Acacia wood is rapidly gaining ground as a popular flooring option, with the number of installations done in homes and commercial properties registering an increase. To cater to the sudden demand, statistics indicate the land under commercial Acacia trees to be over 2 million hectares. What’s making so many people opt for acacia wood flooring and not other exotic hardwoods? The reasons are many and vary from person to person. They include the exceptional durability of the flooring and its bargain price. Its low maintenance and ability to resist various forms of damage, too. But it’s the distinctive look of this flooring that seems to attract homeowners and designers the most. Acacia gives homes a unique luxurious appearance that cannot be gotten from any other flooring. Your guests will never forget the warmth and elegance the floor brought out. In commercial properties, the ambiance it creates will awe your clients. The color variations are just awesome, and the rustic appeal out of this world. And that’s at a cost that’s less than that of a majority of hardwood varieties.
If you’re planning to install acacia wood flooring, it’s essential that you understand its benefits and drawbacks. The costs involved, too, so you can compare it with other floor options. The flooring also suits some environments better than others, and you would need to ascertain whether your place would look great in acacia or not. This is what this review offers you, an in-depth look at what benefits you stand to gain by installing this floor, its disadvantages, the costs involved, buying tips, and how to care for it. At the end, I will bring you a list of the top retailers and the major acacia wood flooring brands they stock. So, should you go for acacia or not? Let’s find that out in five minutes or so.
The grains in Acacia wood are uniquely deep-set with beautiful swirls that run the whole length of the planks. The colors, too, which range from yellow, brown to a touch of red. It’s the color variations and distinctive grain pattern that make this flooring one-of-a-kind. Compared to other hardwood floors, acacia gives your home or commercial place a stylish and adorable look. It makes your home or other property to stand out from the others. And that’s in addition to satisfying your preference for the unusual.
If given adequate and the right care, acacia wood flooring can last for as long as 50 years, sometimes even up to 100 years. The durability is attributable to the hardness of Acacia wood which is higher than that of some popular hardwoods. On the Janka scale, the hardest Acacia species is rated 2220. This is way above what most of the hardwood floors used in homes can achieve. Apart from the level of care, the durability of acacia flooring depends on the thickness of the planks. Thicker ones hold up to damage better than thin ones, plus you can refinish them a few times over the years. Acacia flooring is suitable if you have children and pets. Also, if your home or commercial property is high traffic. The hardness of this wood makes it less susceptible to gouges, scratches or dents.
The variety this flooring offers is incredible. Because of the many different species of the tree, (there are 13,00 of them) acacia flooring comes in various colors for your choice. It’s also available in different planks widths and lengths. For the surface appearance, you get to choose from several of them including the rustic hand scraped. Depending on your preference and budget, you may opt to go for solid acacia, the engineered or the laminate type. It means more likelihood that you will find the acacia floor of your choice. Also, the one that’s in line with your estimated costs for the floor installation project.
Cleaning your acacia wood flooring is easier compared to cleaning other floors such as carpets. It doesn’t trap dust, hair and debris and you only need to sweep the surface to keep the flooring in top condition. Occasionally mopping it removes dirt and germs for a hygienic surface. Only ensure you use a damp mop when washing your acacia floor. Acacia contains natural oils that act as a coating of wax to prevent damage. As a result, flooring made from its wood resists the warping and buckling caused by water. Pests, too, won’t present a danger since they find the oils repelling. However, it’s good to note that acacia resists water but it isn’t waterproof. Therefore, ensure you don’t leave water standing on its surface for long. That’s why you shouldn’t wet mop it to avoid cases where the water seeps into the planks and presents the risk of damage. Clear spills immediately they occur, too. That way, your acacia wood flooring will last for years without demanding much care from you.
Can be a Significant Part of a Home’s Design
With developers today opting for acacia, your home’s design can be significantly enhanced by the flooring. It will attract attention and become the point of focus in your home. Wide planks bring elegance to the rooms of your home while the hand-scraped type provides a warm and flexible look. Having an acacia wood flooring can even improve your home’s sale price if the buyer is deeply attracted to its colorful and rustic appearance. It makes the flooring a worthy investment, one you should consider if looking to improve the look and value of your home.
Compared to many other exotic hardwoods, Acacia takes a shorter time to grow and be ready for commercial harvesting. On top of that, obtaining the wood doesn’t destroy the naturally growing forests. Most of the acacia wood used to make flooring is derived from the trees grown in commercial plantations and meant for the harvesting of wood. That means safety for the natural forests. In fact, most acacia wood flooring products are monitored right from tree harvesting to the production phase to ensure they do not cause harm to the environment. The flooring can also be recycled or even reused which makes it of less impact on the environment. Besides that, the extreme durability of acacia means fewer trees will be cut over time.
