Harder than many hardwoods — Brazilian teak — also called Cumaru or Brazilian chestnut, adds natural beauty to your home inside or outside. Mainly found in the northern areas of South America, Brazilian teak is now the go-to floors and decking wood of choice as more people become aware of its characteristics, though it could be hard for the beginner do-it-yourself to install. Even harder than routine teak, and less expensive, Brazilian teak wood grains depict enough unusual beauty the flooring does not require staining, even in hues of yellow-browns and red-browns that go well with many interior decoration approaches.
The Hardness Factor
The Janka Hardness Scale appraises the proportional strength of timber, and higher numbers on the scale imply harder woods. The test that gauges the hardness of the timber measures the amount of force in pounds it takes to embed roughly a 1/2-inch steel ball halfway into the timber. Having a Janka hardness dimension of 3,540 lbs, Brazilian teak is almost three times as strong as red oak, that has a Janka rating of 1,240.
Tight, Dense Grain
Since the timber has a tight, dense and fine grain, this feature alone allows it to withstand rot, fungi, mildew and even ultraviolet damage when used as flooring within or decking material out of the house. Brazilian teak wood can also be very oily, which helps it resist stains as it doesn’t allow moisture to penetrate into the timber. Its dense grain also means it is easier to keep clean, an additional plus for any homeowner. Its water-repellant features allow it to be usable in bathrooms or outdoors to the deck, contrary to other hardwoods.
Distinctive Colors, Ages Properly
Besides red-brown and yellow-brown, you can also find mahogany colors and sometimes black striping in the darker teak planks that provide your floor a look. Homeowners are advised against adding oil finishes into the timber, says Wood Flooring International, as the finish may not dry. If left to itself, then the floors develops a patina with age. Suppliers recommend water-based or moisture-cured urethane as closing finishes for the floors.
The wood is so tough that it takes carbide saw and drill bits to cut and penetrate it. Build Direct recommends predrilling the timber if you’re planning to nail it and hammering by hand instead of using a nail gun or pneumatic instrument. Do-it-yourselfers may find working with Brazilian especially challenging due to this. Exposure to dust may cause contact dermatitis reactions and allergies when working with the material. When buying Brazilian teak timber, make an eco friendly choice by selecting a provider certified by the Forest Stewardship Council that only supplies second-growth timber from FSC-certified harvesters to ensure it does not come from old-growth South American rain forests.