What is Acacia Wood?
Originally from Australia, acacia is a natural hardwood that grows all across the globe. Acacia wood found in the USA is typically imported from Asia (also known as Asian walnut) and the Pacific Islands, where it is grown using sustainable farming methods. You may also find this exotic hardwood in parts of Africa and the Americas. There are over one thousand different breeds of acacia. And it is well-known for its durability and resistance to scratching. It is water-resistant and does not warp like other hardwoods tend to do in humid weather, and that makes it last much longer. These are some of the top reasons acacia is used to create furniture, tables, and hardwood flooring.
Learn more about acacia trees and wood here.
Pros of Acacia Wood Flooring
There are many benefits to using acacia wood for your next hardwood floor project, but here are the top ones:
- Strength and durability.
- Water-resistant surface.
- Easy to maintain.
- Distinctive style and natural beauty.
- A variety of flooring options (solid or engineered with various plank sizes and colors)
Depending on the species, acacia’s Janka hardness ranges between 1700 – 2220. That means it can handle a lot of abuse and does not dent easily. Flooring a home that sees a lot of foot traffic from both children and pets with this wood is a pretty reliable option. Varying thicknesses allow for different lengths of longevity. For instance, a thick acacia flooring could last anywhere between fifty and one hundred years. Because of this, it often sells with a fifty-year warranty.
Acacia flooring is harder than most species of mahogany, oak, and maple. Despite its hardness, it maintains a springy texture and resilience. Additionally, it is fire-resistant, water-resistant, and anti-bacterial. However, that does not make it impervious to water damage. If a large amount of water spills on it, mop it up immediately.
Acacia also has unique coloring and grain, from dark brown to reddish auburn to lighter shades of brown. The wide range of colors can all appear in the same plank of wood, giving it a singular appearance. Using this type of hardwood as a flooring highly depends on the decor that you want to use. It typically suits rustic settings and can give a traditional warmth of feeling to a room.
However, acacia can complement many kinds of designs once it is stained. While the wood itself is diverse, the range of stains that it can absorb is even more so. And it accepts them very well, especially the darker stains. Although that may slightly mute the flamboyance of its capricious patterns, its beauty is still maintained and discernable.
One major perk of installing acacia hardwood floors is easy maintenance. Sweep it every once in a while (dirt isn’t that visible on it due to its color and grain), and use a damp mop on it once a week (no special cleaners necessary). Due to the durable nature of this hardwood, it does not get scratched and damaged from average amounts of dirt and residue.
Also, it might be ten or so years before an acacia hardwood floor needs to be refinished.
Read more about how to care for acacia wood.
Although acacia tends to mimic other high-end woods (that are less durable), it does not cost the excessive amounts of money that those other woods do. In other words, you get the look of exotic hardwood without the price of one (e.g., rosewood, mahogany, or teak).
Solid acacia hardwood flooring costs between $3 to $8 per square foot to purchase. Engineered acacia wood floor ranges from $2.60 to $8 per square foot. Laminate flooring will cost much less but will sacrifice quality and longevity.
With the longevity of these floors and the low-maintenance, acacia is much more cost-effective than many other kinds of wood (including oak). There are also plenty of options that can bring down the price of acacia floorings, such as laminate forms and machine-scraped finishes. Installment is simple as well, so there should be no outstanding or unreasonable charges from that.
Though acacia looks like exotic hardwood, it grows rapidly and does not require a lot of added encouragement (e.g., extra watering, pesticides, and fertilizer). Because it grows so quickly, harvesting this wood for flooring is much more environmentally friendly, and the lack of wasted resources on its growth does the same. Additionally, due to its strength and resilience, it often can be salvaged and refurbished.
Cons of Acacia Wood Flooring
Although the pros definitely outweigh the cons when purchasing acacia wood flooring, it wouldn’t be fair to not share the downsides. Here are the top downsides to acacia hardwood floors:
- It is more expensive than other exotic hardwoods.
- Plank sizes are typically short. (up to 4 feet in length)
- Defects such as knots and blemishes are common.
- May shrink if installed in a very dry home. (maintain 35-55% relative humidity)
Acacia vs. Other Hardwoods
Most woods are not as durable as acacia. And while some woods (such as teak) are more water-resistant, it has a wider range of benefits (such as being anti-bacterial and fire-resistant). Many other more exotic wood species also show scratches much more easily than acacia does. Its anti-bacterial properties keep fungi and molds at bay, and it also resists water damage.
It can also be polished until silky just as well as any other wood, but its natural shine and smoothness are still pleasant without polishing. The only real downside to acacia is that it does not usually come in boards longer than four feet. However, that can look very good in a basket-weave floor pattern.
Acacia vs. Teak
Acacia comes in more species than its exotic hardwood rival, teak. It has a wide range of color and grain patterns. Its tint does not darken with age (unless stained). It also accepts stains much better than teak and is more durable. And it is much more readily available and cheaper; however, it does require a topcoat finish.
Teak has a much more predictable range of color and grain. It tends to have straight patterns with little variety with a light color that darkens with age. It does not require a topcoat, like acacia, because it is even more water-resistant, and its natural oils act as a no-work-required finish.
But acacia is much wilder in beauty than teak and can be tailored (by staining) to fit the needs of the house’s design. Its patterns are wavy and swirling with a broad spectrum of color variation without even taking into consideration any staining options. Acacia can also gleam brighter than teak when polished (mostly because of that recommended topcoat). And it has a similar presentation as other exotic hardwoods while costing half the price of teak, which is one of the most expensive exotic hardwoods.
Read more about acacia vs. teak wood.
Where To Buy Acacia Hardwood Flooring
Buying solid acacia wood flooring can be a challenge if you do not live close to a hardwood floor dealer. There are a few online stores that sell acacia floorings such as Home Depot and Lowes. You will find that most suppliers sell engineered wood floors and not solid hardwood. If you are searching for the highest-quality of acacia wood flooring, we have you covered! Acacia Wood USA works with some of the best manufacturers in exotic hardwood flooring. Our premium flooring is crafted for maximum durability and beauty. Don’t see the style of hardwood you’re looking for? Contact us or fill out the form below to get a custom quote!
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Engineered Acacia Wood & Conclusion
If you are looking for a cost-effective, quality hardwood that is beautiful and classy, without the outrageous price tag, acacia is the way to go. It offers that iconic exotic hardwood look, but without overpaying and without risk of easy scratching. It allows for a depth and variety of presentation that is lacking in many other exotic hardwoods, while still providing easy maintenance and excellent longevity.
In this guide, we mainly discuss solid hardwood, but there are other options when it comes to shopping for flooring. Although solid wood is recommended because of the quality and durability, another popular type is engineered acacia wood flooring. Engineered wood flooring looks very similar on the surface, but it is made from a thin layer of hardwood bonded over high-quality plywood. Engineered acacia wood flooring can be less expensive than solid hardwood, but can typically only be refinished once due to its thin layer of hardwood. So, this is a good option if you are looking for a more budget-friendly floor for your home. Engineered wood flooring is also better in humid conditions and is less likely to warp, but the lifespan is also shorter than solid hardwood.