specialty hardwood floors vancouverWhile many Vancouver homeowners may immediately think of oak, maple, cherry, or mahogany when picturing hardwood floors, there are many other varieties that aren’t as well known. This is mainly because the trees are more rare and only grow in remote areas outside the U.S. However, these styles offer a compelling, exotic alternative to the more traditional hardwoods. Follow along with Floor Coverings International® of Vancouver as we explore five specialty hardwoods you may not have heard of.

Brazilian Koa (Tigerwood)

Brazilian Koa, also known as Tigerwood, is an exotic wood with beautiful grain patterns and a lush, lustrous surface. The trees grow up to 80 feet tall, and the wood planks are primarily deep reddish-orange in color with dark graining and veined accents that resemble tiger stripes. Tigerwood is both durable and dramatic, making it a highly appealing choice for hardwood floors. The stripes can vary greatly in size and color tone, making each Brazilian Koa floor highly unique.


Yellowheart, or Pau Amarello, is another Brazilian wood that grows along the coast. As the name implies, its color is vivid yellow but can appear lighter depending on the age of the tree. It has some subtle striping that can look almost like ribbon, but it is largely consistent in tone and texture.


Acacia is one of the hardest woods in the world. There are currently about 800 different species of Acacia growing in Africa and Australia. This hardwood has a dramatic look that can bring energy and intrigue to any room in your Vancouver or Portland home. It is often a study in contrasts with a mixture of dark and light tones, but the result is warm and appealing. It has more pronounced knots and grain patterns than most hardwoods. Australian Blackwood is considered one of the most luxurious and appealing Acacia species. Acacia is prized for its combination of durability and elegance.


Cocobolo is a medium sized canopy tree that grows up to 60 feet tall in rainforest areas, and its trunk can get up to three feet in diameter. The best and most prized wood from this tree comes from its least-formed stems and branches. These parts of the tree have the most fascinating textures and patterns, which bring interest and intrigue to a space when used for wood floor planks. Cocobolo is available in a stunning range of colors, including yellow, red, orange, and an assortment of brown shades. It can also have accent streaks of purple and/or black. Cocobolo colors tend to get darker with age, and it features a natural fragrant oil.


Zebrawood refers to several tree species native to West Africa and Central America. They tend to grow along riverbanks and get up to 150 feet tall with trunk diameters of up to five feet. This unique, exotic wood has a striped look with black or dark brown streaks of varying widths against a light brown or yellowish tone. The overall effect is of a zebra coat. Zebrawood is truly exotic and unique, which is reflected in its price and limited availability.

Are you looking for a departure from ordinary in your interior design? Consider these specialty hardwoods the next time you remodel. Call Floor Coverings International® of Vancouver to schedule a free in-home design consultation.


Photo: Lisaveya