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Expert advices

Expert advices

What wood species to choose?

Oak, Wenge, Garapa, Iroko, Doussie... Different wood species are available for your flooring.

What are the different wood species? Origins and natural properties

Wood flooring sets the tone for your desired ambience, because it is one of the key components of a room’s decor. Choosing the wood species to use for parquet flooring is both an aesthetic and functional choice. This choice is sometimes influenced by technical constraints (humidity, heavy traffic, underfloor heating, etc.). Wood flooring takes on all the natural properties of the wood species from which it is made: grain, texture, colouring, etc.


cheneOrigin: Europe

Description: The use of oak in flooring is very widespread, notably because of its excellent stability. It is prized for domestic use in temperate climates. It’s also used in structural work, because it is solid and resistant. Oak is a wood with character, both classic and timeless, making it a sound investment. It goes well with all styles of decor. Its texture and grain allow a lot of freedom in applying different types of finishes: aging, hammering, staining, smoking by oxidation… there are many styles, making the possibilities endless. Oak ages especially well, because its beauty intensifies over time. It is mainly characterised by its natural roughness, having knots, cracks, and grooves. The number and size of these defects can influence the oak’s look and determine its grade or “choice.” Whether you choose character, rustic, or prime grade oak, it’s all a matter of style.

View the choices of oak (Oak’s grain may be straight or wavy, and fine to medium thickness depending on the choice.)
Monnin Hardness: 4.5; Density: 700 kg/m3; Dimensional stability: good.
Colour: Available in blond honey, with subtle, darker chestnut brown veins, oak offers a nice array of bright, warm colours. When used with a natural finish, it’s the perfect wood species to create a simple and natural decor.
Evolution: Oak gets slightly darker with oxidation. Over time, it weathers well, becoming even nicer. Certain finishes, like smoking, become more pronounced.

erableOrigin: Europe or North America
Description: Light pearly blond with a very fine grain, maple is North America’s signature wood. It is a beautiful wood, rather hard, with a very discreet, rather homogeneous undulating grain. It is very resistant, so it is often used in significantly heavy traffic areas like sports centres and boutiques…
Monnin Hardness: 10.2; Density: 650 kg/m3; Dimensional stability: good.
Colour: Cream with very clear pinkish and yellow tones. Because it is pearly, maple reflects light and takes on the appearance of precious wood once it is installed.
Evolution: Maple changes very slightly with age. It slowly gets darker in colour and its reflection becomes more pronounced.

: Europe, North America
Description: Light blond with subtle orange highlights, beech is a wood species with a fine, slightly wavy grain. It has quite discreet veins, giving it a rather homogeneous and contemporary look.
Monnin Hardness 8.5; Density: 700 kg/m3; Dimensional stability: good.
Colour: European beech is light cream coloured with orange highlights. Beech drying consists of “steam cooking” the wood, making it more resistant and giving it a pinkish colour with more pronounced orange grain.
Evolution: European beech gets slightly darker with time.



: Indonesia, Southeast Asia
Description: Kempas has a medium grain, and it’s a very hard wood with copper and orange colours, widely used in parquet flooring in the Far East.
Colour: Kempas comes in a wide range of colours: from orange to pink, including a discreet dark red veinage.
Evolution: Kempas darkens when exposed to light and its colours become more accented over time.

: Southeast Asia
Description: Merbau is a reddish medium brown wood with orange highlights and tiny “yellow spots,” which make it a very unique wood. It has a medium grain and discreet veins that are straight and rather homogeneous.
Merbau is a very hard, resistant and stable wood that doesn’t shift over time.
Monnin Hardness: 7.1; Density: 800 kg/m3; Dimensional stability: excellent.
Colour: Merbau offers a nice range of colours, from light to medium browns to dark red browns, leaning towards a reddish orange. This wood species is widely used, because it brings a lot of warmth and a discreet exotic touch to a room, all with class and elegance. Many planks have a yellow dust, called “gold nuggets,” in their pores.
Evolution: Merbau darkens over time when exposed to light, and its colour only becomes deeper and more beautiful.

