Exotic hardwood choices: Cabreuva
Cabreuva is an exotic hardwood flooring species that grows predominately in areas of Central America and South America. It is also commonly called Santos Mahogany in English-speaking nations, but actually goes by several other names as well, particularly in its countries of origin. These include Cabreuva-vermelha, Bálsamo del Perú, Estoraque, Sandalo, and Olor. Customers looking for Cabreuva may see it marketed under any of these names, though the scientific name of the tree that produces this wood is Myroxylon peruiferum.
Santos Mahogany features a sapwood that is a pale tan or brown. The heartwood, in contrast, takes on a vibrant hue that is a cross between purple and red. This contrast is one of the things that makes Santos Mahogany so popular with homeowners and redecorators. The grain present in these trees can best be considered “interlocked,” while the texture is neither smooth nor rough, but rather a steady medium.
Santos Mahogany is ideal for some locations because it possesses a natural resistance to both insects and fungus. Its Janka hardness is an impressive 2200, which means that it is also resistant to scratches and other surface damage. Some kinds of wood will be dented merely by dropping a plate onto the floor, but as Janka hardness increases, this becomes less and less likely. Santos Mahogany is 70% more durable than red oak, the species widely used as a benchmark for comparing flooring characteristics.
Despite its hardness, floors made of this wood will need periodic floor sanding and polishing to continue to look their best.