wildebloemAugust 28, 2009

I am looking for information about cumaru flooring. It is also sold in this area as Brazilian Teak. I intend to have the floor finished in place - no prefinished, in other words.

I searched the forum but found only older and rather confusing/conflicting information and have several questions. Is this wood physically stable? I saw an installation with large gaps that opened because the wood was installed without acclimation. Is it stable when properly acclimated before installation? Also, how much does the color change? Darker? Lighter?

Thank you for any information.

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I have never had any trouble with my Brazilian Teak but it is prefinished BR-111. It is totally stable and no gaps. One thing I liked about using it is there is no stain, only the finish.

I don't think the color has changed much if at all but I don't have mine in direct sunlight. It is not as photosensitive as something like Brazilian Cherry. The floor has a good bit of variation in it so be sure you like that. Everyone that ever sees it comments on how beautiful they think it is.

I think it may be more a more formal floor than what I am actually aiming for right now but there is absolutely nothing wrong with it after 4 years.

I did price some with Brazilian Direct and their prefinished price was around $4.99. I liked the samples but have not ordered from them. The BR-111 tends to be a good bit more at around $7.50 or $8. I am only interested in prefinished because I don't think site finished can equal the factory finishes and I can't handle the dust.

Good luck and let me know what you decide.

    Bookmark   August 29, 2009 at 6:55AM
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Besure that Curamu, has a certification of origin!!!

That is the most illegally harvested wood, right now, and they are said to be repossessing from homes it was installed into, if they can trace where it went.

    Bookmark   August 30, 2009 at 9:34AM
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odiegirl13: thank you for the information. I am considering the site-finished but most of your comments should still apply. Speaking of finishes: when you mention you prefer factory finishes, do you mean hardness? From what I understand, factory finishes are far more durable all right. As for dust, we are building a new house, so the dust is not a problem.

I do not know about pricing yet, I am just now starting to look around, but your numbers are helpful.

floorguy: whatever wood I settle on, I intend to buy from a reputable company. I am not familiar with the politics of wood floors, so I am not sure who the "they" you refer to are, but I have to say I find repossessing an installed floor rather ludicrous - not to mention unnecessarily wasteful.

    Bookmark   August 30, 2009 at 12:19PM
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I guess I think the toughness of the finishes they do at the factory would be really hard to duplicate on site. I don't think I will ever have to refinish my prefinished floors. I have had some for almost 10 years and they look great. The cumaru probably won't be stained so all you are talking about is the finish. My installer told me that I would be long gone before the 7 coats of aluminum oxide finish wore off. The other thing about the site finished is that you are totally dependent on the installers to do a great job with your not so cheap wood. If you were using some $1.99 sq.ft. wood, maybe it would be worth it. This is just my opinion so take it for what it is worth.

I am probably going to use Brazilian Direct. Someone posted about a good experience with them but never followed up with photos. I think the 3.25'' is around $4.99. I think some of the pricing has to do with my location compared to them. I have 1100 sq. ft. to do so every penny counts.
The wider widths may actually be cheaper but I think they are not recommended for the Brazilian Teak. I read that somewhere and also figured out that BR-111 only offers a 3''.

Good luck and let me know what you select.

    Bookmark   August 30, 2009 at 12:37PM
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Oops, I am looking for 5" wide boards - the area I am covering is very open (an L with 30' sides), so I am looking for something "calm". That may well end the option of using cumaru. I have not looked at the narrower boards though, and with its consistent grain, it may work. Also, I need flooring for a 15x15' room that sits inside the L, and I could use the darker boards in the mix for it to calm down the overall picture even more.

I have heard the same about the prefinished, that it is hard as can be. I sort of have my heart set on an on site finish though. I do say "sort of", because I try to keep an open mind and have changed my mind a number of times during the house building process.

Companies: there is a branch of Lumber Liquidators in our city. I checked some of their prices on other woods (I do not know if they carry cumaru) and they definitely are less than others. But I know of only one person who used them (she was very happy with the price and the product). Any opinions on working with them or what to look (out) for are most welcome.

    Bookmark   August 30, 2009 at 1:26PM
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you should check with TrueHardwoods. I was quoted 5.49 sf for 3 " BR-111 BC that is prefinished with $99 shipping in US. You do have to unload the truck. I do not know what BrazilianDirect charges for shipping and I love my BR-111 floors.

Here is a link that might be useful: True Hardwoods

    Bookmark   August 30, 2009 at 5:24PM
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Thanks ricew0. The BR-111 floors I have sure are pretty. We chose them in part because of the price which actually turned out to be a mistake on the dealer's part. Unfortunately we could only get the one room at that price so we stopped.

I called them about some other brands but I did not even think to ask about the BR-111 because I thought it was too pricey. The one thing I worry about for the kitchen is the little white scratches that can show in the finish.

Their shipping price is great. I live about 75 miles south of them and still that is a great price. Most places in Dalton charge more.

Thanks again.

    Bookmark   August 30, 2009 at 6:19PM
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wildebloem - I personally am staying away from LL because of the stories I have heard here. I think it is very hit and miss with them and I would be buying a tremendous amount of flooring.

I would also be sure to get samples. We had kind of a crazy thing happen with our BR-111 order with a company in Dalton, GA. We ordered BR-111 for a great price. They delivered something totally different, swearing it was BR-111. It was very red and totally not up to BR-111 quality. We had already installed it but they agreed to replace it. I was in the process of contacting an attorney but they even paid for the reinstall. But as I said in the other post I couldn't get any more at that great price. Just be careful out there!

