Domestic Hardwood Flooring vs. Exotic Hardwood Flooring

As you explore your options for hardwood flooring, you will likely come across two different terms – domestic hardwood flooring and exotic hardwood flooring. But, what the heck do these two things mean and how does it relate to you and your home? Each type of wood has its own benefits and there are some key differences between the two. Below, we will evaluate each one for you, so that you can make the best decision for yourself.

What Is a Domestic Hardwood?

Domestic hardwoods are those species that can be found within North America. For example, you will find that these options come in a warmer appearance and they look more natural. Types you will find include Birch, Oak, Maple, and Cherry.

What is an Exotic Hardwood?

An exotic hardwood is one that is not found in North America and it is usually found in other areas of the world. These options have beautiful markings and do not look natural to the area, which is why many people like them so much. Types you will find include Brazilian walnut or cherry and Cypress.

Key Differences Between the Two

There are some key differences between both domestic and exotic hardwoods. The type of hardwood you choose for your flooring will depend mainly on your preference and also availability and what you have to spend in your budget.


The first key difference is the color of domestic and exotic variations. Domestic hardwoods are often lighter in color and they do not have a rich, deep hue to them. You will find that Oak and Maple are two of the top choices. Exotic hardwoods are darker in color and they have a deep, rich hue that many people love. When you see a Brazilian Cherrywood, you will instantly fall in love with the dark red color and fine grains that it has to offer. You are less likely to find this in domestic woods.

Where to Find

Exotic hardwoods are much harder to come across because they are not as readily available as the domestic options. If you do choose to have an exotic option in your home, you may have to wait longer until the wood is available and you will often pay much more for the wood. Domestic hardwood is readily available and can be purchased through any flooring manufacturer or at any home improvement store in your area.

Feel of the Wood

Exotic woods are much harder than domestic options. In fact, domestic hardwood flooring is generally softer on your feet and in general, exotic woods are much tougher and they are usually much more durable as well. The type of wood you choose for your home should depend on your preferences and also your budget. You will find that domestic woods are much more readily available and they are not as expensive as other options. However, exotic woods are beautiful and nothing can compare. If you need help choosing hardwood flooring for your home, contact The Floor Shop today.