Tropical Hardwood Options: Indonesian Bangkirai
People who are interested in exotic tropical species for hardwood flooring have more options now than ever before. The explosion of worldwide trade in the past few decades has really opened up tropical areas of the world to more commerce and now, any hardwood flooring showroom will typically have samples of many exotic species. One of the most exciting of these is bangkirai.
The formal name for bangkirai is Shorea laevis, but consumers will more likely encounter is under names such as balau, kumus, penapak, and anggelam. The wood grows natively in Indonesia and to date, has not been planted in large quantities in other tropical parts of the world. Bangkirai can look somewhat different depending on whether your floorboards are made from heartwood or sapwood. While the heartwood tends to have a yellowish-brown hue, the sapwood is a lovely pale tan shade. The grain in both cases is rather straight and best of all for many homeowners, the surface of the boards tends to be highly glossy with a beautiful smooth texture.
Bangkirai is known to be a durable species that resists decay better than many other types of wood. This is true of cut boards as much as it is true of the living tree. In addition, this species is odour-free. However, the wood can be expensive because it requires special care during manufacture to avoid splits and cracks. Of course, should such damage occur after the floor is installed, it can be repaired using hardwood floors sanding.