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What You Should Look for in Mahogany Hardwood Flooring

what to look for in mahogany hardwood flooringMahogany is often sought for its beauty and luxurious good looks that convey the appearance of opulence. It is used often for making furniture, cabinets, and doors. Because of its classy look and durability that often improves with age, it is also popular as an exotic hardwood flooring.

Check out the wide variety of hardwood flooring that is available NOW!

While mahogany hardwood flooring may be more expensive than other species of hardwood flooring, it is often the first choice of buyers. It is important to know what you are getting because not all hardwoods that have mahogany in their name are genuinely mahogany.

Be Aware of the Different Names

Genuine mahogany’s beauty–such as that found in red mahogany–improves as it ages, which is just one reason why it is so sought after. As the wood ages, its reddish-brown color continues to deepen.

This hardwood is naturally resistant to decay caused by both insects and water. It is tightly grained and usually naturally free of imperfections such as air pockets. With these traits, it is less likely to crack or check in the future.

what you should be looking for in mahogany hardwood floorsJust because the name says mahogany does not mean that the wood is actual mahogany. Santos Mahogany, a popular species of hardwood from Brazil is not actual mahogany. It comes from an entirely different species of trees.

Santos Mahogany is often used in hardwood flooring as an alternative to true mahogany wood. Other types of hardwoods with mahogany in their names are African Mahogany and Honduran Mahogany.

Santos Mahogany is similar to mahogany in its color, which is close to true mahogany’s reddish-brown. It is also very durable and exotic looking. In actuality, it is a better alternative to true mahogany for floor areas that are subject to a lot of traffic. It is the most sought-after wood in Brazil for flooring and it is also available in the United States.

Durability and Hardness

Genuine red mahogany is very hard and durable, having a Janka rating of 2697. The Janka rating system represents the amount of force needed to drive a 0.44-inch ball 0.22 of an inch, or halfway into wood.

The nearest variety of the other mahogany woods named that come close to the hardness of genuine mahogany is Santos Mahogany, which weighs in with a comparable Janka rating of 2200. The other two mentioned types, African and Honduran, only come in with ratings in the low 800s.

When shopping for an alternative to genuine mahogany hardwood flooring, it is important to know that you are not getting the same hardness with other types.

The Janka rating may not be of utmost concern to you when shopping for hardwood flooring. No matter the hardness of the actual wood, it can always be scratched if precautions and proper care are not taken.

what you should be looking for in mahogany hardwood flooringDifferent Types of Flooring Available

Mahogany hardwood flooring is available in all three common types of floorboards. These types include solid hardwood, strips, and engineered flooring. The type you choose will depend upon your planned method of installation and your environment.

Solid hardwood flooring is, as the name implies, a floorboard that is completely comprised of the actual wood variety chosen. The benefits of solid hardwood flooring are its durability and long life. It can be sanded down and refinished many times over the years.

Hardwood flooring that comes in strips is usually three inches or less in width, whereas solid hardwood flooring usually comes in planks that are around five inches in width. Strips have the same properties as the planks; it is just that they are thinner. This is the original way that hardwood flooring was manufactured.

You also can choose from unfinished and pre-finished mahogany floorboards. The different variety of finishes available range from a smooth finish to a more textured look with a hand scraped finish. Different looks can come from this beautiful exotic wood depending upon your preferences.

With the case of solid and strip hardwood flooring, they are wood in its natural form. They will respond to environmental factors such as high humidity and dryness as wood does, with expansion and contraction.

Therefore, if you live in an area with extreme weather conditions, you may want to consider choosing engineered flooring, which is more forgiving of climate issues.

what you should look for in mahogany hardwood floorsEngineered flooring is planks with several layers of wood adhered together. The top layer is the actual hardwood. The layers underneath are normally assembled with the wood grain being turned in different directions throughout. The reason behind this is for a less-dramatic effect from expansion or contraction from climate conditions.

This type of flooring can also be sanded down and refinished, but it cannot be done as many times as a solid hardwood floor can be done. Your installation methods can also vary with an engineered floor. You are not tied down to gluing or nailing boards down as you are with solids.

Engineered flooring is manufactured with a click-lock system where you can slide and lock boards into place. This type of flooring is exceptionally handy if you are doing an installation on a concrete slab without a subfloor and wish to float the floor.

Floating the floor means that you are not fastening it to the base. Instead, you are locking all the floorboards in place by clicking them together with their tongue-and-groove system. The floor is then secured around the perimeter of the room with molding.

Inexpensive Alternatives to Mahogany

what you want to look for in mahogany hardwood flooringPerhaps you really love the look of mahogany, but the price is out of your budget. There are lower-priced alternatives that will also give your floors the look of mahogany wood. Simulated mahogany floors are available in laminates and in vinyl floor tiles that may be easier on your budget and still give your room the beauty of mahogany wood.

You could also go with an unfinished hardwood floor that is less expensive and stain it with a mahogany stain. It may not give you the entire look of the grain of mahogany, but you will be able to simulate the color.

If you are a creative and talented do-it-yourselfer, you may consider creating an exotic faux mahogany inlay into your hardwood flooring design. Alternatively, you could also work some real mahogany accents into your floor.

Care and Feeding of Your Mahogany Floor

Just because your mahogany hardwood floor has water-resistant properties, it does not mean you should not exercise caution with it. If you are installing your hardwood flooring in areas where it is likely to be exposed to water, entryways, or near sinks, protect it with floor mats or throw rugs.

Make sure you purchase rugs that are specifically made for hardwood flooring. Be sure to shake them out regularly outdoors: Otherwise, sand and dirt will work their way underneath and could possibly scratch your floor.

When you install hardwood flooring, you are making a big investment–especially if you have chosen mahogany. So you should be prepared to protect your investment by regularly cleaning your floors. With dark floors especially, you will see dust and pet hair build up fairly quickly, unlike with lighter-colored woods.

what you should look for in mahogany hardwood flooringFor regular cleaning, invest in a good broom to regularly sweep your floors to avoid abrasive damage from debris such as sand and dirt that may be tracked in by your family and pets. You will also want to vacuum your floor at least once a week to pick up any dust or dirt that may have worked its way in between the floorboards. Do not use a vacuum with a beater bar as this can mar your floors with scratches or heat marks.

Sometimes you may need to do a more intensive cleaning of your hardwood floors. In that case, it is best to consult with your supplier or flooring manufacturer for the products they recommend for cleaning mahogany. When in doubt or for stain removal, consult with a professional.

Future of Mahogany Hardwood

The popularity of mahogany hardwood flooring has endangered the supply of the wood through over-logging of the available resources, especially in South America where it is mainly grown. For the most part, mahogany hardwood is all imported into the United States and is considered an exotic wood.

Through the efforts of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and after careful research and observation, measures have been implemented to avoid the deforestation of this precious wood.

what to look for in mahogany hardwood floorsThese measures monitor the time passed between harvests and set a legal size that all mahogany trees must be in diameter before being cut down and used. With these actions, it is hoped that the supply of mahogany will continue to be plentiful in the future.

Enjoy your choice of mahogany hardwood flooring for your home. It is a decision that can bring you continued satisfaction for many years to come.

The wood’s rich color will resist fading and will become richer and stronger, unlike so many other hardwood choices. With continued proper care, your beautiful mahogany hardwood floors will only improve with age and become a fine asset and conversation piece for your home.

Have questions about other woods or need tips on installing mahogany flooring? Click HERE to find more information!

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