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Brazilian Cherry Flooring

Brazilian Cherry FlooringAlthough its name implies relation, Brazilian cherry is a species separate from its American counterpart. Found in parts of South America, Central America, and the West Indies, Brazilian cherry, also known as Jatoba, is characterized by a reddish appearance, which varies with grade. The hardwood is one of the most common Brazilian species found domestically and is also one of the most popular exotic woods.

The general appearance of Brazilian cherry flooring is gray or white sapwood contrasted with a salmon red or orange-brown heartwood. The wood seasons over the years, with the reddish color darkening and taking on darker streaks in its appearance. Varying shades of red are reflected in the hardwood's grading, which includes the following:

Clear has an overall reddish look, with minimal sapwood.

Select and Better has an overall lighter color, veering more toward a salmon or pinkish hue than distinctly red.

Rustic is characterized by more sapwood.

Staining assists with retaining the look of unfinished Brazilian cherry flooring. While oil-based stains allow the wood to age into a deeper reddish hue, a lacquer or de-waxed shellac must be applied ahead of time in order to preserve the hardwood's natural colors. A water-based stain keeps Brazilian cherry's natural color intact.

Brazilian cherry flooring has a Janka scale rating of 2350, making it one of the densest hardwoods. While this aspect is certainly an asset for creating a shock-resistant floor or area, it presents difficulties with installation. Unfinished Brazilian cherry is a challenge to saw and plane, although sanding presents no complications, and before nails are added, holes must be pre-drilled into the surface. Both hand and power tools can be used on this flooring.

As one of the more popular exotic hardwoods, Brazilian cherry flooring is available in multiple types through The Discount Flooring Co. Aside from prefinished and unfinished, the wood can be found in solid and engineered varieties. While the latter is appropriate for on- and above-grade areas, engineered Brazilian cherry can also be installed below grade, over a concrete subfloor, and above a radiant heat source.


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