In addition to being easy to clean, acacia flooring resists mold and mildew growths. This makes it a good choice if looking for a floor that suits moisture-prone places. It means you can comfortably install it in your kitchen, for example. It also makes make acacia flooring the one to go for if you or a family member is allergic to mold and mildew. Both solid and engineered acacia have this property.
The Cons of Acacia Flooring
The elegance of acacia doesn’t mean it comes with no flaws. Just like any other flooring option, it has its disadvantages. It’s good that you’re aware of them when deciding whether to install it or not. The downsides include:
Acacia trees have trunks that are naturally short. As a result, the wood planks gotten from them are generally short-length, usually less than 4 feet. It can be a drawback when having large areas to cover. You would need more planks than when using other flooring types. consequently, more labor would be required to carry out the installation. This isn’t good news if planning to install the flooring yourself. However, some people will find the short planks as adding to the style of this flooring. Maybe you’re one of them, and you don’t mind many pieces of the wood adorning your home’s floors or even the installation work involved. If so, acacia could be the type of flooring for you.
Acacia wood flooring is usually hardy and not easily damaged by various environments. However, it’s susceptible to buckling when exposed to certain conditions or if produced the wrong way. In cases where the floor is not adequately dried during manufacture, it will do so at your home, usually with disastrous results. The flooring will shrink and leave gaps that would cost you a lot to repair. Buckling can also happen if you don’t acclimate the flooring adequately before installation. This would happen especially if you live in an area where the climate is extremely dry. Another possible cause of buckling would be levels of humidity that are too high.
To avoid all these issues, ensure the acacia flooring you buy was properly dried during manufacture. A moisture content of between 6% -8% for the flooring usually advisable. Higher than that, and you might experience shrinking of the planks soon after installation. Acclimate your acacia flooring for 5 days or more before installing it. Do so by keeping it in boxes that are open so it gets used to the humidity levels of your home. Another way to prevent your acacia flooring from buckling would be to monitor and control the levels of humidity. Ensure it doesn’t exceed 55% as it could cause the planks to absorb too much moisture and expand.
More Costly Compared to Other Flooring Options
In the category of exotic hardwood floors, acacia wood is a cheaper option. However, its price is higher when compared to many other hard floors or those made from the wood of native tree species. This makes it cost effective only when you’re focused on installing hardwood flooring. If looking for any cheap hard floor, it may not be a viable option. If acacia wood flooring is still your preference but not within your financial powers or projections, don’t worry. You can bring the cost down by choosing the laminate variety. This one offers the beauty of acacia flooring at a price that’s comparably low. Only note that laminate acacia doesn’t offer properties similar to those of solid acacia wood.
Too Many Defects
The acacia tree is usually shrubby with branches that are also often twisted. Combine that with its short nature, and milling long blemish-free planks from the tree is impossible. Therefore, expect every piece of acacia flooring to have knots, stains, color variations and other defects. While there are those who are intrigued by the many knots and blemishes of acacia wood, some find it unappealing.
Too Many Color Variations
The color variations in the flooring are more than you can find in any other exotic hardwood. That means the many shades, even when you’ve selected a particular color. The rich colors and tone variations of acacia flooring are admirable, but not by everybody. There are those who find the lack of consistency unattractive. If you’re one of them, you could choose to stain the floor to make the tone somewhat consistent.
What Options of Acacia Flooring are Available?
There are three different types of the flooring to select from; solid acacia, engineered acacia, and laminate acacia. The type you opt for will depend on many different factors such as your taste and preference, budget, your home’s conditions and more. Here is a summary of what each acacia flooring type offers.
Planks for this flooring are available in widths of between 3 and 4 inches. The floors are three-quarters of an inch in thickness which is the highest of the three. Hand scraped acacia planks are usually the solid type. Solid acacia floors are also available as the standard flooring variety. It’s the most expensive type but the most durable. It’s also easy and safe to refinish when there has been noticeable dents or scratches.
This floor type consists of solid acacia on a base that’s made out of engineered plywood. The planks are ⅜ of an inch thick and widths range from 3 to 5 inches. It’s available as either standard or hand scraped variety. Engineered acacia flooring can stay for long before requiring a refinish. It also holds to humidity well and makes a good choice for rooms that experience relatively high moisture levels such as your kitchen.
This type is made by fusing a photographic layer of acacia replica on a solid wood base. It’s meant to give the flooring the beautiful look of but without using the real acacia. This variety is the cheapest and the one to go for if looking for a floor that offers the appeal of acacia flooring but at a fraction of the price. However, it doesn’t offer the textures that are possible with solid acacia neither does it allow the type of refinishes you can achieve with solid acacia. A person with a keen eye will also easily pick out the photographic layer and know it isn’t real acacia wood.
