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Cottonwood

Wood Flooring Species

Scientific Name:

Populus balsamifera

Other Names and Species:

Balm
Balsam Poplar
Boreal
California Poplar
Tacamahac

Origin:

Northern United States and Canada

Appearance:

The sapwood of cottonwood is white to faint yellow, while the heartwood is grayish-white to light brown in color. The species has a figured, straight grain and is uniform and somewhat coarse in texture. The wood’s figure becomes more pronounced with staining.

Properties:

Cottonwood is not overly durable in its exposed form with regards to decay. It is not the best choice in such high-risk situations. The wood is reported to have no odor. Cottonwood can be somewhat difficult to dry properly but does so fairly quickly.

Janka Hardness: 1023

As a flooring option, cottonwood is somewhat softer of a wood. It is slightly harder than black walnut, roughly eighty percent as hard as red oak, about seventy-five percent as hard as white oak, and about seventy-nine percent as hard as ash.

Workability:

Cottonwood cuts rather easily and cleanly. It glues easily and nails without splitting being reported. This species is generally dificult to sand.

Principal Uses:

Cottonwood’s uses include furniture, veneers, and violins.

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