Grades & Properties of Wood Flooring —
Brazilian Oak (Tauari)
Other Common Names and Related Species:
Capa de Tabaco
Maho do Cigare
Tauari is distributed through South America, including Suriname, Guyana, Venezuela and parts of Brazil.
Janka Hardness: 1650
Ironically, Tauari has a hardness similar to that of Beech, to which it is closest in appearance.
Grades of Brazilian Oak Flooring:
Clear grade Brazilian Oak flooring is tan in color, similar American Ash or Beech. #1 Common Brazilian Oak flooring is occasionally available, but the Clear grade is most prevalent.
Brazilian Oak Flooring Dimension Specifications:
All Tauari flooring is milled in South America because it is more cost-effective to ship finished material than raw lumber. Lengths of the Brazilian Oak flooring bundles are 7 feet so they can easily fit into 8-foot-wide steel shipping containers. All pre-milled products are tongue-&-groove and end-matched (tongue-&-grooved on the ends of the boards). Moisture content ranges from 6% to 8% for quick acclimation. The average length of the flooring pieces is usually about 3 feet and ranges from 1 to 7 feet. Almost all imported flooring that is found is in 7-foot bundles, with widths available from 2¼″ to 5″. Typically, if a long or wide plank floor is desired, raw lumber must be obtained and the flooring must be milled here in the United States. Typically, the lengths can develop up to 12 feet. However, the cost can be double that of the pre-milled stock because of waste and labor costs in the United States. Also, raw lumber is relatively expensive because it is taxed more heavily than finished products to support local economies in South America. Tauari lumber is virtually impossible to find in the U.S., limiting the flooring lengths to the standards of pre-milled products.
Tauari is available prefinished and unfinished solid for nail-down applications on a wood subfloor and in engineered form with a veneer top layer for installation on concrete. Tauari is fairly scarce in comparison with many Brazilian species such as Brazilian Cherry. There is a large amount of Brazilian Oak in South America, and it is not endangered. However, less logging, stricter regulations, and a slower American economy have slightly limited commodities and caused slightly higher prices of this product in this country.
Finished Floor Appearance:
A Clear grade floor will have an even, muted tan appearance. Tauari flooring is one of the few South American species that does not darken dramatically with sunlight. Amendoim is also called Brazilian Oak, which can be confusing. The two are different in appearance, and Tauari is the real Brazilian Oak.
Flooring Durability and Stability:
Brazilian Oak flooring is durable and resists denting and traffic wear well. It is soft in comparison to many other South American Woods but still very hard and very stable. Tauari flooring is heavy, weighing about 3 pounds per square foot.
Workability of Brazilian Oak Flooring:
Although extremely hard and tough, Brazilian Oak works with limited difficulty with both hand and power tools. When installing Tauari flooring, it is best to use a manual nailer, but staples and pneumatic nailers can be used. It holds screws well, and it glues, stains, and polishes to a very attractive finish. It can be somewhat difficult to sand with flooring equipment because of its hardness. Professional sanding and finishing is recommended. This wood is very resistant to decay and insects; these resistant properties may contribute to a possible allergic response to the dust. To avoid a possible allergic reaction to the material, wear a dust mask and long-sleeve shirt when working with Brazilian Oak.
Principal Uses of Brazilian Oak Flooring:
Tauari flooring is used in medium- and high-end residential and commercial applications for a dramatically elegant floor. It is also used as a durable alternative to Red Birch because of its similar color and grain. Often Tauari lumber is difficult to obtain, so Beech is substituted for matching millwork.