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Hardwood flooring options: mesquite

Posted on March 1st, 2012 In: Articles, Hardwood Floors Sanding Articles

One of the intriguing options for hardwood flooring from North America is mesquite.  There are more than 60 different types of this wood growing in the world, but the one used for flooring usually derives from Texas and other parts of the American Southwest.  Mesquite can vary in colour from a pale yellow shade reminiscent of hay or straw to a deep, rich, reddish brown.  Like many wood flooring varieties, mesquite takes on a slightly different character depending on whether it has been sealed with oil or water-based finishes.  An oil finish will give mesquite a deeper colour that is slightly more lustrous and luxurious.

Mesquite is one of the hardest wood species growing in North America.  While oak, for example, has a Janka hardness rating below 1300, mesquite has a rating above 2300. This means that planks of mesquite have high dimensional stability.  Another advantage of mesquite is that it resists humidity changes very well.

This means that it has a smaller chance of warping or shrinking when weather conditions change the humidity.  It is difficult to overstate this advantage, since wood that does not deal well with humidity changes can actually split apart during the dryer parts of the year.  This, of course, is more of an issue in a dry climate than a relatively moist one.

Mesquite’s lovely colour range makes it a popular flooring material for parquet floors as well as traditional plank flooring.  Like all hardwoods, mesquite will occasionally need Floor Sanding and Polishing.

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