How to Choose Your Acacia Flooring
The flooring is readily available with most of the stores that stock other types of floors selling it. The supply of acacia flooring is currently adequate, with commercial plantations estimated to total over 2 million hectares worldwide. The tree is grown in more than 70 countries around the world which means the supply is steady. When buying your acacia floor, ensure that you:
Buy from Reputable Manufacturers
It assures you of the floor’s quality. Not every manufacturer will employ the right manufacturing procedures, with some of them cutting costs at the expense of quality. A significant manufacturing process that some companies don’t adhere to is proper drying of the flooring. Ensure it was passed through the kiln two times and that the moisture content lies in the range of 6% and 8%. It will save you cases where the flooring shrinks and causes noticeable gaps to appear.
Choose the Most Fair Price
Some companies unreasonably raise the price of their products. It mostly doesn’t mean higher quality, and you would be better off going for a lower price. However, that doesn’t mean opting for the lowest priced flooring as that could be a red flag for compromised quality. Moderate prices are the ones to go for unless the extremely low cost is as a result of an ongoing offer or discount. On the issue of offers, scout online for them, especially from companies that sell acacia floors both at physical stores and on their websites.
Buy Responsibly Produced Flooring
Some manufacturers follow responsible manufacturing for both tree harvesting and in the making of their floors. Ensure the acacia wood flooring you buy bears the FSC seal for the green harvesting of acacia. By doing that, you will have participated in ensuring the environment is protected. Acacia flooring is considered a relatively green option, but you would need to play your part in ensuring it is.
Another buying tip for acacia wood flooring is to choose the one that matches your budget. This floor is available as three different varieties for different price ranges. The most expensive is solid acacia while the least expensive is laminate acacia. Choosing the the right type based on your finances serves to ensure your project doesn’t stall at any one point. Don’t forget about the warranty offered by the manufacturer. A lengthy one shows a product that can be trusted to last for long. It also indicates a manufacturer who cares about their customers.
Budgeting for Your Acacia Flooring
When looking to install a hardwood floor, acacia is the less costly option. It’s one of the reasons many people are choosing it over the other exotic hardwood floors. Budgeting for the installation of acacia flooring in your home or commercial place involves two costs; the buying prices and installation expenses.
The price of solid acacia flooring is the highest, and ranges from $3-$8 for every square foot. Engineered acacia is the second concerning price, with each square foot of the flooring costing an average of between $2.60-$8. The least expensive is laminate acacia whose cost per square foot ranges from $0.80-$4.
Acacia wood flooring is relatively easy to install. However, you may choose to hire a professional to install it and save yourself the labor involved. Should you do so, expect to pay the following.
The cost of having solid acacia floor installed is around $3 to $8. You will pay between $1 and $3 for laminate acacia. The rates here are only estimated values meant to offer you a rough idea of what to expect and what to budget for. The amounts will often vary from one place to another. Different professionals will also have different rates for the amounts they charge for each type of acacia flooring. When choosing your installer, go for the one who charges a reasonable price. The flooring is not difficult to install, and you shouldn’t pay a fortune for the job. Alternatively, you may choose to use the DIY approach, especially if your budget is tight or if you’ve some experience with flooring installations.
Other installation costs include expenses of removing the existing floor before putting up the acacia one. It’s always advisable to do so and avoid problems later. Ensure you factor this expense in when budgeting for the installation. That’s if you decide to hire someone to do it on your behalf. To lower the installation expenses, you may decide to remove the old floor yourself. Do so if the area is not large and there’s not much work to be done. I would also advise that you invest in an underlayment. Acacia floors are known for their ability to resist water damage. However, it doesn’t mean that the floor won’t get damaged by excessive moisture levels. An underpayment can help you protect your precious acacia flooring from such damage, so make sure you buy one.
While installing your acacia wood flooring might be DIY-able, I wouldn’t advise you to follow that route. You risk producing a poorly installed floor, plus you may not have the tools needed. Look for an installer who charges a moderate amount by asking around. A little effort of finding one is likely to bear fruit so don’t give in easily. Also, buy the flooring yourself. Depending on the contractor to purchase it for you could result in you having to pay more.
Caring for Your Acacia Flooring
Acacia floors don’t require a lot to maintain. Only regular sweeps and occasional damp mops and your home is ever clean. Being pretty hard, the wood of acacia makes floors that hold up to the wear caused by high traffic. It also resists damage resulting from a number of causes such as the dropping of objects, scratching by pets and more.
