African Cherry (Makore)
Color: Also known as Makore, African Cherry is pink or reddish brown, commonly with a mottled or wavy grain pattern. Figured grain patterns are commonly seen, and include mottled, curly, wavy, and moire.
Grain/Pore: African Cherry has a fine texture with closed pores. It also tends to have a natural luster and shine from its high silica content. The grain can be straight, interlocked, or wavy.
Benefits: Adds a warm look to any home; durable and finishes well.
Color: The darkest of all known woods, the heartwood is usually jet-black, with little to no variation or visible grain. Occasionally dark brown or grayish-brown streaks may be present.
Grain/Pore: Very fine pores and fine texture. The grain is usually straight but can also be interlocked.
Benefits: Very dense and hard, this is an extremely durable as well as an beautifully ornamental flooring.
Color: African Mahogany’s heartwood is a reddish brown. It also exhibits an optical phenomenon known as chatoyancy, in which certain finishes cause the wood grain to achieve a striking three-dimensional appearance. This is also known as can also pop-the-grain, wood iridescence, moire, vibrancy, shimmer or glow.
Grain/Pore: African Mahogany has a medium to coarse texture with open pores. The grain can be straight, irregular, or interlocked.
Benefits: While not a true mahogany, it carries many of the same characteristics as the Caribbean version and looks virtually identical, and is very durable.
Color: The heartwood tends to be a reddish brown, which darkens with age. Sapwood is a yellow/tan color.
Grain/Pore: African Mesquite has a medium to coarse texture and open pores, with a slight natural luster. Clear portions of the trunk tend to have straight, wavy, or interlocked grain.
Benefits: A lovely warm color, this flooring is also durable and is suitable for homes with children and/or dogs.
AFRICAN TEAK (AFRORMOSIA)
Color: The heartwood is typically a yellowish brown, but occasionally it will have either a reddish or olive hue. The color tends to darken with age.
Grain/Pore: African Teak has a fine texture and small pores. The grain is usually straight, though it can also be interlocked.
Benefits: Native to the tropical regions of Africa, African Teak is resistant to humidity changes and may be used all over the world. It is similar in appearance to South American Teak but is not quite as hard.
Color: Heartwood color can vary between boards, ranging from light tan to darker brown, commonly with darker reddish brown streaks. Pale yellow or pinkish sapwood. Commonly small, tight knots are present throughout the wood.
Grain/Pore: Grain is straight, with a medium uniform texture. Has a moderate natural luster with a slightly greasy or oily feel.
Benefits: Extremely durable, this flooring is perfect for achieving a rustic look. It also finishes well.
Color: Generally a uniform and pale yellow to almost white appearance. Live bamboo that has been left standing too long frequently develops fungal decay, discoloring the wood with brown or black streaks and patches.
Grain/Pore: Being a monocot in the grass family, bamboo does not have any sapwood/heartwood or growth rings. Its texture is very uniform, and ranges from medium to fine depending on density. Bamboo that has been split and processed into lumber will have intermittent variations in the fiber at each node on the stem.
Benefits: A highly renewable resource, bamboo is also relatively easy to maintain. Bamboo is also slightly more resistant to water damage and stains.
Color: Bosse’s heartwood is initially a pale pinkish-brown, darkening with age to a more golden to medium brown. The pale yellowish sapwood is well defined.
Grain/Pore: Grain can be straight, interlocked, wavy, or anything in between. (Veneer sheets also exhibit a wide range of grain patterns.) Texture is medium to fine, with a good natural luster.
Benefits: Bosse can be highly figured, with grain patterns such as pommele being sought after in veneer form. Heartwood ranges from moderately durable to very durable regarding decay resistance. Bosse also has fair resistance against insect attacks and has good weathering characteristics.
Color: Brazilian Cherry can vary in color from a lighter orange-brown to a darker reddish brown, which tends to become darker with age.
Grain/Pore: Brazilian Cherry has a medium to coarse texture with large pores. The grain tends to be wavy and interlocked.
Benefits: The wood has a certain depth of luster that is very attractive. It’s considered to be one of the hardest and most durable hardwood flooring materials, and is ideal for rooms with high traffic.
Color: The heartwood ranges from olive brown to near black and can have lighter or darker markings that are sharply separated from the sapwood (which is lighter in appearance). When first cut, the colors and figure are bright and bold. Once exposed to air and light, the brightness of the wood diminishes and takes on a darker, more subtle appearance.
Grain/Pore: The wood texture is usually fine and uniform, but can range from ultra-fine to medium. The grain is almost always straight, but also can range from straight to very irregular.
Benefits: Brazilian Ebony is a dense, heavy wood that can be found in a wide range of colors and figures, from solid with even color, to streaked and marble-like figure. A low-luster wood with an oily appearance, it’s known for both its striking beauty as well as its durability.
