Zebrawood flooring - quarter-sawn
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Zebrawood (Zebrano)

Grades & Properties of Wood Flooring —
Exotic Species

Scientific Name:

Microberlinia brazzavillensis

Other Common Names and Related Species:

  • Allen Elle
  • Zebrano
  • Zingana
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West Central Africa, Mainly in Gabon and Cameroon.

Janka Hardness: 1575

Zebrawood flooring is 22% harder than Red Oak and 15% harder than White Oak.

Grades of Zebrawood Flooring:

Zebrawood flooring is made and graded in two ways. Quarter Sawn Zebrawood flooring made from vertical grain lumber is the most desirable and produces pronounced black and tan narrow stripes or striations in the floor. Plain sawn Zebrawood flooring made from horizontal-grain or plain sawn Zebrawood lumber has wide black oval grain and is less desirable.

Zebrawood Flooring Dimension Specifications:

Almost all imported flooring that is found is in 7-foot bundles, with widths available from 2¼″ to 5″. Except for a few engineered products, when Zebrawood flooring is desired, raw lumber must be obtained and the flooring must be milled here in the United States. Custom widths and lengths are made to each customer’s specifications. Typically, the lengths can develop up to 13 feet.

Flooring Availability:

Zebrawood flooring is rare but available prefinished or unfinished in solid form for nail-down applications and in engineered form with a veneer top layer for application over concrete. Zebrawood flooring is an uncommon species in comparison with Brazilian Cherry and most other imported species. There is a moderate amount of Zebrawood in Africa, and it is not endangered. However, less logging, stricter regulations, and a slower American economy have limited commodities and caused slightly higher prices of this product in this country.

Finished Floor Appearance:

A vertical grain Zebrawood floor will have prominent tan and black stripes. It is a very strikingly busy floor. A plain sawn Zebrawood floor is also busy, but the grain is wildly irregular and the black stripes are much further apart.

Flooring Durability and Stability:

Zebrawood flooring is very durable and resists denting and traffic wear quite well. It is much harder than many North American floors because of its density and is very stable. Zebrawood flooring is very heavy, weighing about 3 pounds per square foot.

Workability of Zebrawood Flooring:

Although hard and tough, Zebrawood flooring works with little difficulty with both hand and power tools. When installing the 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. Because of the high cost of the flooring, 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 Zebrawood.

Principal Uses of Zebrawood Flooring:

Zebrawood 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.

Learn more about this hardwood flooring species »

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