However, you would need to exercise the necessary caution. In spite of the ability of acacia flooring to resist damage, it isn’t entirely immune to it. Traffic will result in a noticeable loss of shine over time, while some objects will cause the surface to gouge, scratch or dent. As a precaution and part of maintenance, you need to observe a few practices. They include refinishing the floor to restore sheen, making sure sharp and metallic objects are well stored and trimming the nails of large pets.
Should you notice wear or damage to the surface of acacia flooring, restoring the luster and smooth look is easy. You only need to refinish it, and the surface will look new again. Don’t worry about the process, though. Because the floor can withstand wear and damage, it will not be before 10 years that you will need to refinish it.
Reviews of Top Acacia Flooring Retailers
By now, I believe you’ve already the made decision whether to install an acacia floor or not. This list of the top retailers is to help you find quality and reasonably priced flooring. Some of the sellers are both online and brick-and-mortar stores, while others are solely online retailers. Use it to narrow down your choices and pick the place to obtain the flooring for your project.
Lowes started its operations more than 70 years ago. It’s one of the oldest companies in the industry and the second largest seller of home improvement products globally. With such broad experience and business acumen, the company has been able to offer great customer service and quality products. Reviews about them are favorable with many people finding their products to be of high quality. The company mainly sells FLEXCO and the US Floors brands. The available floors varieties include solid acacia, laminate acacia and the engineered variety. Planks are available in a variety of sizes and as the regular and hand scraped type.
The company started more than 60 years ago and has, over the years, grown to be among the leading flooring retailers. They sell mostly the Cross Island brand. Another major brand sold by the retailer is Floors of Distinction. The flooring varieties offered by Menards are mainly solid acacia and the engineered type. Reviews are neither negative nor positive. The reactions from customers are mixed with some expressing satisfaction with quality.
The company has been in the industry for close to forty years supplying customers with home improvement products and materials. Their customer service is commendable and online reviews about their products are generally positive. Loved for their wide selection of acacia floors, Home Depot stocks popular acacia flooring brands such as HomeLegend, Pergo and TrafficMaster. The floors are available in different types such as solid acacia, engineered and laminate acacia. The company focuses mainly on DIY floors which explains the huge number of homeowners buying from them. The length of planks ranges from 4 to 6 inches width.
This retailer is relatively new in the market. They have no physical store, so you can only buy from them online. The brands in its collection include Bruce, Armstrong, Shaw and Mohawk. Reviews are positive with most of their customers having received acacia floors that met their expectations. Their customer service is also mostly favorably reviewed. The collection they offer for acacia flooring is wide and you will most likely find your preferred color, size and more.
Floor & Decor
The company has not been in the industry for as long as many of the companies here, having begun operations in the year 2000. However, they’re a leading supplier of acacia flooring, and reviews about them are highly positive. Their customs care is also excellent judging by the high number of happy customers. They stock mostly the solid variety of acacia flooring and the engineered type. They do sell the laminate variety, but its selection is limited. The colors in their collection are varied but mostly medium. Planks are available in various styles and sizes, too.
This company has been operating for more than 20 years, offering flooring products to homeowners. Their customers are mostly happy people who praise the floors from the company as being highly durable. Among the popular brands of acacia that Lumber Liquidators stock we may count Builders Pride, BellaWood, and Virginia Mill Works. The floors are available as solid acacia, engineered and the laminate variety. The company doesn’t usually offer acacia flooring that’s DIY, and many of their customers complain about difficulties with installations. However, they have a wide range of the floors that will suit your preferences.
Acacia wood flooring is a budget-friendly hardwood option. It doesn’t harm your finances, yet it offers you the quality and elegance of any hardwood flooring or even better. It’s one of the best choices if you have large areas to cover but want to keep the costs the lowest. The flooring is extremely durable and will outlast most of the floor types. This makes it even more cost-effective and worth installing if looking for a floor that will make a long-term investment. Acacia flooring is also not demanding when it comes to maintaining it. It doesn’t require any special cleaning solutions or equipment to keep clean, plus it doesn’t harbor dust and other allergens. That makes the flooring a good option if allergies are a problem in your home.
Many people find the vibrant colors, well-defined grains and the knots and blemishes of acacia wood flooring to be extremely attractive. When hand scraped, the appeal can even improve to surpass that of many hardwood floors. If you’re concerned about the environmental impact of harvesting exotic hardwood, you need not worry with acacia flooring. Most of the wood used to make it comes from commercial plantations. The production process does not involve harmful chemicals which makes the flooring safe for you and the environment. Go for acacia if you want a hardwood flooring that’s pocket-friendly, great looking, eco-friendly, and long-lasting. However, it may not suit you if looking for a floor with consistent colors or long planks.