With all the tropical decking choices out there on the market, you may wonder which one is best for you (see Parts 1, 2 & 3). The decision will largely depend on your budget, your area’s environmental conditions, and your personal tastes. Make sure that whatever alternative you go with is suitable for your climate. This brings us to the last alternative we’re going to consider in our series: Massaranduba.
Massaranduba: a Durable, Attractive & Affordable Tropical Hardwood
Massaranduba goes by the trade names of either Bullet Wood or Brazilian Redwood. It’s prized for both its hardness and its density. The trees from which Massaranduba is harvested are large enough to produce boards with a high degree of grain consistency that looks beautiful in a completed decking project. Though Ipe is 20% harder than Massaranduba, the latter is still quite durable compared to many domestic species. The color is another plus for this tropical hardwood. It starts as a deep red that turns to a nice brown color as it is exposed to the elements and sunlight.
The main drawback of Massaranduba has to do with the wood getting too dried out, especially if you try to use it in a dry climate such as the U.S. Southwestern or Rocky Mountain regions. In these types of climates with very little moisture in the air, Massaranduba will not perform well over time. In fact, it can even begin to fall apart! If you plan to use it in a climate where there’s plenty of moisture in the air, you shouldn’t have to worry about this problem at all. European decking builders love working with this readily available and attractive tropical decking material. You should be able to obtain it for about the same price as Cumaru. Just be sure to keep your climactic conditions in mind when deciding whether or not to use Massaranduba in your decking project.
Cambara: A Tropical Decking Option That Has Gone by the Wayside
One tropical hardwood that used to be a viable choice but no longer is at the current time is Cambara. We’re giving it a mention in case anyone was curious about this formerly popular tropical hardwood. Back when it was readily available, this alternative had a similar coloring and grain pattern as Mahogany. Unfortunately, the Brazilian market for this tropical hardwood is no longer producing high-quality Cambara. There’s not enough high-grade material of this species being produced for it to be under serious consideration. The reason most people no longer use this option any longer is due to its lack of availability.
Whether you choose to go with Ipe, Cumaru, Jatoba, Red Balau, Tigerwood, Garapa, Massaranduba, or some other alternative, it’s important to select a tropical hardwood that will suit your personal taste, needs, and budget. Communicate with your supplier to find the option that will work best in your local area. Be sure to keep environmental factors in mind. Always go with a reputable company with a proven track record of customer satisfaction. Hopefully, this series of articles has given you an idea of some of the best options out there on the market today.