Nova USA Exotic Hardwood Flooring - Wood Flooring 101

By Suzanne Hendrix, 01/31/13

Welcome back to the Nova USA Wood blog, the most in-depth hardwood species series on the web. Today's blog is an in depth look at Nova USA's Exotic Hardwood Flooring.

Nova USA's solid hardwood flooring program specializes in imported exotic woods. Wood flooring in its simplest format breaks down into UF (unfinished - sand and finish application) and PF (prefinished – no sanding and finishing required). One can find UF and PF flooring in both solid and engineered wood compositions.

Solid Wood UF – These products are primarily sold through wholesale distribution to licensed flooring contractors. UF exotic hardwood flooring is most commonly used in new construction and larger, more extensive remodels. Due to the level of skill required to properly install, sand, and finish a hardwood floor, these are typically not ideal for a DIY project.

Nova Blog Photo

Unfinished Hardwood Flooring

Solid Wood PF – These products come out of the box finished and ready to install. Because they don't require the sand and finish skills of a licensed contractor they are readily sold through flooring wholesalers and retailers, home improvement stores, as well as over the internet.

Nova Blog Photo

Prefinished Hardwood Flooring

Engineered Wood UF and PF

Engineered Wood UF and PF – These products are sold through the same channels as Solid wood floors and may or may not require the skills of a licensed contractor. The versatility, and added stability, of engineered wood floors allow for easier installation in below grade applications as well as over concrete slabs and radiant heat subfloors.

Nova Blog Photo

Engineered Hardwood Flooring

Nova USA South American Exotic Hardwoods

Exotic wood floors are our specialty. All of the species we import are sustainably harvested and Lacey Act compliant. These incredibly unique woods have gorgeous coloring and figure in every piece and tend to rate at the higher end of the hardness scale.

Nova Blog Photo

Exotic Hardwood Flooring

Nova USA's hardwood flooring can be analyzed using a number of different variables which are important to consider when one is looking for the best wood flooring product for their specific application:


All are harder than oak (except genuine mahogany). The Janka scale gives a range from hardest to softest which can be used to help educate then customer when hardness and resistance to marking is important to them. Note that despite wood hardness, finishes will still scratch whether factory finish (PF) or site finish (sand and finish job).


A common selling variable: From rich, dark colors heavy in natural reds and browns to lighter tans, yellows, and creams, there is generally a pleasing option for any customer looking for a certain color tone to match their project.


Our exotic imported hardwoods range from a very figured and color-varied look with wild grain to more uniform color and consistent straight grain visuals. Defining this point can help to focus on the best category to meet the given needs/desires of the project.


Solid wood vs. Engineered. As mentioned, engineered products are the best choice for certain applications – glue-down to concrete slab for example. Nova is mainly a solid wood flooring company and has fewer offerings in engineered. It should be noted that solid wood flooring can be glued to a concrete slab and is done so more than ever now thanks to many improvements in the adhesive products industry.


Is a certain thickness desired or required for a particular job? This will direct the sale. Nova is strongest in solid ¾" thick and has few offerings in thinner products, which in solid wood are not nearly as common.


While our exotics are generally more expensive than domestic woods, we do still have a range of prices. Defining a specific budget, combined with other desirable characteristics, will help to identify a category of products to consider.


Nova offers both FSC and non-FSC products. All of our wood floors are sustainably harvested from natural forests and/or plantation grown. For more specific environmental information about our wood species and the forests they come from, please visit our website at

Exotic hardwoods vs. Domestic woods:

Nova USA's exotic hardwood flooring is harder, denser and generally more durable than domestic woods such as Oak, Maple, Cherry, Walnut, Ash, & Hickory. Additionally, their stunningly beautiful colors, graining, and figuring are unmatched when compared to domestic species.

Many UF and PF domestics, especially Oak, have become commodity items that are primarily sold based on price and price alone. Nova USA's exotic hardwoods are a unique, value-added, niche product, which will personalize and add special character to any installation.

If you have any questions regarding our beautiful collection of Exotic Hardwood Floors, please don't hesitate to contact us.

By Suzanne Hendrix, 01/31/13


By CpjJwWHV on 03/08/23

Display Name:
Contact Email:


please be respectful of others' opinions and do not use profanity.

comments may be edited for objectionable content.

Email addresses are not publicly posted, and are used to follow up directly with your comment as needed.

Blog Articles by Year