Canarywood flooring - clear grade
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Canarywood (Tarara)

Grades & Properties of Wood Flooring —
Exotic Species

Scientific Name:

Centrolobium microchaete

Other Common Names and Related Species:

  • Arariba
  • Tarara
  • Tarara Amarilla
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Canarywood (or Tarara) is distributed throughout Bolivia, Panama, Paraguay, and Brazil.

Janka Hardness: 1860

Canarywood is similar in density to Tigerwood and is exactly the same as Purpleheart.

Grades of Canarywood Flooring:

Clear grade Canarywood flooring is color-sorted for a rich orange, tan, and olive-green color with brown and black streaks. It is graded differently from most other species. Usually, color variation is sorted out; but with Canarywood, the color variations are most desired. Normally, lesser grades such as #1 Common Tarara refer to the instance of small milling defects, black streaks, or 1–3 foot shorter average lengths.

Canarywood Flooring Dimension Specifications:

All Canarywood flooring is milled in South America because it is more cost-effective to ship finished material than raw lumber. Lengths of the Canarywood 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.

Flooring Availability:

Canarywood is available in solid unfinished and prefinished solid for nail-down applications on wood and in engineered with a veneer top layer for application on concrete. Canarywood is uncommon in comparison with many Brazilian species such as Brazilian Cherry. There is a large amount of Canarywood 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 a busy striped appearance. Canarywood flooring color-darkens and mellows with sunlight to a tan and green color. Oil-based finishes allow Canarywood to age to a deep brown color, unless lacquer or de-waxed shellac is first applied to help preserve the pink color of the wood. Water-based finishes will preserve the natural color longer.

Flooring Durability and Stability:

Canarywood flooring is extremely durable and resists denting and traffic wear quite well. It is harder than some North American species because of its density and is relatively stable. Canarywood flooring is very heavy, weighing 3.5 pounds per square foot.

Workability of Canarywood Flooring:

Although extremely hard and tough, Tarara works with limited difficulty with both hand and power tools. When installing the Canarywood 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 Canarywood.

Principal Uses of Canarywood Flooring:

Tarara flooring is used in medium- and high-end residential and commercial applications for a dramatically elegant floor. It works well in rustic camps as well as in contemporary structures. There is no other floor that is similar.

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