With a pattern reminiscent of a tiger's stripes, Goncalo alves, also known as jobillo or tigerwood, is one of the more dramatic flooring materials around. This hardwood species comes from South America, but other types of tigerwood that are just as attractive grow in Africa and Asia.
Tigerwood has a reddish-brown hue punctuated by irregular streaks of dark brown, which creates a striking contrast. The wood has a Janka hardness value of 2,170 pound-feet, making it 67 percent harder than red oak -- but unlike exotic species such as Brazilian walnut, it's still soft enough to be easily workable. This means that the procedure for installing tigerwood flooring is equivalent to that for installing flooring made from any domestic hardwood.
Using Tigerwood Flooring
Tigerwood's density makes it one of the more stable flooring materials. Because it has good resistance to shrinking and warping, it's suitable for any room in the house, even one with higher-than-normal humidity. The grain pattern is so dramatic, however, that it doesn't fit into a busy design decor scheme. White or beige walls, combined with plenty of light from outside, work best to bring out the colors of tigerwood.
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