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Engineered Exotic Hardwood Floors are a great choice for nearly every room in the house. Essentially, engineered hardwood involves taking three to five layers of wood and gluing them together to make them strong and resilient. There are three main methods of producing engineered hardwood flooring: Rotary Peeled Veneers, Sliced and Sawn Face.
A traditional lumbering process called Sawn Face involves creating lumber from logs in the sawmill. The lumber is then graded and sorted, providing maximum yield from each log. Afterwards, the lumber is sawed into the desired thickness needed for the engineered process.
With Rotary Peeled Veneers , the wood logs are first conditioned in a vat and then placed on a large lather. The veneers of wood are peeled off in long strips, which provides the largest yield from the original log.
Sliced method also involves the first step of a conditioning vat. The log is then turned to lumber in a saw mill, after this, slices of lumber are removed, much like pieces of cheese are sliced.
African Mahogany is a hot choice for home and commercial hardwood flooring. Also known as "Khaya," African Mahogany is found throughout Africa and is harvested from trees that grow to 110-140 feet with trunk diameters as large as 6 feet! African Mahogany has a signature reddish-brown color. It's texture is course, lending to it a rustic look perfect for homey living rooms, dens, and offices.
Because of African Mahogany's popularity, illegal logging practices do occur. You can avoid buying these products by looking for African Mahogany that originates from non-old growth logging and that the organization you purchase from is accredited by the Forest Stewardship Council.
When it comes to beauty and strength, Brazilian hardwood flooring is at the top of the list. Two varieties of this exotic hardwood flooring are the Brazilian Cherry and it's cousin, Brazilian Teak.
Brazilian Cherry, also known as "Jatoba" in South America, is quite popular due to its similarity to oak ... only it's twice as strong! The main color of Jatoba is dark orange or reddish-brown, with dark brown or black streaks. Brazilian Teak or "Cumaru" is quite similar to Brazilian Cherry, but its hue is a warmer brown with not as much red tone. As far as hardness goes, Brazilian Teak is one of the hardest varieties of wood in the world!
A fantastic and ecological choice for exotic hardwood flooring is bamboo. Because bamboo grows abundantly, renews efficiently and is incredibly strong, it's an ideal choice for flooring. In fact, areas like South America, India and Southeast Asia use bamboo to build entire homes! When it comes to flooring, bamboo is available in both solid and engineered (layered) planks. You can leave the bamboo in its original light blond color or get a darker color by high-pressure steaming, which results in a medium brown hue. Bamboo flooring requires exactly the same care and maintenance as any hardwood floor; no extra steps or special products are necessary.
Besides regular cleaning and care of your exotic hardwood floors, there are a few other tips to keep your floors looking beautiful.
Exotic hardwood is the name given to flooring that comes from countries other than those in North America. Generally, the wood is African, Brazilian, Thai/Burmese, Caribbean, Australian and South America. Using exotic hardwood is a wonderful way to lend global appeal to your home or office's decor, while still being environmentally conscious. Contrary to what you may think, using hardwood flooring is actually better for the environment, as it is harvested in accordance with local foresting regulations. In addition, wood is a natural material and doesn't require chemical processing to produce.
There are dozens of exotic hardwood flooring styles, colors, and hardness levels to meet your specific design needs. A quick look at samples online is a great way to get started toward your goal of long-lasting and beautiful wood floors.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|