When you are working on wood, the timber’s appearance and natural color help you attain the exact picture you’ve imagined in your mind.

If you are looking for wood in darker shades, we’ve created a list of the 10 most sought-out dark wood types or species.

To make it even easier, we’ve also pointed out the properties of each of these wood species.

10 Mostly Used Dark wood Types or dark wood tree species

There are several different types of dark wood that are commonly used in furniture making, flooring, and construction.

Each type of dark wood has its own unique characteristics, such as grain patterns, hardness, and texture.

In this post, we will explore some of the most popular types of dark wood and their features.

1. Ebony Wood

Ebony: Dark wood types
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Ebony trees or Diospyros spp are known for producing the darkest and densest wood in the world. Ebony is an extremely hard and dense wood, making it difficult to work with but also highly durable.

Due to its beauty and rarity, ebony has been used for centuries in high-end furniture, musical instruments, and decorative items.

Its color has several unique qualities. That includes,

  1. The color of ebony wood is not just superficial, but runs throughout the wood, making it consistent in appearance.
  2. Its black color is natural and not achieved through staining or dyeing.
  3. The color of ebony wood can also be influenced by factors such as the tree’s growing conditions, age, and the part of the tree from which the wood is harvested.
  4. The black color of ebony wood can sometimes have subtle variations, with some pieces exhibiting slightly lighter or darker shades of black.
  5. Ebony wood can also have a unique luster, with the black color having a reflective quality that gives the wood a luxurious appearance.
Aspect Description
Native Africa, India, Sri Lanka, and Indonesia.
ColorDeep black with occasional dark brown streaks.
GrainFine & even.
Janka Hardness2200 to 3220 lbf
ProsRich and deep color, durable, and attractive grain patterns.
ConsCan be relatively expensive, Rich and deep in color, durable, and attractive grain patterns.
UsesMusical instruments, furniture, carvings, billiard cues, and luxury items.

2. Mahogany Wood

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Mahogany is a type of hardwood tree that is native to tropical regions of the Americas, particularly in Central and South America.

It is known for its reddish-brown color and distinctive grain pattern, which has made it a popular choice for furniture, flooring, and decorative woodwork.

The features of the color and appearance of mahogany are,

  1. The color can vary slightly depending on the species of the tree and the location where it was grown.
  2. Mahogany wood has a natural luster and depth that can be enhanced with polishing or finishing.
  3. The color can darken over time with exposure to sunlight and air, creating a beautiful patina.
  4. The grain pattern of mahogany wood also contributes to its unique appearance, with a straight, interlocking, or wavy pattern that can be highly sought after in furniture and decorative woodwork.
Aspect Description
Native South and Central America, Africa, and some parts of Asia.
ColorRanges from pale pink to deep reddish-brown with a golden luster.
GrainDurable, resistant to decay and termite damage, easy to work with, and finishes well.
Janka Hardness800 to 1050 lbf
ProsDurable, resistant to decay and termite damage, easy to work with, finishes well.
ConsExpensive, may contain voids or knots, and can cause respiratory problems when inhaled.
UsesFurniture, cabinets, flooring, musical instruments, boat building.

3. Rosewood

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Rosewood is a term used for a variety of hardwood species that are renowned for their exceptional and visually striking grain patterns.

These woods originate from trees belonging to the Dalbergia genus and are found in tropical regions across South America, Africa, and Asia.

The most commonly known rosewood species are Brazilian rosewood, Indian rosewood, and Honduran rosewood.

One of the most notable characteristics of rosewood is its distinct aroma, which is often described as sweet and floral. Also, 

  1. Rosewood is known for its rich and warm colors, ranging from reddish-brown to dark purple-brown.
  2. The wood has a distinctive natural luster that gives it a luxurious appearance.
  3. The color of the wood often deepens and becomes richer over time, making it a popular choice for high-end furniture and musical instruments.
Aspect Description
Native South America, Africa, and Asia.
ColorVaries from dark brown to purple with distinct darker streaks.
GrainUsually straight, but can also be interlocked or wavy, with a fine to medium texture.
Janka Hardness1780 to 2660 lbf
ProsDurable, attractive grain patterns, stable, and workable.
ConsExpensive, rare, and sometimes difficult to find sustainably sourced.
UsesHigh-end furniture, musical instruments, turned objects, flooring, and decorative veneers.

4. Walnut Wood

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Walnut wood comes from the Juglans’ genus of trees, which are native to North America, Europe, and Asia. The wood is prized for its rich, warm color and attractive grain patterns, which can vary widely depending on the species and region of origin.

