When choosing Brazilian hardwoods, you are likely to encounter garapa and cumaru decking materials. Both are popular in the US as lighter color woods, but there are certain differences in their look and feel that could make you prefer one over the other. Knowing these characteristics will make it easier to decide which material is best for your deck. So, here is an overview of the main differences between cumaru and garapa decking:
- The name – Garapa is also called, ‘Brazilian oak’ due to its hardness and density that is similar to the regular oak. On the other hand, cumaru is ‘Brazilian teak’, which is one of the densest woods, making it highly durable and suitable for building a long-lasting deck. Cumaru decking may seem like IPE to the untrained eye, making it an excellent alternative to the classic IPE if you are looking for harder, lightly colored alternative.
- The colors – Cumaru typically comes in two variants: red and yellow. Both are used for commercial and decking applications. Its pronounced grain can stand out further with a sealant coating or any high-quality stain. If you prefer a medium-brown hue, consider garapa decking. It can be darkened with tinted finishers if you want a more subdued hue. The material’s grain is characterized as irregular, interlocked, and fine, with a medium texture. Reputable suppliers of cumaru decking carry Garapa in varied grain and color that will add more character to your deck.
- Durability – Garapa’s hardness is at 2280 lbf on the Janka hardness scale, which makes it harder than oak and maple. This feature makes it durable and resistant to termites, scratches, decay, and rot, and it will not require any wood preservatives. Cumaru decking is at 3540 lbf on the Janka scale and it can resist the same things that garapa can.
- Versatility – Cumaru is not just used for decks. It can be used as fencing or outdoor seating material, too. Garapa is mostly used for building decks.