Exotic vs. Domestic Hardwoods: What’s the Difference?

Exotic vs. Domestic Hardwoods: What’s the Difference?

Wood flooring is one of the most popular choices for homes, and it’s no surprise, since the value of homes increases with hardwood thanks to its durability and sleek appearance.

When you’re choosing hardwood for your home, you could be choosing between exotic or domestic hardwoods. But what’s the difference? Each of these types of hardwood has distinct traits that separate them from one another. Find out more below to make the best choice for your home.

Domestic Versus Exotic Hardwood

Domestic hardwood refers to any trees found in North America, including oak, maple, birch, and American cherry. Exotic hardwood can be any hardwood species from all over the world, such as Brazilian cherry or walnut or Australian cypress. Domestic hardwood usually has a more traditional look, while exotic typically appears more modern.

But why do they appear different? Several factors affect the appearance of these two hardwoods.

Color Change

All wood, whether it’s finished or unfinished, shows some changes in color over time because of oxidation and light exposure. Whether it lightens or darkens in color depends on the species. Some exotic hardwoods, such as Brazilian cherry, change color fairly rapidly, while some domestic types change more gradually, with only slight changes in color.


Typically, exotic hardwood is harder than domestic wood. But it’s important to remember that hardness isn’t the sole factor when you’re considering how durable your floor will be. Both types of wood are long lasting.


Sometimes, availability can also determine which hardwood you put into your home. The availability of domestic or exotic wood can vary depending on where you live, or it might come in only certain cuts or sizes. If you’re concerned about sustainability, choosing domestic over exotic can help.

Find Domestic and Exotic Flooring Online

Hardwoods4less provides both types of wood flooring. Check out our large selection of prefinished hardwood flooring, which is discounted thanks to our relationships with mills and suppliers. Learn more about exotic or domestic hardwoods and the difference between them by contacting us, and find the domestic and exotic flooring for sale that suits your home.

Back to blog