Brazilian Koa (also known as Tigerwood or Goncalo Alves) grows across the jungles of South America, especially Brazil, Paraguay, and Uruguay. The tree can grow anywhere between 75 and 120 feet, and reach trunk diameters of up to five feet. Brazilian Koa is harvested for use in high class furniture, cabinetmaking, fancy and decorative goods, turning, and veneers. It is also commonly used for deck building and hardwood flooring.
People choose Brazilian Koa flooring primarily because of its striking appearance. It bears a richly mottled reddish-brown color, interrupted by streaks of dark brown. The whole thing can be finished off with a high natural polish, resulting in a wild mosaic of stunning contrast that works especially well in modern designs. Brazilian Koa's colors will darken with exposure to sunlight, muting the contrast a bit over time, although this hardly detracts from the overall look.
An interlocked grain with alternating layers of hard and soft wood, combined with a high Janka Hardness Rating of 1850, makes Brazilian Koa a bit difficult to work with. Cutters will experience severe blunting, and nailing requires pre-drilling. Yet the same features that make Brazilian Koa hard to manipulate also make it a very durable, long-lasting flooring option. Its natural density deters insect attack and provides protection against denting and scratching. In the end, a Brazilian Koa floor will last.
Compare that with bamboo or engineered flooring. Bamboo is all too often harvested prematurely and not given the time to develop the strength needed in a floor. The result is a floor that is easily scratched and dented. Engineered flooring suffers from a thin layer of real wood. Beneath that is a layer of plywood. This means that an engineered […]