Color: The sapwood of Brazilian Eucalyptus is light brown while the heartwood ranges from pale pinkish to reddish brown. Brazilian eucalyptus has a somewhat coarse and uniform texture.
Grain/Pore: Brazilian Eucalyptus has a prominent, straight and interlocked grain.
Benefits: Perfect for high traffic areas as it can be 20 times harder than other wood floors. Color ranges from creamy shell with gray undertones to rich chocolate, so can be chosen to complement any décor.
BRAZILIAN TEAK (CUMARU)
Color: Heartwood tends to be a medium to dark brown, sometimes with a reddish or purplish hue, and some pieces may have streaks of yellowish or greenish brown. Unlike most other woods, Brazilian Teak’s color tends to lighten with exposure to light.
Grain/Pore: A fine, uniform grain and texture, with very small open pores. The grain is nearly always interlocked to some degree.
Benefits: Brazilian Teak is an exotic hardwood species that is both beautiful and incredibly strong. Not only is Cumaru long-lasting and durable, it has also shown to be moisture-resistant and naturally resistant to fungus and termites.
Color: Heartwood ranges from a pinkish red to a darker reddish brown with darker purple or black streaks. Sapwood is a pale straw color and is clearly demarcated from the heartwood.
Grain/Pore: Bubinga has a very fine texture and small pores. Grain is often interlocked. Bubinga is frequently seen with a variety of figured grain patterns, including pommele, flamed, waterfall, quilted, and mottled.
Benefits: Moderately durable, this exotic wood stains and finishes very easily.
Color: The heartwood tends to be a uniform golden or medium brown, with color darkening with age.
Grain/Pore: Teak has a coarse texture with medium-sized open pores. The grain tends to be straight, though it can occasionally be wavy or interlocked. Teak also has a slightly oily or greasy feel due to its natural oils.
Benefits: Burmese Teak is the most common form of Teak hardwood flooring. Usually when one refers to “Teak” they are referring to Burmese Teak. This is an extremely durable flooring choice.
Color: Cocobolo can be seen in a kaleidoscope of colors—yellow, orange, red, and shades of brown with streaks of black or purple. Sapwood is typically a very pale yellow. Colors are lighter when freshly sanded/cut, and darken with age.
Grain/Pore: Cocobolo has small to medium sized pores and a fine texture. The grain is sometimes interlocked.
Benefits: Extremely durable with a luxurious finish, and an appealing color palette ranging from rich red to yellow, orange, and red streaks. With a uniform and smooth texture, the versatility of cocobolo allows it to be used in both indoor and outdoor applications.
Color: Doussie, also known as Afzelia, is a golden brown to light red brown wood, sometimes with darker veins. This wood can often be identified by the presence of yellow powder at the heart.
Grain/Pore: Grain is interlocked and naturally lustrous. Endgrain is diffuse-porous, with medium to large pores present in no specific arrangement.
Benefits: Doussie is one of the most popular imported flooring species used in Europe. It undergoes substantial color change with pronounced darkening from a light orangey brown to a deeper mahogany color over time. Doussie is used both residentially and commercially wherever the rich look of a lighter mahogany colored floor is desired.
IPE (Brazilian Walnut)
Color: Also known as Brazilian Walnut, the heartwood can vary in color from a reddish brown, to a more yellowish olive brown, to a dark blackish brown; sometimes with contrasting darker brown/black stripes. In certain species, there are powdery yellow deposits within the wood. Ipe can be difficult to distinguish visually from Cumaru, another dense South American timber, though Ipe tends to be darker.
Grain/Pore: Has a fine to medium texture, with the grain varying from straight to irregular and/or interlocked.
Benefits: Strong and durable with a classic and timeless look. Particularly suitable to homes with young children or pets as it is extremely resistant to dents and scratches. Ipe is also one of the easiest types of solid wood floors to clean—you simply need to sweep away any dirt, dust, and debris on a regular basis.
Color: Heartwood ranges to a light red or brown to a darker brick red. Color tends to darken with exposure to light, turning a deep brownish red with age and exposure.
Grain/Pore: Jarrah has a medium to coarse texture with open pores. Grain tends to be interlocked or wavy. Some boards can contain naturally occurring gum pockets or streaks. Jarrah can also exhibit a curly figure.
Benefits: This Australian dark red wood is extremely durable and resilient, and provides a warm, lustrous look.
Color: The wood is a reddish brown with gray or light brown rays, which result in a lace pattern when quartersawn. Like other woods that exhibit the strongest figure in quartersawn pieces (such as Sycamore), Lacewood has the most pronounced figure and displays the largest flecks when perfectly quartersawn.