Good luck.

    Bookmark   August 30, 2009 at 6:23PM
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odiegirl13, Were the boxes plain boxes or did they say BR-111 and were open on the sides? Is this solid wood you are talking about?

    Bookmark   August 30, 2009 at 8:50PM
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They did not say BR-111. It was solid wood and was labeled Cumaru which is not how the BR-111 boxes are labeled. We only agreed to install after their assurances to us and our installer. Basically it was fraud and the guy got fired. It was ridiculous really because all he had to do was give us the right price for the right product. We never did really figure it out but we ended up with what we wanted.

    Bookmark   August 30, 2009 at 8:57PM
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Definitely FRAUD with triple damages if pursued since BR-111 boxes all say their name brand on every box. That is awful. I am glad they remedied the situation when they got caught instead of trying to fight it and pretend they were right. At least at the end you have a beautiful floor installed with what you wanted at a good price. I am glad they fired the salesman.

I had a local store try to pretend a little company's hardwood flooring was Mirage and they were giving me a great price but Mirage does not sell 3.5" wide Engineered Brazilian Cherry floors and when I tried to look up information on what they were selling me, I caught them in the lie. I did not buy from this store.

    Bookmark   August 30, 2009 at 9:05PM
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odiegirl13: a p.s. on your earlier post. You mentioned finish. One of the installers we interviewed uses three coats, so that should help. Nothing like the seven coats of aluminum oxide you mention, of course, but still pretty durable. Also, we are just two and aside from possibly dragging in gravel now and then on shoe treads (all of our entrances will have tile flooring for just that reason), wear will be relatively gentle. One of the reasons I prefer the on site installations is the little white scratches you mention in another post. The entire area is very open, visible, and well-lighted, so scratches will be difficult to camouflage.

Lumber Liquidators: thank you for the warning. I wonder if the good/bad experiences are at all related to the individual outlets? Some with better customer service than others maybe? I have heard that recently, their products have gotten better as more people are using the company and their not-so-great overstock supplies are dwindling enough to warrant them buying in better woods. Not sure if that is true or just someone's hope?

Thank you for your help.

    Bookmark   August 30, 2009 at 10:04PM
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Lumber Liquidators = Cavet Emptor

Definitely, hit & miss.
Normal cull & waste is 5% overage. There is a reason, Lumber Liquidators will always tell you you need 20% overage and it is not to boost more product sold.

    Bookmark   August 30, 2009 at 10:18PM
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floorguy: I was told 10-15% overage is considered normal? But then, that was a quote by a local miller who is milling some of our oaks into flooring - available flooring may be (should be?) different. Even if 20% is far more than average though, the Lumber Liquidator prices are so good it may still work out better than other sources.

You cautioned earlier about illegal harvesting but you did not mention how to find out where a company stands. Can you provide information about certificates of origin?

    Bookmark   August 30, 2009 at 10:43PM
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Widebloem said: "I am not familiar with the politics of wood floors, so I am not sure who the "they" you refer to are, but I have to say I find repossessing an installed floor rather ludicrous - not to mention unnecessarily wasteful."

It's like this: Suppose you purchased an ivory statue carved from an illegally harvested tusk from a protected animal. You would be breaking the law and subject to having your ivory statue repossessed. Wasteful? Or, how about if you purchased an overcoat made from the animal skins of a protected species. The Dept. of Commerce, or whichever federal agency has jurisdiction, could repossess that overcoat. Wasteful? Probably so; the coat will go unused, but what is ethical and lawful?

It is by enforcing laws that give laws effect and create the results that the laws are written to achieve.

That's the way it works.

    Bookmark   August 31, 2009 at 5:13AM
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glennsfc: I do not agree. The information that ivory and certain skins (and many other items, for that matter) are illegal to possess is widely available. From what I understand so far though, certain woods may or may not be illegally harvested - but I have yet to find out how the consumer can know which is which. The government branch interested in protection (and you seem to not know for sure either which branch that is) should make what information they have readily available to anyone considering such flooring. I assume most people would not buy illegally harvested wood - I certainly would not be interested. But to hold the unsuspecting consumer liable without also providing for informed choices, then tear out something that will just be dumped I do indeed find unnecessarily wasteful.

    Bookmark   August 31, 2009 at 12:00PM
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I agree that it would be 'wasteful' to rip out a perfectly good hardwood floor...but the unsuspecting customer is the ultimate end-user and therefore could be drawn into some kind of liability. Of course, it is doubtful that such a thing is going to happen to the casual consumer. The entities that do have clear liability are the poachers, the exporters, the importers and any distributor and retailer that ought to know the law governing illegally harvested wood.

I would like to know of specific cases where illegal wood was tracked and removed from customers' homes; that would be a real eye-opener for sure!

    Bookmark   August 31, 2009 at 5:07PM
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Here is a link to an article from the Shelter Magazine website that addresses The Lacey Act. I attended a distributor's showcase of products where this legislation was discussed.

Makes for interesting reading, particularly the paragraphs under the heading "The Legality Burden"...

Here is a link that might be useful: Complying with The Lacey Act

    Bookmark   August 31, 2009 at 5:25PM
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Just thought I'd add my pictures of my Cumaru/ Brazilian Teak hardwood floors. Hope this helps. I took the pictures in two different lighting conditions and with one camera. It has a more yellowish hue than Santos Mahogany or any of the other woods I have lived with in the past (see listing on the website that I slapped together).

Here is a link that might be useful: Cumaru floor pictures

    Bookmark   May 1, 2011 at 11:12AM
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