While there is no true definition of an exotic hardwood floor the generally accepted meaning in Canada is a hardwood floor manufactured from a wood species that is not indigenous to North America. In recent years a large number of species previously not available or rare in Canada have begun finding their way in to the market on a regular basis. Most of these species have long been used for flooring in those regions of the world where they grow. It has only in the last ten to fifteen years that they have become available in Canada. Many of these species demonstrate characteristics that are uncommon in the domestic species. Large ranges of colours and varying grain patterns as well as hardness and stability ratings that exceed those of the domestic species are some of the characteristics that can be found in flooring products produced in various regions around the world. South America with Brazil leading the way has become a large supplier of the exotic timber that is shipped around the globe for production as flooring. Malaysia, Africa and Australia are also responsible for large amounts of exotic wood floor production.
Many consumers have concerns of how their exotic hardwood floor may be adversely affecting their environment. Thanks to responsible forestry practices, sustainable forestry certification and manufacturer innovation, visually appealing exotic hardwoods can now be part of an environmentally conscious home.
Exotic wood flooring is photosensitive, meaning they richen and darken over time with exposure to natural light and air. This natural occurrence takes place over a period of approximately twelve months, with approximately 50% of the change taking place in the first three months. After the initial three months at least half the change has taken place and the rest continues over the next nine months or so.
Species such as the Brazilian Cherry can come out of the box with light pink and golden tones. The golden tones turn pink and the whole floor richens and darkens over time to the rich red tones that we normally associate with Brazilian Cherry. When the boards are first unpacked they can have the softer, lighter tones but after a period of time take on the richer darker natural tones of the species. It truly brings out the rich tones and grains of the wood flooring for a positive effect. This natural change can not be induced during production, otherwise we would surely do it.