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Exotic Hardwood: Berlinia

Posted: Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Exotic Hardwoods Berlinia Berlinia wood is a heartwood brown, that runs from pinkish brown to deep red brown, with dark purple or brown streaking. The texture is medium to coarse with a straight grain without many defects, burls, or whorls in the wood. It makes a deep rich flooring, and comes from a rather large tree. A berlinia tree can grow to more than 40 meters high, with a trunk that's nearly 1 meter in diameter. It's found in Cameroon, Congo, Ivory Coast, and Zaire, among other places, in dense, high forests, savannahs, or in marshy areas.

In addition to using Berlinia as a flooring material, Berlinia can be used in boat building, building construction, furniture components and even interior trim and paneling.

When working with Berlinia, note that this wood may warp during the drying time. Additionally, gum may ooze from the wood, and wood discoloration due to mold growth during drying can cause headaches, which menas it's a little harder to find good flooring. Don't worry, it's available, but it may cost a little more to get the best looking pieces.

Generally, the wood is easy to work with when using most tools; however, if you are working with a plank that has interlocked grain, you will need to watch out for grain tearing. When cutting the wood, you will need to use tungsten tipped cutters to saw the wood. Additionally, note that Berlinia may have a blunting effect on your cutting tools.

But with a little patience and time, you'll find that your Berlinia wood flooring is a gorgeous addition to your home.