Its color not only has a rich appearance but also,

  1. It has a rich, dark brown color with a purplish tint and often has streaks of lighter brown or creamy white.
  2. The color of the wood tends to darken over time, becoming more lustrous and deep.
  3. Some varieties of walnut wood, such as Claro walnut, can also have a range of stunning figure patterns, including burls, crotches, and curly grain.
Aspect Description
Native North America, Europe, and Asia
ColorRich chocolate brown with purplish overtones.
GrainStraight, but can also have waves or curls.
Janka Hardness1010 lbf
ProsDurable, attractive, easy to work with, versatile in use.
ConsCan be expensive, and prone to warping or shrinking.
UsesFurniture, cabinetry, flooring, gunstocks, musical instruments, decorative veneers.

5. Teakwood

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Teakwood is a hardwood that is known for its durability, strength, and resistance to decay and insect damage. It is native to Southeast Asia, specifically India, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Thailand. 

Teakwood is also valued for its unique color and grain patterns, which can range from golden brown to dark brown with a straight or wavy grain. 

  1. The color of teakwood tends to darken over time with exposure to sunlight and air, giving it a rich patina.
  2. The color and grain of teakwood make it a highly sought-after material for furniture, flooring, and other decorative applications.
  3. It can be enhanced with oil-based finishes, which can deepen the color and add further protection to the wood.
Aspect Description
Native Southeast Asia (India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand)
ColorGolden-brown to dark brown with a warm, rich patina over time.
GrainStraight to wavy, with prominent growth rings and knots.
Janka Hardness1070 lbf
ProsDurable, strong, resistant to decay and insect damage, high oil content protects against moisture, unique color, and grain patterns, easy to work with and finish.
ConsExpensive, limited availability due to sustainability concerns, may require regular maintenance to preserve color and finish.
UsesOutdoor furniture and decking, boatbuilding, flooring, indoor and outdoor furniture, decorative woodwork, veneers.

6. Wenge

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Wenge wood is a dense and durable hardwood that is native to Central Africa, particularly the Congo region. The wood is known for its dark chocolate-brown to nearly black color with a striking, almost metallic luster.

  1. Wenge wood has a tendency to darken slightly with age and exposure to sunlight, intensifying its deep, rich color.
  2. Its dark color and dramatic grain can create a bold and modern aesthetic in interior design.
Aspect Description
Native Central Africa (particularly the Congo region)
ColorDark chocolate-brown to nearly black with a metallic luster.
GrainDense and durable, unique color and grain, striking appearance, good dimensional stability, resists wear and tear, and good acoustic properties.
Janka Hardness1830 lbf
ProsDense and durable, unique color and grain, striking appearance, good dimensional stability, resists wear and tear, good acoustic properties.
ConsExpensive, difficult to work with, tendency to splinter.
UsesHigh-end furniture, flooring, cabinetry, decorative woodwork, musical instruments, carving, and turning.

7. Zebrawood

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Zebrawood is a type of hardwood that is native to the West African countries of Cameroon, Gabon, and Congo. It is known for its distinctive striped appearance, which features dark brown to black stripes against a light golden-brown background.

Zebrawood’s distinctive coloration and texture make it a highly coveted wood type among woodworking enthusiasts and artisans, who appreciate its unique character and suitability for a wide range of applications.

  1. Zebrawood has a distinct contrast of light and dark stripes that resemble the stripes of a zebra, which gives it its name.
  2. The wood has a light beige to golden yellow color in the sapwood and a darker brown color in the heartwood, creating a striking contrast between the two.
  3. The brown color of zebrawood is often accompanied by blackish-brown streaks, adding to its visual interest and beauty.
  4. Zebrawood’s coloration is natural and does not require any staining or artificial coloring, making it a popular choice for those who prefer natural wood tones.
  5. The wood’s coloration tends to become richer and deeper with age and exposure to light, making it an excellent option for projects that will be used and displayed over time.
  6. Zebrawood’s coloration is versatile and can be used to create both modern and traditional designs, making it a popular choice for a variety of woodworking projects.
Aspect Description
Native Africa
ColorLight to dark brown with distinctive black stripes.
GrainAttractive appearance, durability, and resistance to decay.
Janka Hardness1575 lbf
ProsAttractive appearance, durability, resistance to decay.
ConsCan be difficult to work with due to interlocking grain.
UsesDecorative veneer, furniture, cabinetry, flooring, musical instruments.

8. Black Walnut Wood

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Black Walnut is a popular hardwood that is native to North America. It is known for its dark, rich color with black streaks and its durability, making it a popular choice for furniture, flooring, and decorative woodwork.

