Is Zebrawood a Hardwood? Is it Good for Floors and Furniture?

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It’s easy to select any wood type based on your preferences, but choosing the wrong one may compromise the quality of your woodworking projects.

If you’re interested to know if Zebrawood is a hardwood that is suitable for your project, our woodworkers are here to tackle this topic in detail! We’ll also elaborate on its characteristics, benefits, and potential uses. Let’s start!

The Hardness of Zebrawood and its Classification

Zebrawood is known for its distinctive striped appearance, which makes it a popular choice for decorative purposes. Beyond its aesthetic appeal, Zebrawood is also known for its hardness and durability, making it suitable for a variety of applications.

It is considered a hardwood, sourced from various deciduous tree species mostly found in African countries such as Congo and Cameroon. It has a Janka hardness ranging from 1575 to 2200 lbf, which puts it on the higher end of the hardness scale.

This makes it a harder wood than some popular choices such as Cherry and Mahogany, but not as hard as Brazilian Cherry, Ebony, or Australian Buloke.


The high hardness of Zebrawood makes it a great choice for flooring and furniture that need to withstand wear and tear. Its durability also makes it resistant to scratches and dents, which can help to extend the life of furniture and flooring made from this wood.

For your reference, here is a list of various wood species with their respective hardness values according to the Janka hardness test, with Zebrawood highlighted:

Wood Species

Janka Hardness (lbf)


380-900 lbf

Engelman Spruce 

390 Ibf

White Cedar

320 Ibf

White Oak

1360-1910 lbf

Red Oak (Northern)

1290-1370 lbf

Hard Maple, Sugar Maple 

1450-2100 lbf


800-1200 lbf

Black Walnut, North American Walnut

1010-1220 lbf


950-1150 lbf

Imbua ,Black Cherry

950 Ibf

Pecan,Hickory, Satinwood

1820-2350 lbf


1575-2200 lbf

Brazilian Cherry

2350-3680 lbf

Golden Teak 

2330 Ibf

Red Mahogany, Turpentine 

2697 Ibf


3220-3760 lbf

Brazillian Walnut

3,684 lbf

Australian Buloke

5060 lbf 

Douglas Fir

710 Ibf


570 Ibf 

Characteristics of Zebrawood

zebra wood piece

Zebrawood is renowned for its versatility, offering a combination of hardness and durability that makes it an ideal selection for flooring and furniture requiring resilience against heavy wear and tear.

Another characteristic of Zebrawood is its dimensional stability. It is less prone to shrinkage and expansion due to changes in temperature and humidity, which is great for applications where stability is important, such as in boatbuilding.

This wood is considered to be wood insect resistant. Some species of zebrawood, such as Microberlinia brazzavillensis, have been found to have a natural resistance to decay and insect infestation.

This can make it a good choice for outdoor furniture or other applications where exposure to the elements is a concern.

Zebrawood is also known for its workability. While it can be difficult to cut due to its hardness, it can be sanded and polished to a smooth finish. It also has good gluing and finishing properties, making it a versatile wood to work with.

zebra wood grain pattern

Lastly, Zebrawood is famous for its unique coloring and zebra-like grain pattern. 

These striking and eponymous features make it a popular choice for decorative purposes, which can add a touch of visual interest to any space, whether be it for flooring, furniture, or decorative items such as picture frames or musical instruments.

Here are a few additional details about Zebrawood:

Benefits and Drawbacks of Zebrawood

cutting zebra wood



Best Uses for Zebrawood

Due to its versatility, the uses of Zebrawood are not limited for indoors but also for outdoor projects. Below are considered the best uses for Zebrawood:

Strength of Zebrawood

Zebrawood has a good strength-to-weight ratio, making it a strong and durable wood. The wood’s strength, coupled with its dimensional stability and resistance to decay and insects, make it a popular choice for a variety of applications.

Here are the additional details when it comes to its compressive and bending strength:

preparing zebra wood

Is Zebrawood a Pricey Lumber?

Zebrawood is considered pricey lumber because of its rarity and unique appearance. The wood is sourced primarily from West Africa, and its distinctive striped pattern makes it a popular choice for high-end woodworking projects.

The price of Zebrawood can vary depending on factors such as the size and quality of the lumber, as well as the location and availability of the wood In general, it’s premium hardwood and can be more expensive than many other types of wood.

Is it Good For Making Cutting Boards?

While Zebrawood is highly strong and durable, it may not be a good material for cutting boards because the wood contains natural oils that can be toxic if ingested and can also cause allergic reactions in some people.

Additionally, the wood’s open pores can trap bacteria and make it difficult to thoroughly clean and sanitize. For these reasons, it is generally recommended to avoid using Zebrawood for cutting boards or for surfaces for food preparation.

You might want to check out: Is Elm Good For Furniture

walnut and zebrawood

Hardness of Zebrawood vs Walnut

Here’s a comparison table of the hardness of Walnut and Zebrawood:

Wood Species

Janka Hardness Rating


1010 lbf


1575 lbf

As you can tell, Zebrawood has a higher Janka hardness rating compared to Walnut. Zebrawood is considered a relatively hard wood, with a Janka hardness rating of approximately 1575 lbf (pounds-force). 

On the other hand, Walnut has a Janka hardness rating of approximately 1010 lbf, which is softer than Zebrawood. 

While both Zebrawood and Walnut are popular choices for woodworking projects, Zebrawood’s greater hardness may make it more suitable for certain applications where strength and durability are important factors, such as flooring or furniture. 

However, Walnut is still a strong and durable wood and is preferred by some woodworkers for its unique color and grain patterns. Ultimately, the choice between Zebrawood and Walnut wood will depend on the specific requirements of your project at hand.

oiling zebra wood


Is Zebrawood durable?

Yes, Zebrawood is durable. It has a high Janka hardness rating and is known for its strength and resistance to wear and tear. Additionally, it is naturally resistant to decay and insect attacks, which can further contribute to its overall durability.


Zebrawood is a hardwood that is beautiful and durable with a high Janka hardness rating. In addition, it’s naturally resistant to decay and insects.

Although it can be relatively expensive and rare, It may be worth the investment for those looking for a unique and high-quality material for their home.

Robert Johnson is a woodworker who takes joy in sharing his passion for creating to the rest of the world. His brainchild, Sawinery, allowed him to do so as well as connect with other craftsmen. He has since built an enviable workshop for himself and an equally impressive online accomplishment: an extensive resource site serving old timers and novices alike.
Robert Johnson
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