Tips for Installing Cumaru Flooring

Cumaru, also known as Brazilian teak, is an exotic hardwood that is very popular due to its durability, variety of applications, and inexpensive price. It is most commonly used for hardwood floors and makes an excellent choice for decks and docks. It is one of the hardest woods available, harder than white oak and mahogany.

Cumaru's hardness and density make it more difficult to work with. It is important to pre-drill to avoid any splitting. If you are planning to install cumaru hardwood floors, you can purchase prefinished lumber that reduces installation time and makes the job easier.

If you plan on installing cumaru flooring, here are the materials and tools you'll need for the job:

  • Appropriate amount of cumaru flooring, including seven to eight percent waste, acclimated for one to two weeks.
  • A 3/4" CDX grade plywood or OSB PS2 rated underlayment.
  • A nail or cleat gun that can deliver 90lbs/square inch of pressure. Using excessive pressure will cause flooring tongues to break.
  • 16 gauge, 2" cleats/pneumatic (air driven) or tradition power nailers can be used. Use cleats over staples during the installation of cumaru flooring, as staples hold the flooring too tightly and restrict the natural expansion and contraction of the hardwood.
  • 15 lb. black roofing paper for underlayment.
  • Any trim necessary for completion of the project.

The contractor will tightly and firmly move each board into place, nailing through the tongue of each board every eight inches and on every joist below. The cumaru flooring needs to be installed perpendicular to the joists below.

These are the basic guidelines for installing cumaru flooring. Every job is different, so a certified NWFA professional is recommended for the job. And Brazilian exotic or tropical hardwoods make up only 10 percent of the hardwood market, so many installers are only experience with softer domestic species and may not be qualified to install cumaru flooring.

You can also find prefinished cumaru flooring online at hardwood flooring sites. It can be purchased in three standard grades for exotic flooring, select grade, clear grade, and #1 common grade. Clear grade is the highest available grade and popular for high-end homes and businesses. Cumaru's color ranges from light yellow tone to dark golden brown and over time it flattens out slightly. Cumaru is favored over other exotic woods, because of its durability and weathering properties. Thanks to its durability and natural oils, it is decay and insect resistant.


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