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Exotic Hardwood: Brazilian Cherry

Posted: Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Exotic Hardwood Brazilian CherryFor a beautiful, luxurious floor, you may want to turn your attentions to the Brazilian Cherry wood. This wood, besides being grown in Brazil, is also grown in Suriname, Mexico, Venezuela, Guatemala, Bolivia, Peru, Nicaragua, and the Caribbean. It can sometimes be ordered under that particular country's name as well (e.g. Bolivian Cherry).

When Brazilian Cherry wood is first milled, you will see a tan or salmon color with black striping. As the wood ages, you will be able to spot the deep red color it is well-known for. Direct sunlight upon a Brazilian Cherry wood floor will hasten the aging process. If it is away from direct sunlight, the aging process can take up to six months to progress. If you desire the red color as your end result, be sure to use an oil-based finish, as a water-based finish will impede the color process.

Brazilian Cherry is the most heavily imported species of wood – most likely due to its rich color and ability to withstand heavy use. Brazilian Cherry wood has a Janka hardness factor of 2820, which can be compared to Carbonized Bamboo (1120) and Red Oak (1260). This makes Brazilian Cherry wood and ideal flooring for high-trafficked areas such as the kitchen, entryway, or family room.

When selecting a Brazilian Cherry wood for your home or office, be sure to look for silica or white spots on your wood. While these are a common occurrence with Brazilian Cherry wood, you will still want to be aware of how many your wood contains. Mills will typically note the spots that are visible when they grade the wood, but even the mills may miss a few. Additionally, some pieces of Brazilian Cherry wood may have resin spots under the finish, and these pieces should be discarded.

When installing Brazilian Cherry wood as your flooring option, you will also want to take note as to how this floor must be cared for. Daily cleaning can be limited to a light vacuuming with a special hardwood vacuum head (which will typically have felt bumpers to protect your floor). Wipe up spills immediately with glass cleaner and a wet paper towel. Monthly, you should clean your floor with a cleaning towel, warm water, and 10% glass cleaner. Place the wringed-out towel on the floor, and put your broom in the center. Push the broom around the floor, flipping the towel over to the clean side as the dirty side fills up. Rinse and reuse the towel as needed until no dirt remains.