When it comes to hardwood flooring, Acacia is a unique choice when it comes to its warm light to dark colors and pronounced wavy grain textures, curls or rings, and knots. Originating from trees in Australia, Asia, Africa, and the Pacific Islands, Acacia has over a thousand types within its species including African Acacia, Australian Blackwood, Raspberry Jam, Black Wattle, and Hawaiian Acacia. These trees are shrubby and grow from 5 to 12-feet.
Different from other hardwoods, Acacia is a water-resistant natural material that will maintain stability without warping even in the most humid climates. Homeowners choose Acacia wood flooring for its durability and easy maintenance requirements throughout the year. Acacia performs well indoors and outdoors.Measuring high on the Janka Hardness scale, Acacia is harder than European white oak and hickory hardwood.
With regular care, this breed of hardwood flooring can last over 50 years. Homeowners can refinish it many times throughout the wood’s lifetime changing the color to fit into any design style. In addition to flooring, Acacia is a popular material for furniture and perfect for cutting boards with its natural anti-bacterial property. While there are many benefits to using Acacia wood for flooring, there are some inherent problems with it too. This article will address Acacia flooring problems and ways to deal with them.
Acacia loses its moisture in a dry home. As the wood shrinks the planks tend to buckle. The wood planks can also cause the wood fibers to become brittle, which causes cracking.
Although Acacia can be used for flooring indoors and out and is considered durable and stable, dry conditions can affect the state of this hardwood. The problem of shrinkage is a very real possibility. During seasons when you are using the heater more often, acacia wood is prone to losing its moisture by drying out. Although the wood of your floor is considered dead it acts just like your skin, it is strongly affected by the warmer air temperature in the home.
Preventing shrinkage, buckling, and cracking.
Of course, this is a problem you want to avoid as shrinkage, buckling, and cracking all affect your flooring structure. Three things can be accomplished to help prevent these troubles.
1. Purchase acacia wood that has been dried at least twice in a kiln, drying the wood to humidity levels of 6% to 8%.
2. Before laying down your new acacia wood flooring, it is imperative to acclimate the wood. For your flooring to be a success, acacia to acclimate to its new environment. Leave the planks in open boxes for 5 days. It is always recommended to maintain a stable humidity level of 35% to 55%.
3. Avoid constant high heat exposure such as full-day sunlight or fireplaces.
Irregular floor appearance.
Short plank size.
Since acacia trees tend to grow shorter than other hardwoods, the floor planks are shorter. The planks are available in 2-feet to 4-feet lengths, while other hardwood planks are generally in the 3-feet to 5-feet length range. For some homeowners and interior decorators, the shorter planks don’t always match up in color and textures, which gives the floor an inconsistent appearance.
Stain the acacia floor.
One solution that you can opt for is to choose a colored stain to treat the floor. This can assist in making the floor appear more seamless.
With acacia flooring, you won’t get one uniform look. The complexity of acacia’s knots, rings, and grain textures can clash in the eyes of a perfectionist.
Accept the rustic style of acacia flooring.
If this décor is the way you have chosen to go and you don’t want the floor to be the focal point, decorators suggest putting a large area rug in the middle of the room with a seating area, and other decorative furniture and objects.
The maintenance debate of acacia flooring.
Some folks revel in the ease of caring for their outdoor acacia flooring, while others find it too tasking.
This hardwood does not do well with bleach and other harsh chemicals. With a strong sensitivity to natural light, acacia wood will naturally fade from the sun, indoors and outdoors. For those homeowners who are dedicated to maintaining its original color,this is a major issue. And, since acacia is also prone to drying and cracking, as mentioned above, there is a need to keep the moisture in with consistent oiling.
Regular sweeping of dirt and debris is a must. Wiping up any liquid spills must be completed immediately. General soft-cloth mopping with a small amount of water and dish soap should do the trick. In some cases, equal parts vinegar and water can be used. Never ever use harsh chemicals, silicon-based cleansers, or ammonia. These types will just dry out the wood.
Acacia will turn gray when exposed to sunlight and UV rays. How do homeowners prevent this? Professionals recommend you keep the floors oiled once a month with a pigment finishing stain. Acacia wood flooring is a positive design choice for many homeowners, even with a few disadvantages. Planning what room your acacia flooring is going into, double-checking the moisture retention of the wood before you purchase it, and letting it acclimate to your environment will provide some reassurance that your floor will begin a healthy existence. As for the shorter wood planks, various color irregularities, inconsistent grains, and knots, they can be easily dealt with by choosing interesting room décor accessories to take the focal point from the floor. And, whenever you choose exotic and domestic hardwood flooring, there will always be some standard maintenance you must do to care for it. That way, your home can enjoy acacia wood flooring for a lifetime.