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Brazilian Redwood (Massaranduba)
Grades & Properties of Wood Flooring —
Other Common Names and Related Species:
- Red Balata
South America (Brazil, Peru, French Guiana, Panama, Colombia, Suriname)
Janka Hardness: 3190
Grades of Brazilian Redwood Flooring:
Clear grade Brazilian Redwood flooring is color-sorted for a rich consistent red color. Massaranduba is a deeply red-colored wood and is the most popular in the Clear grade. Only the heartwood of the tree is used in the Clear grade. It is a deeper red than Brazilian Cherry. With Select and Better Brazilian Redwood flooring, more yellows and tans will be present.
Brazilian Redwood Flooring Dimension Specifications:
Most Massaranduba flooring is milled in South America because it is more cost-effective to ship finished material than raw lumber. Lengths of the 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″. 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.
Brazilian Redwood flooring is available in prefinished and unfinished solid for nail-down applications on a wood subfloor and sometimes in engineered form with a veneer top layer for application over concrete. Brazilian Redwood is a common species in comparison with Brazilian Cherry and Brazilian Walnut. There is a large amount of Massaranduba in South America, and it is not endangered. However, less logging, stricter regulations, and a slower American economy have all contributed to the rareness of this product in this country.
Finished Floor Appearance:
A Clear grade floor will have an even deep red appearance. Oil-based finishes allow Massaranduba to age to a deep brown color, unless lacquer or de-waxed shellac is first applied to help preserve the distinctive red color of the wood. Water-based finishes will preserve the natural color but may be slightly milky in appearance due to the dark red color of Massaranduba.
Flooring Durability and Stability:
Brazilian Redwood flooring is durable and resists denting and traffic wear quite well. It is more dimensionally stable than many North American hardwood floors because of its density. Massaranduba flooring is very heavy, weighing over 3 pounds per square foot.
Workability of Brazilian Redwood Flooring:
Being extremely hard and tough, Brazilian Redwood works with some difficulty with both hand and power tools. When installing the Massaranduba flooring, it is best to use a manual nailer. Staples and pneumatic nailers tend to split the wood. 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 Redwood.
Principal Uses of Brazilian Redwood Flooring:
Massaranduba flooring is used in high-end residential and commercial applications for a dramatically elegant floor. It is also used for color-contrasting borders and medallions.