ABS Wood

Brazilian Oak: The Elegant Durability for Hardwood Decks

Brazilian oak is a durable hardwood that is suitable for decks. Known as 'garapa', this exotic lumber is a good choice if you are looking for durable decking in a lighter color than most woods. It is most identifiable with its honey yellow hue and a fine grain. Some boards may have defining streaks of brown due to the nature of Brazilian oak, but this feature only makes the material more appealing for a luxurious home. The yellow color may turn into an elegant shade of russet golden brown when exposed to the sun.


Garapa is sustainably harvested from the Amazon rainforest. Due to its origins, Brazilian oak naturally resists decay, rot, insects, and water damage. Hence, you can expect your deck to last for more than two decades. This type of deck will not require any preservative, too, so maintenance is easy. Reputable suppliers of Brazilian hardwoods in the United States get garapa from South American forests that are sustainably managed. This way, you can trust the product to be environmentally friendly. The wood species is not listed in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.


Brazilian oak is naturally biodegradable. Its overall quality and durability are comparable to ipe, but you can get it from reputable suppliers at a fraction of the cost. Consider buying garapa decking materials from a supplier that can directly ship the products to your job site or your home. Without the middlemen, suppliers are able to pass the savings on to you. Garapa can go together with other hardwoods like ipe, especially if you want your structure to have a unique, rustic elegance to it.

Garapa decking naturally resists fungal growth as long as water does not penetrate the wood. On the Janka hardness scale, the wood's hardness is at 2280 lbf, which is harder than oak (1360 lbf) and maple (1450 lbf). This way, Garapa decking is proven to be extremely durable and scratch resistance, making it ideal for high traffic areas in and outside the home.


This hardwood is ideal for exterior decking. Because it naturally resists decay and bugs, it will not require any form of preservative. Sun exposure, however, will darken the wood in time, but you can preserve Brazilian oak's golden brilliance with a UV-blocking finisher. Despite its density, Brazilian oak is fairly easy to work with. It finishes and glues well, and it has average dimensional stability.


About the Author:


This article is written by Bruce Master. He gained an interest in woodworking at an early age. Bruce Master started working with contractors in the 1970s as a salesman at Ace Hardware in Miami. Over the years he discovered and fell in love with Brazilian woods. He has built decks, docks and specialty items using many of the Brazilian woods. Today, Bruce loves his job as Operations Manager for ABS Wood, a Brazilian wood retailer.