Standard flooring boards provide an even spread of lengths from 1’ – 7’ long. Hardwood Plank Flooring has much longer boards that range from 6’ – 14’ long.
What is Brazilian Hardwood Flooring?
Each board is solid hardwood through the entire board and is not glued or pieced together. The boards are ¾” thick and can be sanded and refinished for the lifetime of your house. It can also be repaired by replacing damaged boards with the same species of flooring boards.
How does it compare to domestic hardwoods, like Oak?
White and red oak are very common hardwood flooring species and have a 1360 and 1260 janka hardness rating respectively. The natural color of oak flooring is very plain and is most often stained to a brown or reddish tint. Although oak is the most common hardwood flooring, it isn’t hard enough to withstand normal wear. You can easily notice the damage from high heel shoes on oak floors. Conversely, hardwood flooring made from South America hardwoods like Ipe, Cumaru, Tigerwood, Massaranduba and Garapa is substantially harder than oak flooring and will last the life of your home.
The hardness ratings for these REAL hardwoods are substantially higher than oak: Ipe 3600, Massaranduba 2890, Tigerwood 2160 and Garapa 2280.
Why is prefinished flooring so popular with floor retailers and installers?
Prefinished flooring comes neatly packed in boxes of approximately 20 sf of flooring, which is easy to stack and inventory and the installation can be done in one day. This is a HUGE advantage for the installer, but the inability to refinish them is a HUGE disadvantage to the homeowner. To reap the beauty, durability and long life that genuine hardwood flooring provides, the installer must sand and finish the flooring after installation. While the payoff to the homeowner is certainly worth the extra effort, many flooring retailers and installers prefer the faster and easier Engineered/Prefinished.
Why can’t Prefinished flooring be refinished?
Both Engineered and Prefinished flooring typically have only a thin layer of wood veneer, which cannot be sanded. Some Prefinished flooring is solid wood. Can’t that be refinished? Nope. Solid Prefinished flooring has beveled edges. These beveled edges are important for these products because they “hide” the imperfections in the “level-ness” of the boards’ surfaces. If you were to sand the surface of these boards, the beveled edges would remain unsanded, leaving the previous finish, resulting in ugly/dark lines between all the boards. Prefinished/Engineered floors have their utility, but when compared to real, natural hardwood flooring, is only a temporary solution. Alternatively, Brazilian Hardwood flooring can be sanded and refinished an infinite number of times. It will not only last YOUR lifetime, it can last for the entire life of the home and refinished at your will.
How does the cost of Brazilian Hardwood Flooring compare?
The cost of engineered and prefinished flooring varies greatly. Not only that, as stated above, comparing a “temporary” product to a long-term solution isn’t a fair comparison. This said, true un-finished oak flooring is a more fair comparison to Brazilian Hardwood Flooring. At the time of writing this, you’re likely to find Red Oak at $4-8 psf. At Brazilian Wood Depot, we sell Brazilian Hardwood Flooring from $5.50 psf up to $12 psf, depending on the width and length sizes requested. For Solid 5″ Ipe Flooring at $5.50 psf compared to Oak, at $4-8 psf, the Ipe is the obvious choice.
About Prefinished and Engineered Flooring
Engineered Flooring: Thin Wood Layer
Engineered flooring is manufactured using a hardwood core and gluing a VERY thin layer of desirable hardwood to the surface. Engineered flooring cannot be sanded and refinished because sanding would sand away the hardwood veneer surface. Engineered flooring cannot be repaired unless you save some flooring boards from the original batch of flooring at installation. Matching different flooring later would be as difficult as making different carpet runs to match.
Prefinished Flooring: Thin Color Layer
Prefinished flooring is often engineered but sometimes genuine hardwood. The finish most often provides the color rather than a clear finish over a premium beautiful hardwood and the edges are most often beveled so that the boards look more even when they’re installed. Because of the bevel and the opaque finish, prefinished flooring cannot be refinished. It can also be repaired if you keep some boards from the original batch at installation.