Wood & Panel

Rusty Swindoll

 Wednesday, January 12, 2022

To provide a better understanding on the matter we got Rusty Swindoll, Assistant Technical Training Director at the National Wood Flooring Association (NWFA) to answers some queries pertaining to Brazilian hardwood flooring. NWFA is an organization which thrives to advance and promote the wood flooring industry. Here’s the conversation:

What makes Brazilian Hardwood Flooring different from other wood floorings?

Rusty Swindoll: The rich natural colors and the hardness of Brazilian wood distinguish them from other species. As an example, for Brazilian Cherry, the sapwood is gray-white, while the heartwood is a salmon red to orange-brown at installation, which will patina to a russet or reddish brown over time. The wood also is often marked with dark streaks. It also is a very hard wood, with a janka rating of 2,820, which is 119 percent harder than Northern red oak.

Which of the Brazilian hardwood species are best suited for flooring?

Rusty Swindoll: Our Wood Species Technical Manual (which identifies all the characteristics of wood species used for flooring) lists Brazilian Cherry, Brazilian Maple, Brazilian Teak, Brazilian Walnut, Santos Mahogany, and Purpleheart. All of these are used in flooring installations.

How is the market scenario for hardwood flooring? Which country/countries form the major consumers’ base?

Rusty Swindoll: For 2009, (the most current data) hardwood floors represent about 10.8 percent of the US flooring market, representing about $1.85 billion (US). In Canada, hardwood flooring sales in 2009 represented about $712.6 million (Canadian). The largest consumers of hardwood flooring are the US and Europe.

What are its limitations?

Rusty Swindoll: When sanding Brazilian species, there is a potential for respiratory/allergic reactions, so installers need to wear protective clothing, eye protection, and respirators. In addition, due to the hardness of the wood, sanding is more difficult, as is nailing to the subfloor. In some cases, it may be necessary to pre-drill the wood before installation.

What are the considerations that should be made before installing Brazilian hardwood flooring?

Rusty Swindoll: Brazilian wood species tend to be very dark in appearance at installation, and lighting in the room (from outside) can cause the wood to darken even more (just like a person’s skin will darken and get a tan when exposed to sunlight). For this reason, for new installations, a homeowner would want to avoid putting down area rugs immediately after installation, which will cause a lighter color to appear (due to lack of sun exposure) where the rug was put down. The woods are also difficult to stain. In addition, because the wood is so hard, different sanding procedures may need to be followed. It varies by species.

Tags: ,

Comments are closed.

Read Magazine Online

Subscribe to our Newsletters

I want to receive wood industry news and event update from Wood & Panel. I have read Wood & Panel Privacy Notice.

Our Partners