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Brazilian Cherry (Jatoba): What you see is not always what you get!

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Everyone loves the rich natural beauty of Brazilian Cherry (Jatoba) hardwood flooring; however, it is a product that requires some education in order to avoid problems later on.

Northern Brazil is where most of the Brazilian Cherry hardwood flooring originally was harvested but now many harvesters have move to Peru where the wood has different characteristics.

Northern Brazil is where most of the Brazilian Cherry hardwood flooring originally was harvested but now many harvesters have moved to Peru where the wood has different characteristics.

Over the past year or so the coloration of Jatoba has changed. This has to do with the region in which the logs are harvested. For many years, Jatoba was harvested in the northern regions of Brazil (thus the name Brazilian Cherry) but recently many companies have moved their logging operations to Peru. It’s the same species, just harvested in a different region.

But there is something else to consider and it is the natural light sensitivity of Jatoba that leads to drastic color change once the newly harvested and milled flooring is exposed to natural light. That’s right, Brazilian Cherry is extremely light sensitive and in its freshly milled condition will appear in color ranges from salmon to blond, but as it is exposed to light it will rapidly change to either a burgundy or dark brown color (as demonstrated in the picture to the left). This process is called oxidation and is a natural occurrence in some woods including American Cherry, Cumaru, Ipe, Tigerwood, (most exotics). The length of time for the wood to completely oxidize will vary based on the amount of natural light it is directly exposed to, but generally speaking it takes flooring and where the trees were harvested can have a big effect on how Brazilian Cherry hardwood floors age. The age of the flooring and where the trees were harvested can have a big effect on how Brazilian Cherry hardwood floors age.

The problem occurs when you look at a sample in the store. It will be both Brazilian Jatoba and aged. You love the color and buy it. Then you have the material installed and it looks completely different than what you saw in the store. Now you are confused, frustrated and maybe even angry, wanting to rip out your floors.

The best way to avoid this is to ask your retailer for a box of product. This will help you avoid any confusion when the product is installed and needs time to acclimate.

We hope this will help as you as make an important decision in choosing the right floor for your home!

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