Grain/Pore: Lacewood has a fairly coarse and uneven texture due to the difference in densities between the regular wood tissue and the rays. The grain is usually straight.
Benefits: Lacewood is known for the conspicuous flecking that gives this wood its name. It’s also sometimes known as “Leopardwood,” and provides a very decorative look, best for a low-traffic room.
Color: Heartwood ranges from yellow to a medium reddish brown. Narrow sapwood is nearly white and is clearly demarcated from the heartwood. Flatsawn sections can exhibit a lot of character and interesting patterns in the growth rings. Knots are common but are usually small.
Grain/Pore: Grain is generally straight or spiraled. Texture is medium to fine with a greasy or oily feel.
Benefits: Larch is naturally strong and durable with a high wood density and is prized for its pale creamy brown sapwood and a distinctly reddish brown heartwood.
MOABI (African Pearwood)
Color: Heartwood is pinkish brown, red brown, or a rich red. Sapwood is pinkish white or gray brown, rather well demarcated.
Grain/Pore: Texture is fine and even. Grain is straight, sometimes wavy; has an attractive figure.
Benefits: Moabi, also called African Pearwood or Guajara, is stable, gorgeous, and durable. The array of complimentary and compatible colors of the wood makes Moabi distinctive, yet easy to pair with a variety of decors.
Color: Heartwood is a very dark brown with black streaks. Unlike most other woods, Panga-panga is reported to become lighter when exposed to light.
Grain/Pore: Panga-panga has a straight grain and a coarse texture with large pores.
Benefits: A course, textured and fibrous wood, this native African species makes for a dramatic looking floor.
Color: Pau Ferro’s color can be highly varied, ranging from reddish/orange to a dark violet/brown, usually with darker black streaks. Narrow sapwood appears pale yellow and is distinctly demarcated from the heartwood.
Grain/Pore: Pau Ferro has very small pores and a fine, even texture that has a naturally high luster. Grain is typically straight, though sometimes slightly irregular or interlocked.
Benefits: Pau Ferro is sometimes called Bolivian or Santos Rosewood due to its similarity in appearance and properties to rosewood. As Brazilian Rosewood is endangered, this is a wonderful substitute to achieve the same warm, rich appearance. Pau Ferro is also very durable.
Color: There is a fair degree of color variation between boards of Santos Mahogany, ranging from a lighter golden brown to a darker purplish red or burgundy. The color tends to turn more red/purple with age. Quartersawn sections can exhibit a striped or ribboned pattern.
Grain/Pore: Grain is usually interlocked, with a medium to fine texture, and open, medium-sized pores.
Benefits: Santos Mahogany can have a Mahogany-like appearance, though it is typically harder and stronger than true Mahogany, A dense wood with an interlocking grain, this is a very beautiful and durable flooring option.
SAPELE (Sapele Mahogany)
Color: Medium to dark reddish brown or purplish brown. Color tends to darken with age. In addition to the common ribbon pattern seen on quartersawn boards, Sapele is also known for a variety of other figured grain patterns, such as pommele, quilted, mottled, wavy, beeswing, and fiddleback.
Grain/Pore: Grain is interlocked, and sometimes wavy. Sapele has a fine texure and small pores.
Benefits: A commonly exported African wood species, Sapele is sold both in lumber and veneer form. Like Santos Mahogany, it’s occasionally used as a substitute for Mahogany, and is sometimes referred to as “Sapele Mahogany.”
TIGERWOOD (Goncalo Alves)
Color: Heartwood is typically a medium reddish brown with irregularly spaced streaks of dark brown to black. Color tends to darken with age.
Grain/Pore: Grain can be straight, but is usually wavy or interlocked. Tigerwood has a fine, uniform texture with very small pores.
Benefits: Also known as Gonzalo Alves, Tigerwood has excellent stiffness, strength, hardness, and durability—making it very suitable for a high traffic environment, or a home with children or pets.
Color: Heartwood is a medium brown with a reddish or yellowish hue and nearly black streaks. However, upon finishing (particularly if an oil finish is used), the wood can become nearly black.
Grain/Pore: Has a straight grain and a coarse texture with large pores, and low natural luster.
Benefits: Wenge has excellent strength and hardness characteristics, and is also dark enough to be used as a substitute for ebony, making for a dramatic looking floor.
Color: Heartwood is a light brown or cream color with dark blackish brown streaks vaguely resembling a zebra’s stripes. Depending on whether the wood is flatsawn or quartersawn, the stripes can be either chaotic and wavy (flatsawn), or somewhat uniform (quartersawn).
Grain/Pore: Has a fairly coarse texture and open pores. Grain is usually wavy or interlocked.
Benefits: Zebrawood, sometimes also called Zebrano, is strong and stiff, with a fairly high density. The wood is prized as a design element for its bold and unique striping.