What Is Cumaru? A Unique and Durable Flooring for Hardwood Lovers
You might think that cumaru sounds like something new and exotic. You would be half right: it is an exotic hardwood from Brazil, but it’s been around for a while. In fact, it was quite popular a decade ago before flooring trends moved toward darker browns, grays, and taupes. But classics always come back. Today, builders and homeowners are rediscovering cumaru and the rich-toned wood flooring is seeing a resurgence in popularity. A beautiful and unique wood, it offers complexity of both color and grain. Its exotic brown color is streaked with reddish and sometimes yellow highlights throughout. These highlights, combined with its distinctive grain pattern, provide a rich and warm feeling sure to enhance the ambiance of any room.
Cumaru, pronounced coo-ma-roo, comes from the Dipteryx odorata tree native to central and northern South America. The tree is cultivated not only for its wood but also for its seed, the vanilla and cinnamon scented Tonka Bean. Though cumaru is not related to teak wood, it is also known as Brazilian Teak due to its durability and sustainability – fun fact: cumaru is almost three times as hard as teak.
This is a flooring material that will stand the test of time. Cumaru compares favorably to more traditional oak flooring in appearance and is superior to oak in dent and scratch resistance. It measures 3540 on the Janka hardness scale, nearly three times as hard as red oak, which measures in the 1200s. This means a cumaru floor will stay beautiful longer and need refinishing less often over its lifetime.
Cumaru Flooring: Unique and Lasting Beauty
Many hardwood lovers will appreciate the uniqueness of cumaru and never tire of looking at it. More so than other hardwood flooring, the intricate variations in the grain and the rich colors are particularly striking. This floor truly adds character to a home.
While cumaru is an excellent choice for any living area, its durability means it also will last longer than many other wood floors in moisture-prone areas such as kitchens and bathrooms. While cumaru is more resistant than most woods to high humidity, like other wood flooring, standing water can cause lasting damage, particularly over time. Make sure you mop up spills promptly to keep your floor looking new longer.
You might expect such an exotic wood to be unaffordable, but despite cumaru’s rich appearance the cost is comparable to other high-quality wood flooring. Though there is a slight premium cost over many oak options, when you factor in the superior durability, you may find cumaru is a bargain.
While the initial color is beautiful, homeowners should be aware that this wood is more sensitive to light than oak and, when exposed, will change color over time to a lighter yet equally beautiful hue. The transition is slow enough to be almost imperceptible, but after six months to a year of sunlight exposure, cumaru flooring will settle to a light brown caramel color with hints of red. To avoid differences in hue, some homeowners choose to wait for this color change to complete before laying area rugs.
From the Rainforest to Your Home
Cumaru wood comes from one of the tallest species of tree in the Amazon rainforest. It can grow to be 160 feet tall and over 3 feet in diameter. It is generally considered to be a sustainable material, particularly when grown in Amazonian agroforestry systems. These systems combine agriculture and forestry to product multiple products in the same land area. Some communities grow not only cumaru trees, but also cassava, nuts, fruits, and timber products over a 30-year cycle. This is a much more sustainable process than the slash-and-burn approach.
Floors USA offers cumaru in several shades and in varying widths. Call today to make an appointment with our seasoned flooring specialists so you can enjoy your new floor for years to come.