: Western Africa
Description: Iroko is an open-pored wood that has been studied thoroughly. In the past, it was used as a teak replacement because of its similar colours.
Monnin Hardness: 3.9; Density: 650 kg/m3; Dimensional stability: good.
Colour: Iroko’s colours are very warm and come in a nice yellow brown palette, with discreet and slightly darker veins, with very nice gold highlights. As it ages, Iroko’s colours resemble those of teak wood.
Evolution: Iroko/Kambala quickly darkens when exposed to light. Once it is completely oxidized, its reflections only get more beautiful and luminous.

MUIRACATIARA or “Tiger wood”
muiractiariaDescription: Muiracatiara, or “Tiger wood,” is a peculiar wood species that looks like no other. Muiracatiara is sometimes compared to a zebra’s coat or a tiger’s fur, because of its brownish orange base and very pronounced dark veins.
Monnin Hardness: 10; Density: 880 kg/m3; Dimensional stability: good.
This wood is extremely resistant to insects and mildew.
Colour: Muiracatiara, or “tiger wood,” is a wood species that has a wide range of vein thicknesses from very fine to moderately wide. Its “streaks” provide a stark contrast with the base’s dominant colour, which varies from blond to light golden brown.
Evolution: Muiracatiara, or “tiger wood,” oxidizes with exposure to light over time: the blond base colour gets darker and the streaks turn a reddish brown.

curmaruOrigin: Brazil, South America
Description: Cumaru, or Brazilian Teak, is a dense hard wood with a range of colours varying from blond to a reddish copper-coloured blond, with very subtle dark brown veins. Cumaru has a rather homogeneous fine to medium grain. It is a very resistant and hard wood species that can be used in humid environments. It is also used outside in decking tiles and planks. Cumaru has very good resistance to insects and mildew.
Monnin Hardness: 13.1; Density: 1070 kg/m3; Dimensional stability: good.
Colour: Cumaru is comparable to Burmese Teak, because both are very warm. Its blond variations make a very elegant wood that works equally well with contemporary and classic decors. Cumaru is offered according to its colour. You’ll hear it referred to as blonde Cumaru or red Cumaru, depending on its look.
Evolution: Cumaru gets slightly darker when exposed to light. Over time, it gets weathered and offers a more uniform look.

bambouOrigin: Asia
Description: A true innovation in flooring, bamboo has some remarkable qualities. It is very hard and stable and is very resistant to wear and tear. Because it is made by putting bamboo canes together, it is suitable for all environments, even the most humid. Bamboo offers a comfortable appearance that adds an exotic touch when paired with the decor.
Colour: Naturally blond with golden highlights, bamboo can also come in a coffee shade, which it gets from a special factory treatment (a steam-baked process). It comes in 2 different styles: horizontal structure (most widespread in France) and vertical structure. You can also get it in compressed, denser, and even harder types.
Evolution: Bamboo is rather stable and ages slightly over time.

jatobaOrigin: Brazil
Description: Jatoba has a unique colour and grain. Rich and dense, its salmon colour has deep, dark red highlights. Its grain is subtle and gives stark contrasts. Jatoba gets nicer and more beautiful with time. It is a very hard wood, extremely resistant to wear and tear.
Monnin Hardness: 13.1; Density: 1070 kg/m3; Dimensional stability: good. Resistance to insects and mildew: excellent.
Colour: Jatoba comes in a broad array of colours. Its salmon gold base is enhanced by superb deep red reflections. It’s very rich, and its colours can vary from one plank to another, offering a seasoned look once they are put together.
Evolution: Jatoba darkens quickly when exposed to light and even more when it is installed in a sunny area. Over time, it ends up showing a superbly rich, deep reddish brown colour.

