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The Basics on Brazilian Hardwood Floor

Many flooring aficionados consider Brazilian hardwoods superior to domestic hardwoods for home flooring. Is there really any benefit to switch from domestic hardwoods like birch, cherry, hickory, red oak, or white oak? Let’s take a look.

The biggest difference in using so-called “exotics” from South America is their higher density and hardness when compared to “domestic” hardwoods found in North America. South American hardwoods are rated very high on commercial hardness charts like Janka, with the highest levels found in Brazilian cherry and walnut.

Brazilian Cherry Wood Floors

The different species of Brazilian woods are:

  • Jatoba — This is the wood typically called Brazilian cherry, offering a deep reddish brown color and excellent toughness.
  • Ipe — Known as Brazilian walnut or ironwood, this wood is very hard and tends to be expensive. Its density allows it be used untreated and even for outdoor flooring.
  • Cumaru — This is commonly referred to as Brazilian teak, and is known for its hard interlocked grain and durability.
  • Tigerwood — A bold choice with its bold orange stripes, hence its name.

For customers concerned about clear-cutting of South America forests, most Brazilian hardwoods are created using sustainable forestry practices. Much of the output is certified by the Forest Stewardship Council which defines good forestry practices.

Keep in mind that Brazilian exotic hardwoods will have higher price tags than domestic hardwoods. The wood is very hard, making cutting and milling more difficult. In addition, the woods have to be shipped longer distances from South America which adds to the cost. One way you can manage the cost while enjoying Brazilian woods is to purchase engineered flooring. The engineered floors use a thin layer of hardwood and a sub-layer of composite made from wood byproducts, further eliminating wood waste. In many environments engineered flooring is a better choice as it is dimensionally stable and less affected by environment or humidity.

If you have any questions about Brazilian hardwood or engineered flooring, contact today and we will be happy to help you.

Brazilian Cherry Wood Floors | Buy Flooring Online

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