Working With Exotic Species

Hardwood Floor Estimate

Refinishing Hardwood Floors: BRAZILIAN CHERRY

Brazilian Cherry–or, as we like to call it–Chocolate Covered Cherry is, as the name implies, an exotic wood. It’s most preferred feature is the display of beautiful grain patterns and many homeowners love the warm hues of the finished wood. It is very dense solid wood and has a tight grain, which means it’s difficult but not impossible for a skilled craftsman to apply stain colors or dyes to. Most exotics change color over time and Brazilian Cherry is no exception. Be certain you love the rugs you lay down because Brazilian Cherry darkens dramatically over time. You will notice a difference in color under rugs and sometimes even large pieces of furniture.

Although it is exotic, Brazilian Cherry is readily available in 1-8′ lengths. It is a little more difficult to procure in longer lengths. Most homeowners who have large great rooms or vaulted ceilings prefer long board lengths. There can be longer wait times for wide planks of Brazilian Cherry as well. Certain lengths and widths must be on special order well in advance of the project.

In the 90’s and early 2000’s, Brazilian Cherry was installed often in semi-custom and custom homes as an upgraded hardwood floor. This was particularly popular because warm reds and oranges were trendy in home design colors, at the time. We get many calls from homeowners who are wondering if they have to tear out their entire floor to display current color trends. We hate to throw solid hardwood flooring out in any situation. So, we suggest dustless refinishing (no dust mask needed), alternative color applications like bleaches, oxidization, or aniline dyes, and low VOC finishes. Brazilian Cherry in particular can be dramatically changed by bleach and dye.

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Brazilian Cherry In The Home

A homeowner in Castle Pines Village hired us to remove white carpet in their living room and extend their existing Brazilian Cherry hardwood floors. She was worried about the red, orange, and purple hues that still showed through the stain on the existing floor. We worked to provide an alternative colorant to neutralize the amber tones and, as a result, installed additional Brazilian Cherry, sanded and refinished all with a rich brown dye, and three coats of water based polyurethane.

Similarly, we saved a University Park homeowner money and time by dyeing existing Brazilian Cherry floors brown during a refinishing project. Our client is thrilled that we were able to salvage the solid hardwood and dramatically improve its appearance. Wood floor refinishing has a much lower cost per square foot in time and budget than demolition, haul away, and installation. You may not like the aesthetics of the current wood floor in your home. You’ll never know how transformational color, texture, and even a different sheen can be. Discuss your options with a certified wood floor professional at Artistic Floors by Design.

Hardwood Floor Estimate
Hardwood Floor Estimate

Refinishing Hardwood Floors: Hickory

Even Without Color, Hickory Sets a Dramatic Foundations For Interior Design.

I think of the word distinct first when I consider Hickory. It is a unique flooring material due to the variation in color. Its heartwood is a tan or reddish in color, while the sapwood is white to cream in color with fine brown lines. Hickory has the potential for a variety of different design specifications from extremely modern to rustic farmhouse, depending on its grade, or character.

We recently sanded this #1 grade, 4-inch wide plank Hickory floor surface in Pradera (Parker, CO). It has an application of invisible floor finish to create the look of raw wood. The ultra-matte finish is incredibly durable, drying in 2 hours compared to 24 hours, and has a slightly textured feel which mimics raw wood.

Because Hickory is such a dense wood, do not use stain in a can for your color application. Hiring a National Wood Flooring Association Certified Professional means you’ll have a variety of color applications available to you. You can achieve a weathered look for transitional design potential by using aniline dye. Calm neutrals like gray are on-trend and many homeowners are asking if we have the capacity to color their floors a grayish taupe, or greige.

We sanded, aniline dyed, and finished this #1 grade, 2 ¼” Hickory floor. The finish was a final coat of matte waterbased polyurethane which enhanced the Heritage Hills home’s transitional design.

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Hand Scraping

One of the most dramatic ways to showcase hickory is to hand scrape it, then apply a dark dye. Of course, this look isn’t for everyone. The darker your floor, the more dirt, dust, and debris you see. However, this old-world, undulating hand scraped Hickory wood floor in The Preserve (Denver) has a reddish brown dye and black edge treatment, which is incredibly distinctive and appealing.

Hand scraping is a perfect texture to minimize traffic patterns because it distresses your floor and you’re not placing your foot on the entire board.
The technicians at Artistic Floors by Design can hand scrape new flooring prior to installation or hand scrape existing wood flooring. It is a lost technique that can truly set your home apart, unlike the machine scraped look of engineered wood, and make it your own.


Hickory is extremely durable (almost twice as hard as Red Oak) and, regardless of color and grade/character, with a matte finish, it is very forgiving in high traffic homes. Installing hickory floors means that you can enjoy your kids, pets, and friends in your beautiful home environment…we’ll take care of your floors! Because art is not just for walls.

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