Cumaru, also known as Brazilian Teak, is an exotic hardwood that is very popular due to its durability, variety of applications, and inexpensive price. While Cumaru has a wide range of applications, its most common use is for hardwood floors. Cumaru's strength and hardness also makes it an excellent choice for decks, docks, heavy construction, and railroad ties. Cumaru can also be used for more practical applications such as cabinetry and furniture.
Cumaru is one of the hardest woods available. On the Janka Hardness scale it is a 3540. This make Cumaru 160-percent harder than white oak and around 60-percent harder than santos mahogany's ranking of 2200. Cumaru can be purchased in all three standard grades for exotic flooring, which are select grade, clear grade, and #1 common grade. Clear grade is the highest available grade and because it is hard to obtain it is popular for high-end homes and places of business. Cumaru's color can range from a light yellow tone to a dark, golden brown. Over time, Cumaru's color will "flatten out" slightly. This species of wood has an irregular, slightly interlocked grain and is coarse and wavy in texture. Cumaru can have a faint vanilla or cinnamon-like odor. This scent has given Cumaru another nickname of "Tonka Bean."
Cumaru is favored over other exotic woods because of its durability and weathering properties. Thanks to its durability and natural oils, Cumaru is decay and insect resistant. However, Cumaru's hardness and density can make it more difficult to work with. The interlocked grain can give more resistance to cutting blades. When working with Cumaru lumber, it is important to predrill to avoid any splitting. If you are planning on installing Cumaru hardwood floors, it can be beneficial to purchase prefinished lumber. It will reduce installation time and make installation easier. Prefinished Cumaru can be a cheaper alternative when installing hardwood floors in your home.
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