Hardwood Decking and Siding from Brazilian Wood Depot is real wood with unsurpassed durability and beauty. It's naturally resistant to rot and decay and virtually maintenance free.*

Jatoba Decking:

Jatoba wood decking

Species: Hymenaea Courbaril

Jatoba wood  – Real Jatoba™ – decking lumber, also known as Brazilian cherry or Guapinol, is the most popular hardwood flooring import from Brazil to the USA. Jatoba hardwood is known for its hardness and durability, and this exotic hardwood is also a great choice for exterior decking. Jatoba wood's – RealJatoba - popularity as a decking material is well-deserved. Open-grained like oak, but more than twice as hard, this wood features dark brown or black streaks contrasting with a background that ranges from deep red to reddish brown, darkening after several months to a deep reddish-brown.

Native Americans made canoes from the smooth, hard, thick bark of Jatoba wood by stripping a piece of bark from the tree, sewing the ends together, waterproofing the seams with gum or resin, and inserting wooden crosspieces. Jatoba hardwood – RealJatoba - is sometimes compared to mahogany. It is not as porous as mahogany but harder and denser, making it a far superior decking material.

Jatoba Wood Origin:

South and Central America.

Jatoba Wood Appearance

Like domestic cherry, Brazilian Cherry hardwood Jatoba decking will change dramatically over time from the tan/salmon color with black accent stripes when freshly milled into a deep rich reddish color. In direct sunlight, the color change will occur within a few days. Out of sunlight, Jatoba – RealJatoba - decking will oxidize slowly over six months. Water based finishes tend to retard the color change in Jatoba wood – Real Jatoba™ - decking while oil based finishes enhance it.

jatoba deck deckingThe Tree: Leguminosae Family

Jatoba (Hymenaea courbaril) hardwood – Real Jatoba™ - trees grow to an average height of 120 feet with diameters of 2-4 feet. Jatoba wood is often referred to as Brazilian cherry although it is not a cherry wood, and has been called Locust or Courbaril in different areas of South America. Jatoba hardwood trees grow in most of the South American islands as well as Mexico, Brazil and Peru.

Density and Buoyancy

Jatoba hardwood(Brazilian Cherry) has a Janka hardness is 3290, making it extremely hard and durable, 155% harder than Red Oak (1210 Janka). Average weight is 56 lbs./cu. ft. Specific gravity is .91, making Jatoba wood dense and only very slightly buoyant.

Jatoba Wood Drying and Shrinkage

Jatoba hardwood – Real Jatoba™ - decking seasons at a fast to moderate rate with only slight cracking, checking and warp. Shrinkage is low for a wood of this density.

Jatoba Decking Workability

Being extremely dense, Jatoba hardwood – Real Jatoba™ - decking is hard to cut and has a fairly high blunting effect. Pre-boring is necessary for nailing or screwing, and gluing must be done with care.

Jatoba Wood Durability

Jatoba hardwood – Real Jatoba™ - decking is durable to fungi, dry wood borers and termites.


Jatoba hardwood decking lumber does not require any preservative treatment. Premium finishes retain the natural color very well.

Jatoba Hardwood Uses

Used heavily for flooring, decking, veneer, interior trim, furniture and cabinet work.

General Characteristics of Jatoba Wood

Found in Central and South America, Jatoba hardwood – RealJatoba - is a very hard and strong species, and has shock-resistant qualities similar to ash and hickory. It is also very resistant to insects. Like Ipe, Jatoba wood has rich pigment providing the dark red color. This pigment will seep out after first installed. Be careful when installing above light colored walls.


Like all of the lumber supplied by Brazilian Wood Depot, Real Jatoba™ meets high standards for social, economic and environmental responsibility.  See RealWood.Org for more information about how purchasing this hardwood lumber fuels the economic value and preservation of the South American forests.

Jatoba Decking Installation:

Joists and support beams - Pressure treated (PT) pine lumber is most often used for joists, beams and posts underneath Jatoba hardwood decking because it is cheap and is protected from weather by the Jatoba decking.  This protection extends the expected life of the support lumber dramatically.

Fasteners - After deciding on Jatoba wood for your deck, you need to decide on using screws through the face of the board or a type of hidden fastener that conceals the screws.  The hidden fasteners cost a little more but many feel that spending a little extra for the beauty of hidden fasteners is a good investment since the deck will last a lifetime.

Ventilation - When planning the layout of your Jatoba deck, be sure that you allow for ventilation under your deck boards.  This will ensure the long life and extended beauty of your deck.

Railings - There are many choices to make when designing your railings and balusters (vertical pickets).  Vertical balusters are more desirable than horizontal balusters (like cable) because of safety and ease of installation.  Horizontal balusters enable children to scale the railing and require precise tautness to prevent children from squeezing between them.  BW Depot stocks wood balusters that match the Jatoba decking and last a lifetime unlike PT or cedar balusters.  Aluminum and galvanized steel balusters are beautiful cost effective choices and can be mounted with matching hardwood rails, posts and handrail.  Galvanized steel railing baluster sections are much easier to install, much stronger and possibly the most cost effective option.  The Fortress Iron provides these steel railing sections at a fraction of the cost of having them custom made.   Matching hardwood handrails and posts go well with any railing choice.

How does Jatoba decking compare to Composite decking? Visit our Composite Comparison page.

For more information on deck building tips, visit our Deck Installation page.

For Ipe deck design tips visit our Cutting Edge Decking Tips Blog.

For information on fasteners, railings and finishes visit the Deck Accessories Page.

Shipping and Delivery

Jatoba wood (Brazilian cherry), is very heavy hardwood decking lumber. Shipping this lumber requires special attention to engineer every crate according to the specifications of the shipment so that the hardwood lumber arrives in excellent condition. Receiving damaged lumber is inconvenient, costly and will delay completion of your deck project. Brazilian Wood Depot takes special care to properly crate shipments of Jatoba hardwood lumber decking to ensure delivery of your lumber in excellent condition.

Brazilian Wood Depot is ideally located to receive hardwood lumber shipments through the most cost effective ports when shipping from Brazil. In Georgia, we also enjoy some of the lowest overhead costs in the nation and “right to work” wages. In addition, our lumber crating prevents against damage to the Jatoba hardwood shipments. No damage, no damage claims and our large number of shipments earns us the best shipping rates available. All of these cost saving factors enable Brazilian Wood Depot to ship hardwood lumber decking everywhere in the United States from our own stock in Georgia at the best prices. Our sales continue to expand with consumers’ growing awareness of the attributes of our naturally beautiful hardwood decking material. Call us for current prices on Jatoba wood.

The quality of grade and milling is just as important to supplying the highest grade of Jatoba hardwood decking lumber as careful crating and shipping. Brazilian Wood Depot sells all of its lumber under the Real Wood™ brand, including Jatoba wood discussed on this page, or Real Jatoba™. Real Jatoba™, Real Ipe™, Real Cumaru™, Real Garapa™ and Real Massaranduba™ hardwood lumber is distributed in the U.S. solely by Brazilian Wood Depot. All other providers of these brands are supplied by Brazilian Wood Depot.

Please go to RealWoodDepot.com to see more about the assurances of grading, milling and origin that the Real Wood™ brand provides customers.

Jatoba wood is an excellent choice for a beautiful new deck which will last for a lifetime. Contact us today for more information and for specific pricing and options for Jatoba decking.