Exotic African Couple Creating Hot Flooring Trend
No, Badi and Tali are not two romantic bank robbers on a crime spree across Africa. They are a pair of exotic hardwood species, and they are the hottest twosome to emerge from the Dark Continent since Tarzan and Jane.
Hardwood flooring has enjoyed widespread popularity for many decades. Known for its durability and elegant looks, hardwood has graced the floors of everything from early rural mansions to modern urban condos. But early homeowners did not have the wide selection of species to choose from as do their contemporary counterparts.
The original hardwood flooring found in older homes is more than likely one of a few domestic species, like oak or maple. Nowadays, however, with the importing of hardwoods from all over the world homeowners have a vast number of species to choose from.
Most exotic hardwoods are more durable than domestic varieties. This is because most exotics species grow in climates where it is hot, humid and often very rainy. In order for the species to survive these conditions, their fibers have to be very dense thus they are very hard materials. Their hardness is typically tested by one of two methods, and Badi and Tali rank high on both tests.
The most common hardness test used for wood species is Janka test. This method measures the amount of force required to embed half the diameter of a .444-inch steel ball into the surface of wood sample. The scale ranges from 0 to 4500, and since different units of measure are used in different countries, the number is often simply referred to as Janka units.
The benchmark species is Northern red oak. Its Janka rating is 1290. To put this into perspective, American black walnut has a rating of 1010 and hard maple, 1450. But all of these domestic species pale by comparison to the hardness of most exotic species.
When the Forest Products Laboratory for the USDA Forest Service tested Badi by the Janka method, it scored a dry material rating of 1630. Tali scored an even more impressive 2930. Comparing these scores with other popular exotics, Wenge has a Janka rating of 1630, Merbau is 1925, Santos Mahogany is 2200 and Brazilian Cherry (Jatoba) is 2800.
The other test for hardness is the Brinell Test. This is the oldest hardness test method and is most commonly used in the United States for testing the hardness of metals. However, it is not uncommon for European flooring manufacturers to use the Brinell test to rate their wood products.
Unlike the Janka test, the test ball used in the Brinell method does not strike the test surface. Instead, it is pressed against the surface with a specific force and for a specific amount of time. The resulting indentation is optically measured at various angles then the measurements are plugged into a mathematical formula. For hardwood, the scale ranges from 2.6 to 7.0, and as with the Janka test, the higher the number, the harder the material. When tested by the Brinell method, Badi scored 5.4 and Tali, 6.2. But durability is not the only quality of these hardy Ivory Coast species.
Badi and Tali have distinctive colorations and markings. Badi varies from yellow-brown to orange-brown and its overall markings tend to be more subtle, similar to beech. Tali, on the other hand, is less distinctive in color, but more so in its markings. Its color ranges from a medium yellowish-brown to a darker reddish-brown, and its grain varies from fine lines to wider dark and light streaks. Its appearance is similar to white oak, but with more contrast between the light and dark tones.
Even though Badi and Tali are beginning to attract a lot of attention, few flooring manufacturers have yet to include them in their exotic product lines. However, there is one top rated manufacturer that has: Barlinek.
Barlinek is one of Europe’s premier manufacturers of engineered hardwood flooring. Since their founding in 1946, Barlinek has constantly refined their manufacturing and finishing processes. The result of their efforts is quite apparent in all of their products, especially in the beautiful 3-strip planking construction of Badi and Tali. Check them out, and you’ll see what we mean.
Perhaps you’ll be the first in your neighborhood to enhance the elegance of your home with a floor of Badi or Tali. If you are, be prepared to receive a lot of compliments and to be envied by everyone who sees it.