Q: Brazilian cherry or hardwood birch floors?
I'm trying to decide between installing brazilian cherry hardwood floors and hardwood birch. What are the pluses and minus of each? How do they stack up next to each other. I am a fan of the coloring of each, so it's really all about cost, durability, and any other drawbacks of each that come up. Thanks?
Wow Thomas. I am not quite sure how you came up with these two species to choose between. There are so many drastic esthetic differences to begin with. Let's see if I can help.
Hardness: Brazilian Cherry is much harder overall. The Janka Rating is 2350. Birch is 1260.
Photosensitivity: Brazilian Cherry is light sensitive. Meaning is will gradually turn a darker reddish color over time, but will eventually even out and remain at the darker reddish color.
Color Variations: People buy Brazilian Cherry because of its natural beauty. The reddish color is what brings out the best in the floor. Birch can be found in many different colors. It is stained many times. Most like the yellowness, but some like to darken it. It is easy to work with because of its ability to stain and smooth texture. Brazilian Cherry should not be stained because the color is why you buy it.
Durability: Like their Janka rating suggests Brazilian Cherry is much more durable. If you are choosing this floor for your house and you have animals and a family then I would suggest Brazilian Cherry.
Thomas, you have some decisions to make, but if you are looking for a durable floor Brazilian Cherry should be your choice. If you are looking for color options then Birch might be the wise choice. I would suggest looking beyond just durability. The cost while important should not be something to worry about because both of these floors tend to be priced within the same range of $3.50 to $7.00/SF. Also both are fairly accessible for purchase. I would definitely look at Mullican, or BR-111 as valued brands.
Hope this helps.
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