What Are Some Kinds of Exotic Lumber?

Exotic lumber is one of the most exciting types to use for making furniture or laying down beautiful flooring, precisely because it is exotic. This is not the kind of wood you would see in most households because it is rare to find and also a luxury. Working with exotic lumber does not have to mean you use it across a large surface area. It can simply be used as a statement piece to add vibrancy to any given space. The following are some kinds of exotic lumber that you can consider:

Table of Contents


What Are Some Kinds of Exotic Lumber? Woodturning Online 1

Cocobolo is a type of wood as exotic as it sounds. This is a hardwood that is commonly found in Central America, especially in the highlands. It has a dark and textured grain that looks beautiful in bowls. This is also one of the best options for use in bathrooms, kitchens, or any place that has a higher humidity or moisture content because it is not too porous and absorbs minimal moisture.

This is a dense and heavy wood that will not float in the water. Cocobolo is also a versatile wood that comes in several colors, such as black, pink, yellow, etc. The base color can vary and often there are also beautiful streaks or patterns of purple, green, and sometimes even dark blue.

This is an exotic wood that comes from Central America so it may not always be easily available in local markets.


What Are Some Kinds of Exotic Lumber? Woodturning Online 3

Teak is an extremely famous type of wood that goes into making beautiful and ornate decorations for the home, including objects that can be kept outdoors. It grows very fast and is frequently cultivated in plantations, though it is still an expensive and exotic type of lumber. It is a hardwood that has a heavy and dense structure.

Teak also has a lot of resin which allows it to sport a very beautiful finish. What is great about teak wood is that it does not rust when it is paired with metal, so it can be used for doors, veneers, and other decorative objects.

You can also use teak wood for your floors, though it can come out to be quite expensive. If you find ornate and unique objects at an antique store, such as an old door or some decorative objects, they may be made of teak. It was a common type of wood to be used around old farm-style houses but is quite expensive now for one to use casually.


Ebony furniture

The color ‘ebony’ refers to a beautiful and deep shade of black that features on the bark of ebony trees. These are beautiful and rare trees that can take a century to mature into their unique colors, which is what makes them so exotic.

Ebony trees are not something you may find casually growing on the side of a freeway. They take years to develop the color that makes them so famous, making them some of the most exotic types of lumber in the world.

It is hardwood that goes beautifully on floors. The wood typically grows in West Africa but is now found in some other parts of the world too. It has a fine texture that leaves it smooth and allows you to finish the wood with various types of oils.

Again, ebony floors are certainly going to set you back good money but it is worth the investment since the wood is stable, hard, and has an ideal weight, making it durable.


What Are Some Kinds of Exotic Lumber? Woodturning Online 6

Mahogany is the color used to describe various things, from a fiery red shade for hair color to a reddish-brown coffee table. The description of this color comes from the beautiful bark of the mahogany tree. There are various types of mahogany trees, but quality mahogany is unparalleled. This type of mahogany is easy to work with and has a consistent grain that you can shape and sand quite easily.

This is an extremely sustainable wood that will last you for generations. The stunning color of the wood also makes for striking and beautiful furniture, bowls, and other types of decorations around the house.

Any kind of item made out of mahogany will be a statement piece and is luxurious enough to become a family heirloom. You should try to pick out mahogany wood that has a consistent grain and one that is rot resistant. Also, the older the tree is the more seasoned it is and will be more durable.

Purple Heart

Purple Heart is a truly beautiful and unique wood that is found in Central and South America, though it is not a common type of lumber. As the name suggests, the wood has a unique purple hue that can rarely be found in any other kind of lumbar. It also has a unique density that has the perfect hardness for flooring and high-end furniture.

Even if the floor is in one of the busiest parts of the house, the wood is hard enough that it can take a beating and still last for a very long time. The color of the wood also makes it a great choice if you want to add a pop of color to your home and brighten things up a bit. This is truly one of the most unique-looking types of wood, especially because of the striking hues of violet which sets it apart from the general red and brown tones people usually go for. It makes sense that this beautiful lumber is considered exotic.


What Are Some Kinds of Exotic Lumber? Woodturning Online 8

Padauk is a beautiful African hardwood that is found in tropical areas of the continent, though most commonly in Central and Western Africa. The wood has a dark brown color and has deep hues that make anything you make out of it look striking and beautiful. There is also padauk wood that is of a lighter tone, but the deeper brown is certainly the more popular choice.

The wood has extremely good elasticity, though it is still hard and known for its strength. The wood can be used for veneers as well as for important structural elements in a design.


What Are Some Kinds of Exotic Lumber? Woodturning Online 10

Leopardwood is named so because of the unique patterns and flecks on its surface that resemble a leopard’s coat. These patterns look stunning on bowls and even on furniture. Each piece of wood is unique because the patterns keep varying, becoming big or small in different pieces.

Since the natural pattern of the wood is so versatile, you can get different types of decorative objects made for your home and each of them may surprise you with the pattern that appears on the surface.

If the decor in your home is one-note, then furniture or other accents made of leopard wood can seriously take things up a notch and add a pop to your decor.

Canary Wood

Canary wood is another beautiful and exotic wood that one can use to add another pop of color and patterns to your living space. It has a yellowish or reddish appearance, varying from tree to tree. You will also encounter some stripes and patterns that make each wood stock unique. Canary also has a natural shine that makes it look striking even without polish.

The wood also has a largely straight grain, so you should try to sand it along the grain instead of against it. It also typically has a fine texture so it is generally soft to the touch and smooth. The wood is resistant to rot and is quite durable, allowing you to use it for furniture and home projects that will last you a long time.


What Are Some Kinds of Exotic Lumber? Woodturning Online 12

Bamboo trees grow extremely fast and are fun and lightweight wood to work with. They are also one of the best types of wood to use for the environment given that they can be replenished quickly after the trees are felled. Typically, it has a smooth and uniform texture and has a light, off-white color.

However, since the wood is so lightweight and the sticks are also hollow from within, it is not the most durable type of wood for long-term use. It is best to use this wood for small indoor projects and decorations instead of putting it in places where it may become vulnerable to insects and fungi infestations.

Though bamboo grows quite easily, it is still an exotic wood since it is not the most common type of wood to use for furniture and accents around the house. Besides, it does not grow everywhere and is typically found in South and Central America, in addition to Asia.

Final Thoughts

Using exotic lumber for furniture, veneers or even flooring can be an extremely exciting prospect. Of course, since the lumber is exotic, it is also likely to be expensive.

However, in some cases, the long-term pros even out the short-term expenses since the lumber is also durable and will last you for generations. Lumber like teak or mahogany, especially, do not require a lot of care or maintenance but can stay with you for a long time. Nature is truly a marvel!

Facebook Comments Box