Botanical Name: Guibourtia demeusei
The bubinga tree is found West Africa, typically in the areas of Gabon and Cameroon. The trees can grow in height from 130 to 170 feet and can have a trunk diameter of six and a half feet. The wood ranges from a pinkish red when first milled to a darker burgundy once aged. Darker veins of a deep rose or purple combine to make unique and beautiful flooring.
Bubinga is often called African Rosewood, Essingang, and Buvenga. Because of the difficulty milling the lumber by hand, it has not historically been used for flooring. Instead, the primary uses of this lumber were veneer work, paneling, and furniture. Additional items such as decorative boxes and knife handles were also popular.
The durability of a hardwood can be determined by looking at its Janka scale rating. A rating of zero on the Janka scale indicated a wood is too soft to be used in flooring while a ranking of 4000 indicates it is much too hard and difficult to mill to be used in flooring. The Janka scale rating for bubinga is 2690, which is more than 100 percent harder than red oak, but not quite as hard as Brazilian cherry.
Bubinga is easily machined as long as there are no sap pockets. Sap pockets in the wood can cause problems with localized gluing or difficulties finishing the wood. In wood with no sap pockets, the wood is easily finished and displays a fine luster. Because of the extreme hardness of the wood, it is possible for cutters to be severely blunted when working with the lumber. Pre-drilling is required before nailing, again because of the hardness of the lumber.
Where to use
Bubinga hardwood flooring can be used anywhere in the home. It is very durable and has a dark reddish hue that makes it ideal for homeowners that desire darker flooring. As with all hardwood flooring, it is not recommended that the flooring be installed in areas that will be exposed to excessive moisture or standing water, such as bathrooms and mudrooms, unless special care is given.
Care and Maintenance
As with all hardwood flooring, it is necessary to implement some preventative measures and routine care in order to keep the floors looking beautiful. The first step to ensuring the long lasting beauty of the flooring is prevention. Runners need to be placed in areas that will receive a high volume of foot traffic. This can prevent the wear and tear from shoes with heels as well as from any matter that is brought into the home. Pads should be placed under furniture to prevent indentions and gouging over time and animal’s nails should be clipped to reduce scratches.
Routine sweeping, or vacuuming on a hardwood setting, can remove the sand and grit that can scour and dull the finish of the flooring over time. Spills should be cleaned as promptly as possible to reduce the likelihood of the liquid seeping into the flooring and staining it. Additional cleaning and care will greatly depend on the finish chosen for the flooring.