Tigerwood Flooring Review: The Pros and Cons

By Samuel N •  Updated: 02/08/23 • 

When installing new flooring or undertaking a renovation, choosing flooring is one of the basic yet important decisions. For hardwood floors, there are different options you can choose from, and each is not created equal. There is a wide range of factors that impact both the aesthetics and performance of the flooring.

Tigerwood is one of the popular hardwood flooring choices because of its contrast between dark brown and reddish brown streaks. If you want to install tigerwood flooring, you’re in the right place. In this post, we’ll discuss tigerwood, its types, cost, durability, maintenance, and pros and cons. Enjoy.

What is Tigerwood Flooring?

Tigerwood is one of the most exotic and sought-after hardwood floorings around. It is a South American hardwood species from Brazil, Bolivia, Uruguay, and Paraguay regions. Tigerwood takes its name from its tiger-like stripes, which range from orange to rich brown background color made dynamic by random black and brown splashes. Tigerwood is also known as Brazilian Koa, Zebra Wood, Brazilian Tigerwood, and Goncalo Alves.

Tigerwood flooring in the kitchen

Apart from its striking aesthetics, tigerwood is also very hard. Its Janka hardness scale rating is 2160, making it harder than most flooring options. This makes it very durable and can take abuse from pets and large families. It is also resistant to pests, such as termites and beetles, that destroy wood flooring.

Tigerwood Flooring Cost

The cost of tigerwood flooring vary depending on the distributor, width and thickness, and source location. Tigerwood flooring is on the high-tier flooring grade and will cost around $5 per square foot for the flooring and between $8 to $15 for the installation. On average, the installation cost will make up close to 50 percent of the total project cost.

Tigerwood Durability & Maintenance

Tigerwood flooring is naturally durable but requires proper care and maintenance to last even longer. It is practically dent resistant and will look new and polished for a long time. One of the things to watch out for with tigerwood flooring is sunlight. When exposed to direct sunlight for long hours during the day, you will see a gradual darkening of the colors. However, this takes time (7-9 years) and can be avoided by limiting the amount of sunlight that hits the floor.

Pros of Tigerwood Flooring

Striking Visual Appeal

Tigerwood offers dramatic color with deep and dark brown streaks across a tan or rich orange-colored background. This gives your home a custom visual appeal different from the typical hickory, oak, and maple offerings. Because of its unique visual appeal, tigerwood is graded based on color and patterns.

Tigerwood's Striking Visual Appearance

Tigerwood’s Striking Visual Appearance

The two grades of tigerwood are clear and common grade. Clear-grade tiger wood flooring is rich in orange color with striking brown and black streaks. The lesser grade, common grade, usually has small milling defects, less pronounced color, or a lack of streaks.

Hard and Durable

With a Janka rating of 2160, tigerwood is one of the hardest wood floorings around. This makes it very durable and resists most surface dents and dings, which keeps it looking great for longer. Tigerwood also resists heavy traffic quite well, which makes it a great flooring option for a large family home.

Resistant to Water Damage

Tigerwood is a very dense and heavy wood. This makes it water resistant because it hardly absorbs water. It also has abundant natural oils, improving its water permeability ratings and protecting it from rotting and mold. Even after exposure to water, tigerwood will hardly expand or contract, which keeps it from warping, buckling, or cracking.

Easy To Maintain

Once finished, tigerwood is very easy to maintain. To keep the floor clean, damp mopping it once a week with a solution of water and vinegar or soap and water mix. This mixture will break down grime without affecting the floor finish. Always avoid harsh cleaners not designed for cleaning exotic hardwood floors.

Refinished Tigerwood Flooring

Refinished Tigerwood Flooring

Cons of Tigerwood Flooring


Although tigerwood is relatively easy to maintain, it is prone to discoloration when exposed to sunlight. With time the rich, vibrant orange color tends to darken into a dark brown or reddish color. This reduces the contrast between the lighter and darker colors, taking out tigerwood’s drama/striking color. To slow down the rate of discoloration, try to limit the amount of sunlight that hits the floor. With that said, tigerwood discoloring takes about seven to 10 years.

Installation Costs

With the use of professional tools, it will be easier to install tigerwood flooring. This will come as a challenge for DIY enthusiasts, and you could mess up a perfect flooring. Seeking professional help is also quite expensive and could be up to 50 percent of the total flooring cost.

Wrapping Up

Just like a tiger, tigerwood lives up to its name. It is striking, dramatic, and quite impressive to install in your home. Its hardness and durability mean you don’t have to worry about surface dents and scratches, rotting, pests, or extreme weather. Although it is fairly expensive, tigerwood will last in your home for years.

Samuel N

Samuel N is the founder of Improve Floor and has been in the flooring industry since 2005. Since then, his mission has been to make flooring easier for everyone. He helps countless people with flooring installation, finishing, maintenance, and repairs each year.