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Oak remains a popular choice, but many flooring companies and homeowners are now moving towards other exotic species as well. These woods offer durability comparable to oak but are available in an array of colors and styles to meet the aesthetic demands of every homeowner. Many of these styles are also considered ecologically sustainable, making them a favorite among green-minded builders and homeowners who prefer to opt for more traditional hardwoods in place of newer materials such as bamboo and cork.

Many shoppers have heard of these exotic hardwood choices but worry that they are simply outside their price range. Thankfully, exotics are becoming more and more affordable every day thanks to increased popularity and production. Because they also tend to mature in a relatively short amount of time, exotic species are considered a green-friendly alternative to other flooring products. If you’re ready to shop for exotic species of hardwood, keep these classic-but-trendy choices in mind.

Exotic Cherry Hardwood

Cherry trees have a relatively short maturation time and offer some of the most unique, beautiful wood available in the U.S. Cherry isn’t as hard as oak or maple, but it is still incredibly durable. This species also offers unique, reddish tones ideal for contemporary homes.

Exotic Hickory Hardwood

Like oak, hickory takes a long time to mature. However, it is considered one of the hardest of the hardwood flooring options available and can provide for decades of use. The naturally warm tones of hickory also make it a popular choice.

Exotic Walnut Hardwood

Naturally dark, walnut tends to be slightly harder than cherry wood and is another classic American choice. Black walnut is one of the most popular varieties used for flooring in the U.S., but other walnut species are offered to suit the needs of homeowners.