Exotic hardwood flooring is all the rage right now. Its unique colors, and even their exotic names, attract people who want something special for their home. Floor Covering International is pleased to be able to stock and install exotic hardwood flooring, available to customers in Columbia, Lexington, Irmo, and surrounding towns. Here’s what you need to know about exotic hardwoods.

What Are Exotic Hardwoods?

While the name is intriguing and conjures up images of the tropics or other far off places, the term “exotic hardwoods” refers to any wood species grown outside of North America. This can include familiar species such as hickory, teak, walnut and mahogany. That said, many exotic hardwoods are from South America, most commonly Brazil.

Why Choose an Exotic Hardwood?

Exotic hardwoods have many of the benefits of domestic hardwoods – durability, style, longevity – but there are some important differences.


Exotic hardwoods are probably best known for their unique appearance. The color and grain of exotic hardwoods can be brighter, bolder, and be a more striking choice in flooring, although they always have the characteristic warmth of wood. Tigerwood is an example of a hardwood with a very distinct look.

Like any hardwood flooring, exotic hardwoods are susceptible to color changes when exposed to the sun’s UV rays. Many exotic wood species seem to have a higher tendency toward such changes, and the difference is often more dramatic than in most domestics. Floor Covering International’s design associate can talk you through what to expect from your exotic hardwoods as they age.

Because exotic hardwoods tend to be denser than domestic species, they are more resistant to staining and finishes. Luckily, most people purchase exotic hardwoods because of their natural beauty so they often opt for protective oil-based finishes rather than stains or polyurethanes.


Overall, exotic hardwoods tend to be harder and denser than domestic hardwoods. This makes the floors more durable and require less maintenance. Their unique colors and patterns also tend to hide scratches and scuffs better, an unexpected benefit.


Generally, the most popular exotic hardwood species are readily available for your purchase. It’s not a guarantee, though, as the supply is dictated by the harvest and conditions in foreign countries. Our design associates will advise you on what’s available, and also the cost involved in purchasing exotic hardwoods.

Also Important

The tropical varieties of hardwoods are grown in a climate that is hot and humid all year round. That means the wood may not fare as well in climates with extreme hot and cold seasons, common in the US. That’s why it’s especially important that exotic hardwood flooring is installed by professionals who understand the higher expansion and contraction rates of these reactive woods. Engineered exotic hardwood floors are an option to reduce this risk, as engineered planks consist largely of more stable woods, with a layer of beautiful exotic hardwood on top.

Exotic Hardwoods Available at Floor Coverings International

Floor Coverings International is proud to deliver exotic hardwood flooring options to our customers in Irmo, West Columbia, Columbia and Lexington. We carry:

  • Teak
  • Brazilian Cherry
  • Brazilian Walnut
  • Brazilian Hickory
  • Brazilian Chestnut
  • Tigerwood

Contact Floor Coverings International

If you’re interested in exotic hardwood flooring for your home, call Floor Coverings International today. We’ll set up a no-obligation, in-home consultation with our design consultant so that you can see, touch, and compare our flooring samples right in the comfort of your own home. Call 803-661-8567 today!