Spotlight on exotic woods
Exotic woods such as teak, rosewood, mahogany, ebony and others are perennially in demand due to their beauty and durability. If you’re thinking of using one type or another for your floors or furniture, here’s what you need to know.
Solid wood and veneers
The distinctive grain and veining of exotic species make attractive and long-lasting floors and furniture. However, solid pieces of these types of wood can be very expensive. If you want the beauty without the high price tag, look to veneers; thin layers of your chosen wood glued to planks of particleboard or similar types of materials.
Because wood is a living material, it’s sensitive to varying temperature and humidity levels in the environ- ment. To avoid it swelling and shrinking every time the weather changes, look for wood that has a humidity level of around eight per cent. It’s best to work with reputable businesses that you can be sure will sell you high quality products.
Discover exotic wood
Here are some of the less commonly known exotic wood species available:
– Jatoba: also known as Brazilian cherry, this is one of the hardest woods in the world, making it a good choice for floors. Over time, its colour changes from salmon red to deep reddish-brown.
– Ipe: this dense wood is incredibly durable and good for outdoor projects like patios or furniture. Its colour ranges from reddish to olive brown, and can be very light or very dark, depending on the piece.
– Padauk: This African wood is rot-resistant, making it another good choice for outdoor projects. Because of its beautiful red to deep reddish-brown colour, it’s also used for specialty objects like musical instruments.
– Purpleheart: also called amaranth, this wood starts out pale grey, and turns a dark eggplant hue when exposed to natural light. It’s a good choice for furniture and accent pieces.