more expensive, and may only be available in certain plank widths and lengths.

Other key differences between domestic vs. exotic hardwood flooring:

Domestic hardwood tends to be lighter in colour, whereas exotic hardwood flooring, like Brazilian cherry, has richer hues.

Exotic hardwood is usually harder than domestic hardwood flooring. So, domestic hardwood flooring is softer and more comfortable on your feet, whereas exotic hardwood flooring is tougher and by extension, more durable. Though keep in mind that some of the harder domestic hardwoods like oak are still quite robust.

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Domestic hardwood is easier to obtain than exotic hardwood flooring. You can usually get your domestic hardwood right away—or close to it—whereas you may find yourself waiting for weeks for an exotic species to arrive, and as mentioned, may have to pay extra for the import.

Unless you have a clear cut idea of what type of hardwood floor you’d like, then choosing between domestic vs. exotic hardwood flooring can be challenging, even with the pros and cons of each laid out in front of you. That’s what we’re here for. Contact us today for a free consultation and the best decision for you with complete peace of mind.



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