Talking about its color, let’s explore the benefits

  1. Black walnut is a dark, rich, and warm-toned wood that exudes timeless elegance and sophistication, making it a popular choice for furniture, flooring, and cabinetry.
  2. Its color deepens and becomes more lustrous with age, enhancing its beauty and increasing its value over time.
  3. Its color is compatible with a variety of interior styles, from traditional to modern, and can be paired with different textures, colors, and patterns to create a harmonious and balanced look.
Aspect Description
Native Eastern and central North America
ColorDark, rich, warm-toned brown with streaks of lighter sapwood.
GrainStraight to slightly wavy, with a medium to coarse texture.
Janka Hardness1010 lbf
ProsDurable, naturally resistant to decay and insect damage, deepens in color and luster over time, versatile, and can be easily stained or finished.
ConsExpensive, limited availability, may cause allergic reactions in some people.
UsesWoodworking, Dyeing, Livestock feed.

9. Sapele Wood

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Sapele wood is a type of hardwood native to tropical Africa, primarily found in countries such as Nigeria, Cameroon, and Ghana. It is a popular choice among woodworkers and furniture makers due to its beautiful appearance and excellent working properties.

  1. Sapele wood has a distinctive dark reddish-brown color with a ribbon-like grain that gives it a unique and attractive look.
  2. The warm, rich tone of Sapele wood adds a cozy and inviting feel to any space.
  3. Sapele wood’s color complements a wide range of design styles, from traditional to contemporary.
  4. The natural color of Sapele wood is resistant to fading, ensuring that it maintains its beauty over time.
  5. Its color can be paired with a variety of other materials, such as stone and metal, to create a striking visual contrast.
Aspect Description
Native Tropical Africa
ColorDark reddish-brown with ribbon-like grain.
GrainInterlocked, sometimes wavy.
Janka Hardness1410 lbf
ProsDurable, rot-resistant, beautiful appearance
ConsDifficult to saw and plane, prone to tear-out.
UsesFlooring, cabinetry, furniture, decorative veneers, musical instruments, boat building, exterior millwork.

10. Black Cherry Wood

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Black cherry wood is a type of hardwood that is native to North America, mainly found in the Eastern United States and Canada. It is highly valued for its natural beauty, durability, and versatility.

  1. Black cherry wood has a warm, reddish-brown color that adds a cozy and inviting feel to any space.
  2. As black cherry wood ages, its color deepens and becomes richer, giving it a more refined and elegant appearance.
  3. The wood’s unique grain patterns and rich color make it highly sought-after for its natural beauty.
  4. The natural color of black cherry wood is resistant to fading, ensuring that it maintains its beauty over time.
  5. Choosing black cherry wood is a sustainable choice, as it is sourced from responsibly managed forests and is a renewable resource.
Aspect Description
Native Eastern United States and Canada.
ColorWarm reddish-brown with occasional darker streaks.
GrainFine and uniform, with occasional irregular or wavy patterns.
Janka Hardness950 lbf
ProsBeautiful natural color, attractive grain patterns, excellent working properties, sustainable choice.
ConsRelatively soft and prone to denting, can darken over time.
UsesFurniture, cabinetry, flooring, millwork, decorative veneers, musical instruments, turnery.


The use of dark wood in interior design is a popular choice due to its elegance, warmth, and versatility.

From the deep chocolate brown hues of walnut to the rich reddish-brown tones of cherry, there is a wide variety of options to choose from.

Each species has its own unique characteristics, including grain patterns, texture, and durability.

Incorporating dark wood into your design scheme can help create a cozy and inviting atmosphere, making it a popular choice for flooring, furniture, and cabinetry

Frequently Asked Questions

The cost of wood can vary depending on the type of wood, the grade of the wood, and the availability of the wood.

While some dark woods like ebony and rosewood can be expensive due to their rarity, other dark woods like mahogany and walnut are more readily available. They may be similarly priced to lighter woods.

To care for dark wood furniture, it is important to keep it clean and free from dust and debris.

Use a soft cloth to gently wipe the surface, and avoid using harsh chemicals or abrasive cleaners that could damage the wood.

Additionally, it is important to keep dark wood furniture out of direct sunlight, as this can cause fading or discoloration over time.

Dark wood can be used in a variety of ways to add warmth and elegance to interior design.

Some popular options include using dark wood flooring or cabinetry, incorporating dark wood furniture pieces like coffee tables or bookcases, and using dark wood accent pieces like picture frames or wall art.

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