As with any commodity, the price of hardwoods tends to fluctuate. Also, there are many very affordable hardwoods that can be used for flooring. The world is covered in trees, after all; many of them are fairly common. These make the most affordable floors. For example, red and white oak are both very common in the United States, and make very reasonably priced hardwood floors. Scarcity is a major factor in the price of the wood. So, what is the most expensive exotic wood on the market?
The title of most expensive hardwood floor tends to change with the changing values of different woods, but Macassar ebony tends to stay near the top. It is a very dark wood with heartwood that is actually black. It can be found on the dashboards of antique luxury cars and the necks of very fine guitars. It’s also used as flooring for some very expensive homes. For contrast, a typical red oak floor costs between about $3 and $9 per square foot depending on the quality of the red oak. A Macassar ebony floor costs about $150 per square foot.
Why Is it so Expensive?
Why is Macassar ebony so expensive? It’s expensive for a couple of reasons. The chief reason it is so expensive is because it is rare; rare materials are more expensive than common ones. However, if balsa wood suddenly became rare, it would not be an expensive flooring material. In addition to being scarce, Macassar ebony isa great flooring material.
The wood ranks at 3,220 on the janka hardness scale; red oak ranks at 1,290. The heartwood is a very deep reddish color shot through with black stripes. The sapwood ranges from gold to reddish. The wood is very dense, so it is not prone to shrinkage or expanding in changing temperatures. It will not scratch from high heels or pet claws. It resists mold and mildew as well.
The grain on the ebony is fairly straight, and the wood is known for having a high natural luster. That means that a layer of wax or polyurethane will polish a naturally shiny wood to a high shimmer.
If your heart is set on an ebony hardwood floor, you can save some money by choosing an engineered hardwood floor of ebony planks. These planks are made with a thin veneer of ebony over a more affordable wood. They’ll give you the appearance of the most expensive floor in the world without being the most expensive floor in the world.