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Brazilian Cherry Hardwood Flooring

Brazilian cherry wood flooring, also known as jatoba, carries a unique variation of brownish-red tones with black streaking, which richen as the floor ages in your home. Brazilian Cherry is one of the hardest wood species which makes this hardwood flooring a beautiful and extremely durable option.

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Brazilian Cherry Flooring

Although the name indicates that this wood comes from Brazil, Brazilian Cherry hardwood is found in many tropical places where there are rain forests. Most often called Jatobá, the wood is not actually of the cherry family; rather, it is a member of the bean family of trees. Brazilian Cherry hardwood is extremely hard, with nearly double the Janka scale rating of white oak. For this reason, it's perfect for high-traffic areas because it can withstand almost anything that treads upon or falls on it. In color, it ranges from an ebullient gold to exuberant orange. In many cases, it also contains streaks of vibrant red. A Brazilian Cherry hardwood floor also ages beautifully, darkening delightfully over time, especially in direct sunlight.

Hand-scraped Jatobá is similar in color to certain varieties of Acacia, Hickory and Birch. Smooth-faced Jatobá is similar to Maple and Hevea, both in color and texture. In either case, Jatobá is ideal for use in combination with these products. Homeowners and decorators can indulge their varied tastes in side rooms while ensuring busy thoroughfares within the home are well-protected with super-tough Cherry wood flooring. Both versions are finished with nine coats of aluminum oxide, which adds even more toughness and durability. Both are also cut in 5-inch planks covered with exotic, interlocking grain patterns that seem almost effervescent in their presentation.

Care and Maintenance

Because of its remarkable strength, Brazilian cherry flooring is very easy to maintain. Every week, homeowners should follow a simple cleaning regimen. First they should dust the floor using a dust mop or any one of a number of commercially available cleaning aids. Thereafter, it's important to remove any remaining dirt. There are many specific products and gadgets for wood floors, but there is a more economical way to do just as good a job. In a bucket, mix a solution of 90 percent water and 10 percent glass cleaner. It's best if the cleaner is "green," or environmentally friendly. Immerse a washcloth or hand towel in the solution and wring it out completely before using a dry sponge mop on top of the towel to clean the floor. Be sure to wring out all collected dirt frequently while cleaning. To dry the floor, use the sponge mop to push around an old, 100-percent cotton T-shirt.

If there is a recalcitrant stain that just won't come out, no matter what, use a combination of small-grain sandpaper and steel wool to scrape the stain and the same water-glass cleaner solution to clean the residue. Depending on how deep the stain was, it might be necessary to refinish the area with polyurethane, which can be applied with either a sponge or paintbrush of appropriate size. After the finish dries, use another piece of small-grain sandpaper to level and remove any bubbles in the finish and buff the area with another cotton T-shirt.

Installation

The flooring planks are easily laid because of the tongue-and-groove construction. Make sure to measure the area to be covered and budget accordingly. Typically, there will be between six and 10 percent product waste that results from fitting the Brazilian Cherry hardwood flooring into irregularly shaped areas and other nooks and crannies. This flooring can be glued or nailed down or can even be laid as a floating floor, which sits directly on the subfloor.

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