Hardwood flooring: considering purpleheart
The average consumer conceives of hardwood flooring as consisting of shades of brown with some very exotic species providing those interested with a way to get floors that are a deep red or an almost black shade.
Very few hardwood flooring consumers are aware that natural wood is also available in purple, but this is exactly what the South American species known as purpleheart provides. While the sapwood is off-white or even the hue of cream, the heartwood over time acquires a deep purple shade. This is the result of the natural aging process and does not require any stains or dyes to achieve.
Purpleheart grows in the Amazon basin in Brazil and can also be found as a native species in some portions of Central America. Although most commonly marketed as purpleheart because the name perfectly encapsulates the nature of the wood, other terms are also used to label the wood. These include koroboreli, morado (the Spanish word for purple), tananeo, guarabu and violetwood.
Purpleheart has a Janka hardness rating of 1860, which makes it the equivalent of hickory for flooring purposes. Professionals who work with purpleheart describe it as a strong, dense species that possesses excellent termite resistance and the ability to retain very stable dimensions after drying. Since the wood is so hard, those who work with it are accustomed to the need to frequently sharpen their cutting tools.
Purpleheart’s hardness means that it takes well to hardwood floor sanding. Its vibrant and unusual colour means that it can add a true edge of fashion to a parquet floor design.