Construction trends are moving towards the use of exotic wood. These lumber types include anything that is not native to the United States or the immediate regional area. Exotic wood suppliers in Memphis, TN reach out to these supplies as they offer advantages that may not be apparent in local species. Here are three exotic wood species you might choose for your next project.
A hardwood from Brazil, Ipe offers a color varying form reddish brown to a more yellow olive brown. Sometimes, it is also very dark, like mahogany. It is very durable with strong insect resistance and it is weather resistant. The New York City Coney Island boardwalk was once built from Ipe, and it allegedly stayed intact for 25 years before needing replacement.
Ipe’s issue is that it can be very difficult to work, as it is hard and dense. People have been known to break tools while working with it. It can also be resistant to gluing, so it’s best used for projects that do not require glue. Once it is carved into shape, though, it planes nicely and displays a nice grain. It works great for exterior projects, including decking, as well as flooring and veneer.
Cumaru is also known as Brazilian Teak. It displays a medium to dark brown heartwood and some red or purple hues. Sometimes, it also has yellow or green streaks. As you work it, you will notice a vanilla or cinnamon scent, which adds a pleasant touch to your work space.
Most popular for its high weather resistance, Cumaru is so effective against the elements that it is nearly weather proof. It does not decay easily, but it is vulnerable to insect attacks. Like Ipe, it is also very difficult to work due to its density and interlocked grain and is also resistant to being glued. Uses include flooring, cabinets, furniture and heavy construction.
Mahogany grows in Africa and South America. Depending on its source country and age, it can be very dark, almost black, or nearly sand colored. Its territory is most extensive in the western hemisphere where it starts in south Mexico and continues into the temperate zones of Brazil. In Africa, it grows in the western tropical regions.
Durability varies between the species. African mahogany is not rot or insect resistant, so it is not recommended for outside projects. The South American versions can be durable, but if the tree was not well cared for, the wood can show weaknesses. These varieties are termite-resistant yet vulnerable to other insects. Mahogany has successfully been used for decks and other outdoor construction, but its more common use is for furniture.
Exotic wood species offer a new look to indoor and outdoor projects. It costs more, and you will need to speak with your exotic wood supplier in Memphis, TN to ensure that it is appropriate for your plans. Few things are worse than planning and building a project only to find it fails because you chose the wrong material. Visit us today at Bolen-Brunson-Bell Lumber Co. to see if any of our exotic wood options work for you.