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Review of Reclaimed Black Locust and Jatoba Flooring

Updated on July 23, 2015

Reclaimed Black Locust

The great thing about reclaimed hardwood flooring is that you can feel good about wood again. You no longer have to purchase hardwood with a bad conscience because you know that what you are doing is bad for the environment. Reclaimed hardwood flooring is hardwood that has been rescued from buildings due for demolition or for major re-fittings. It is hardwood that would end up in an incinerator or a landfill if you didn’t buy it. It is the most environmentally friendly flooring because it can be sourced locally and is a perfect example of the eco-benefits of recycling.

Buying reclaimed hardwood flooring allows you to get some really special hardwood for your home. Two types of hardwood that are great for flooring because they look great are black locust and Jatoba.

Robinia pseudoacacia or black locust is a tree that belongs to the pea family. It is native to the southeastern United States. It was introduced into Britain in 1636. Black locust is an impressive tree that reaches up to 70 feet in height and three or four feet in diameter. The wood from the black locust is a yellowish brown that is close grained and very durable to ground contact. It is a hard and heavy hardwood that is ideal for flooring because it can withstand high traffic situations. Black locust timber has a Janka Hardness Rating of 1,700 pounds force making it harder than oak, maple and ash. It is one of the hardest hardwoods that are native to North America. Combine this hardness, with black locust’s beautiful close grain and rot resistant nature and you can understand why it is a prized hardwood for flooring. Sadly, because of the locust borer insect black locust is not commercially grown in many places of the United States anymore; so one of the best ways of getting a black locust floor is to buy reclaimed black locust.

Black locust
Black locust

Reclaimed Jatoba

Jatoba or hymmenaea courbaril is often called Brazilian cherry. This is a confusing appellation because Jatoba doesn’t belong to the cherry family. It is also known as Brazilian Copal, South American locust and Stinking toe because of the unpleasant odor given off from the edible pulp inside its seed pods. Jatoba is native to the Caribbean, Central and South America. It is a highly valued tree for flooring because it is one of the hardest hardwoods in the continent. Jatoba has an incredible Janka Hardness Rating of 2,350 pounds force, making it harder than any hardwood native to North America.

Jatoba has an orange-brown heartwood that is similar to a dark wood. Jatoba flooring looks stunning because the color and grain subtly modulates producing a very aesthetically pleasing effect.

Jatoba like black locust is a tree that in recent times has failed to thrive. However, unlike black locust it is not a parasite or insect that has threatened Jatoba numbers but man. Jatoba timber fetches big money on the black and grey markets of Latin America and often ends up as flooring in the States. The high price for Jatoba flooring has meant that the tree is illegally logged throughout the South American continent.

The only way to stop this illegal logging is to refuse to buy new growth Jatoba products and, if you really want Jatoba flooring to consult a directory of reclaimed hardwood flooring to find a local supplier of the extraordinary hardwood.

Jatoba or Brazilian Cherry
Jatoba or Brazilian Cherry

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