As an extension of an open floor plan, a recent design trend incorporates seamlessly blending interior design with outdoor living spaces. Of course, execution of such a concept can become a bit difficult when you consider lumber for flooring. After all, the kind of durability needed for your outside space is certainly not something you want for your indoor living areas. However, you certainly don’t want to sacrifice style. J. Gibson McIlvain supplies a wide variety of species suitable for both exterior and interior use, and we’ve discovered an excellent indoor/outdoor combination that can help the style-savvy homeowner achieve the ideal aesthetic. The solution we recommend is Jatoba.
Often marketed within the flooring industry as Brazilian Cherry, Jatoba is a wood species that can be used for both interior and exterior flooring applications, helping homeowners achieve the sought-after blended design. Because Jatoba boasts a Janka hardness rating of 2820, it’s able to endure high levels of foot traffic and resist rotting or insect damage, just like Ipe or Cumaru. The deep red coloring gives the same luxurious appearance as Mahogany, without concerns over fading to a gray. Already popular as an interior flooring species, Jatoba is easier to mill and install than popular decking species, such as Ipe or Cumaru, which are both harder than Jatoba.
For interior use, Jatoba should be dried to a moisture level between 6 and 8%, but for exterior use, we recommend levels between 12 and 15%. Because Jatoba is not as hard as most decking species, it’s less likely to become damaged during drying, even when dried to interior specifications. The higher moisture levels for exterior use lead to lower production times, which, in turn, translate into cost savings, potentially bringing Jatoba decking down to less than 70% the cost of Ipe decking. Of course, like any decking, Jatoba should be installed with gaps for drainage, in order to achieve the highest longevity possible.
One downside of using Jatoba for decking is tied to the industry-wide marketing of Brazilian Cherry (Jatoba dried to interior moisture levels). The issue: availability. Because of Jatoba’s popularity for interior use, coupled with shipping constraints during Brazil’s rainy season, Jatoba decking can be hard to find. J. Gibson McIlvain maintains relationships with reliable Brazilian suppliers, though, making both interior-grade and exterior-grade Jatoba available to us.
As you consider the many lumber species options available for your next interior or exterior project, the lumber experts at J. Gibson McIlvain can make recommendations based on your project’s specifications, budget, location, and design elements. As in importer of record for a large number of exotic hardwoods species, we pride ourselves in legally and responsibly harvested and imported species that meet the highest expectations of today’s most elite designs.
J. Gibson McIlvain Company
Since 1798, when Hugh McIlvain established a lumber business near Philadelphia, the McIlvain family has been immersed in the premium import and domestic lumber industry. With its headquarters located just outside of Baltimore, the J. Gibson McIlvain Company (www.mcilvain.com) is one of the largest U.S. importers of exotic woods. As an active supporter of sustainable lumber practices, the J. Gibson McIlvain Company has provided fine lumber for notable projects throughout the world, including the White House, Capitol building, Supreme Court, and the Smithsonian museums.
To order Jatoba or Brazilian Cherry, contact a lumber sales representative at J. Gibson McIlvain Company by calling toll free 800-638-9100.