Jatoba and Ipe for Indoor Floors

Are these Brazilian hardwoods good flooring material? June 23, 2006

Does anyone have experience with Brazilian cherry or Brazilian walnut hardwood flooring? Stuff like warping, shrinking, etc?

Forum Responses
(Architectural Woodworking Forum)
From contributor G:
I put Brazilian cherry in my own home. Makes a good, hard floor. Doesn't move much. All round hard to beat for $4sf. It looks real good too. Used Minwax oil based gloss thinned and finished with a coat of satin.

From Professor Gene Wengert, Sawing and Drying Forum technical advisor:
Brazilian cherry is usually called jatoba. It is often used for flooring, but the cost is quite high. Very hard. Machining is not the easiest. Some allergy concerns from the dust. Proper drying is difficult with Brazilian walnut, so if used for flooring, excessive shrinkage in-use can occur sometimes.

From the original questioner:
I've seen the cherry for a pretty good price several places. That's why I asked about its properties. Thanks to you both for your input.

From contributor J:
Brazillian cherry (jatoba) is very affordable these days. About 60 percent harder than oak, turns a real deep red over a short time. Brazilian walnut is Ipe - very nice floor, but a little more pricy. Hardest floor you can buy to my knowledge, over 300 times harder than red oak. Lots of color variation and character. Ipe is commonly used on exterior applications, be sure your flooring product is actually an interior product that has been kiln dried rather than air dried. Ipe is hyper allergenic when sanding, and does not glue well with standard wood glues. Ipe would be my pick between the two. Everybody in my part of the world has a jatoba floor - tired of seeing it.

From Professor Gene Wengert, Sawing and Drying Forum technical advisor:
Correction. Ipe is 3 times (or 300%) harder than red oak (not 300 times harder).

From contributor J:
Oops! You're right.