Brazilian Cherry hardwood grows in Brazil (obviously) and is often referred to as Jatoba, its Spanish name. Due to the climate and growing cycles, Brazilian Cherry is much harder than the typical oak you traditionally see here in the US. On the Janka hardness scale, Red Oak is a 1290 while Brazilian Cherry is 2350 – almost twice as hard as oak.
But, the main reason customers love Brazilian Cherry hardwood is its beauty. The redness and depth of color is unparalleled, along with the richness of its smooth graining. Even if you stain oak to be red, you can’t get same effect – it’s impossible. Take a look.
Brazilian Cherry typically comes in wider planks which is more stylish and makes the space look larger. What a lot of customers don’t realize about Brazilian Cherry is that there is a lot of color variation across the planks – some will be lighter and some darker. Unfortunately, many sample boards in the stores and/or the store clerks don’t explain this, so some customers feel misled. I always explain this to my customers because I want them to understand what they are getting – last thing I want is for someone to be surprised. Most fans of Brazilian Cherry love this color variation because it celebrates the beauty of a natural product. But others, want a more uniform look for their house, and for those customers, Brazilian Cherry is not the best option.
Virtually all hardwoods darken over time due to light – just like our skin tans in the sun from the melanin, so does hardwood. And, Brazilian Cherry, along with the other exotic hardwoods from South America, tend to darken more as they are more sensitive to light. So your Brazilian Cherry will start out lighter, but over the first year will darken to its brilliant red tone. Customers do need to understand this and realize that spaces with area rugs or furniture won’t darken as much, so if they move them, those spaces will be lighter. But, not to worry as once they are exposed to the light, they will eventually catch up.
Some customers get Brazilian Cherry and American Cherry confused. These are 2 very different woods. Brazilian Cherry is more brilliant in its redness and it’s a very hardwood (2,350 on hardness scale) vs. American Cherry is actually a much softer wood (950 – significantly softer than oak). It’s graining is different – doesn’t look as rich and it dents super easily because it’s so soft.