Zebrawood: A Look at This Popular Exotic Hardwood Lumber in Houston

The world is host to a great number of tree species, some of which are harvested to make various items like home and building accents, furniture, flooring and personal woodworking projects. The wood you choose depends on the type of project or the particular function you need to perform. For instance, if you’re building a boat dock, it’s imperative that you select marine grade lumber; otherwise you will quickly run into issues with water and moisture, and an unstable dock structure. Choose your wood wisely, and consider exploring more exotic species of wood.

With that in mind, here’s a type of exotic wood you’ve likely never heard of: Zebrawood. Let’s take a closer look at the background and features of this popular exotic hardwood lumber in Houston:

  • Appearance and texture: Zebrawood has a golden yellow-brown heartwood that is highlighted by dark brown, almost black streaks. This color combination gives this lumber “stripes,” hence a zebra-like appearance. The grain of Zebrawood has a hard and soft nature and is typically either wavy or interlocked, while its texture is a little course with open pores. A belt sander may be used to give wood that is both hard and soft the smoothest finish possible.
  • How it is cut: Because Zebrawood is unstable, the traditional way to cut it is quarter sawn. Ultimately, the way this wood is cut determines the look of the streaks. If the wood is flat sawn, the streaks (or stripes) can appear a bit chaotic and wavy. If it is quarter sawn, you will end up with streaks that are more uniform, giving the wood that zebra-stripe look.
  • Cost: Although Zebrawood tends to be more on the expensive side, it’s not as pricey as other exotic hardwood lumber in Houston. Zebrawood in workable lumber form as well as veneer are usually readily accessible to woodworkers.
  • Early uses: Many people learned about Zebrawood thanks to their vehicle dashboard, as this was a common wood application a couple decades or so ago. The wood’s color combination of dark with light creates a dramatic look that is still appreciated today.
  • Modern uses: People looking for unique conversation pieces just love the intense patterns and colors of Zebrawood. It makes a statement that others cannot ignore. This type of lumber is used for larger projects like tables and floors, as well as for smaller projects like bookcases, jewelry boxes, knife and tool handles and pens.
  • As an accent wood: The naturally intense pattern of Zebrawood makes it a good choice for smaller applications. Because of this, many woodworkers prefer to use this wood to create accents for furniture pieces and border work for homes and buildings.

Houston Hardwoods Inc. is the place to go for the finest selection of exotic hardwood lumber in Houston. So, before you start your next woodworking project, we invite you to come spend some time with us at our exceptional lumberyard. We have in stock everything from more common woods like pine and cedar to exotic types like Purple Heart and Zebrawood. Call us with inquiries!