MASSARANDUBA (Brazilian sequoia)
massarandubaOrigin: Brazil
: Fine-textured Massaranduba has a very deep purplish red colour. It has a very discreet grain that is mostly straight and occasionally wavy. Once installed, it has a very uniform look. It has few colour variations and brings a discreet exotic and elegant touch to the room. Massaranduba is one of the hardest woods from Latin America and is very resistant to wear and tear. It is also used outside in deck planks and tiles. Monnin Hardness: 12.9; Density: 1,100 kg / m3; Dimensional stability: excellent. Resistance to insects and mildew: excellent. It is suitable for humid environments.
Colour: Massaranduba’s colour is very dense and profound. Its reddish brown base is enhanced by slight purple highlights.
Evolution: Massaranduba’s colours change slightly when exposed to light. Over time, it gets more beautiful and a little more intense.

doussieOrigin: Central and West Africa
Description: Doussie is a nice orange-brown wood species that turns a copper-brown colour once it ages. It has a fine grain and homogeneous undulating veins. It is one of the most popular exotic wood species in Europe. It offers a good natural resistance to wear and tear because of its hardness.
Monnin Hardness: 7.4; Density: 800 kg/m3; Dimensional stability: medium.
Colour: Doussié comes in nice colour shades ranging from golden orange brown to more sustained tones.
Evolution: Doussie darkens slightly when exposed to light. With time, its mahogany highlights become more pronounced.

: Central Africa
Description: Padouk has an average hardness and is known for its vibrant colour and straight grain.
Colour: Padouk comes in a wide array of shades ranging from medium oranges to a bright reddish orange accentuated by the grain over time.
Evolution: Padouk darkens a lot when exposed to light. Some pieces retain their orange colour while others turn a darker shade of reddish orange, with almost black veins.
Applying oil speeds up this process, while applying a varnish tends to limit it.

IPE (Lapacho)
ipeOrigin: Brazil
Description: Very elegant, Ipe Lapacho is a wood known for its solidity and its brilliant colours: deep chestnut brown with very light reddish brown highlights. The veinage shows medium contrast and the grain varies in thickness from fine to medium. Ipé hardly expands or contracts and doesn’t shift over time. It is a dense and heavy wood.

Because it is naturally rot proof, it is also the choice wood species for decking and bathrooms.
Very hard wood: 15; Density: 1050 kg/m3; Dimensional stability: rather weak. Resistance to insects and mildew: excellent.
Colour: Ipé comes in a beautiful array of colours, ranging from deep brown with red highlights to yellowish with fine, dark brown (almost black) veins.
Evolution: Ipé weathers over time and becomes more uniform. It reacts to light exposure by getting darker. Knots and cracks contrast and accentuate the wood.

: Light reddish brown, cherry wood is often compared to maple because of its fine, slightly wavy grain. This wood species is often used in the manufacture of furniture and is very common in Europe.
Monnin Hardness: 5.9; Density: 600 kg/m3; Dimensional stability: medium.
Colour: Cherry wood comes in a beautiful palette of light brown with red and mahogany highlights, giving it a very warm feel.
Evolution: Cherry wood’s colours weather with time, only becoming more and more beautiful.

tauariOrigin: Brazil
Description: Often compared to oak because of its colours, Tauari is an exotic wood originating from Brazil. Its grain is straight and of medium thickness, and its dominant colour is a very elegant cream beige. Its knots and cracks are almost invisible, giving it a very uniform look.
Very hard wood: 3.5; Density: 620 kg/m3; Dimensional stability: medium.
Resistance to insects and mildew: medium. It does not work well in humid environments.
Colour: Tauari comes in a very nice palette of cream-dominant colours. Its brown veins are fine and discreet with pink and yellow highlights.
Evolution: Tauari darkens slightly when exposed to light.

: South America
Description: Cabreuva is pale brown with red/plum veins. It has discreet and undulating grain and a medium texture. Cabreuva is a very hard wood that is resistant to wear and tear. It offers a very nice, elegant and distinguished look.
Evolution: Cabreuva oxidizes somewhat. Over time, its colours become deeper and denser.