Cherry Hardwood Flooring

Perhaps the first thing people think about when they hear “cherry tree” is the old parable regarding a young George Washington chopping down his father’s tree. In addition to having lovely blossoms and making a gorgeous landscaping statement, cherry wood is a great material for hardwood flooring because of its rich and distinctive coloring.

Cherry wood’s color varies from a rich red to a reddish brown and its color darkens with age due to oxidation. When used for flooring cherry provides you with a satiny, smooth texture that adds warmth and character to any home. The wood from cherry trees, prunes species, a subset of the rose family, has been used in furniture making since 400 BC.

Check out our other hardwood flooring options including the best reviews and comparisons of the year!

Advantages and Disadvantages of Cherry Wood Flooring

Some of the advantages of using cherry for your home’s flooring are:

  • Produces an excellent and smooth finish
  • Is readily available as an unfinished or prefinished flooring material
  • Is easy both to clean and to maintain

However, as with all wood flooring, cherry flooring has its disadvantages too and these include:

  • Fading
  • Easily scratched by dirt and grit
  • Damaged by excess moisture
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How Can You Tell If This Is The Floor For You?

There are five questions you should investigate if you are considering selecting cherry hardwood flooring for your home:

  1. What kind of cherry wood do I want to use for my flooring?
  2. Will cherry hardwood accentuate or distract from the style of my home?
  3. Is cherry going to be a durable enough flooring option for me?
  4. How much can I expect to pay for a cherry hardwood flooring?
  5. From where should I purchase cherry hardwood flooring?
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What Kind of Cherry Wood Do I Want to Use For My Flooring?

The answer here is really going to depend on what style you are looking for, the overall look you want to achieve, in what kind of room you plan to install the cherry flooring, and your budget. Cherry trees are grown worldwide, although not all are used for flooring material. Brazilian cherry is by far the most popular cherry hardwood flooring used, but the Asian and Bolivian cherry varieties can also be used. Cherry hardwood planks are easy to machine, glue and nail well and so are easy to install, and result with a smooth finish when sanded. Cherry wood also dries quite quickly after milling, but has a high shrinkage rate unless it has been kiln dried.

Each species of cherry hardwood flooring has a different Janka rating. The Janka hardness rating is the measure of hardness for all wood varieties used for flooring. The American Cherry hardwood has the lowest score of the cherry wood varieties, with a rating of only 950. The Janka rating of other cherry woods is Brazilian cherry – 2820, African cherry – 1010, and Bolivian cherry – 3190. Lumber liquidators has a helpful chart that can be found here that will show you a comparison of the Janka ratings of many different hardwood varieties.

Cherry flooring has been used for many decades in the construction industry. The flowering version of the tree that has been made famous by Washington D.C.’s Cherry Blossom Festival was introduced to America in 1900 as a gift from Japan. American cherry wood is softer than all of the other cherry woods, so it is not as popularly used for flooring as it is in landscaping. Brazilian or Jatoba cherry is an imported exotic hardwood and is the much more popular flooring choice.

Will Cherry Wood Accentuate or Distract From the Style of My House?

Selecting the right wood, possibly Brazilian or Bolivian hardwood cherry flooring, you will enjoy its unique grain and deep color for years to come. I personally love the look of cherry wood flooring, as it is noticeable, makes a statement, and unique in appearance, but will not draw the focus or overwhelm the other features of a room. It pairs well with almost any décor style and gives off a homey feeling that isn’t lacking in luster.

Cherry hardwood floors have an excellent smooth finish that is durable and adds warmth to any room. Brazilian cherry hardwood flooring has an open-grained appearance similar to that of oak but is twice as hard. An interesting feature of cherry hardwood flooring is the dark brown or black streaks that contrast with its background, ranging from dark orange to reddish brown. It is important to note, however, that Brazilian cherry hardwood flooring darkens after several months, so this should be taken into account when considering using it for flooring. Cherry hardwood flooring is readily available and is one of the most commonly used hardwoods in America.

Is Cherry Going to be a Durable Enough Flooring For Me?

Select your cherry flooring carefully because some cherry woods are significantly softer than others. As with other wood floors, cherry has the advantage of being easy to clean and maintain. When choosing a cherry wood flooring, most lean towards the Brazilian variety that is significantly stronger and has a measure of hardness rating that is significantly higher than many other hardwood flooring varieties, including pine and oak. You will need to seal or wax a cherry wood floor, and as with any type of hardwood flooring, that will need to be re-done occasionally, according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Brazilian cherry hardwood flooring is available in pre-finished or unfinished, and in thicknesses ranging from 3/8″ to 3/4”.

Unlike carpeting, hardwood flooring does not collect dust readily, so a dust mop is ideal for daily cleaning and damp mopping your cherry floor will remove dirt and grime. Wet mopping of wooden floors is not advisable and can lead to warping. Always ensure that you use a damp mop and your cherry hardwood floors will retain their shine, luster, and appeal.

By not taking care of your cherry flooring you will see a loss of shine and luster. When exposed to strong, direct sunlight tends to bleach out, losing its coloring. Filtering the light through a window film or window coverings can help to prevent this. Dirt and grit can act like sandpaper, scratching the finish and eventually the wood. Placing rugs and mats at doorways helps reduce this problem. Spills can damage the finish and even warp the wood, if not wiped up quickly. Because of wood’s natural tendency to absorb moisture, it is often recommended to avoid placing cherry flooring in kitchens, bathrooms, or laundry areas.

Bolivian cherry hardwood flooring can have provide some challenges. When sanding this wood, the dust can cause allergic reactions, such as contact dermatitis and respiratory allergies. Oil finishes do not dry properly, making water-based finishes a better choice.

How Much Can I Expect to Pay for a Cherry Hardwood Flooring?

Cherry wood is comparable in price per square footage to most other hardwoods. You can expect to pay about $2-$5 per square foot when purchasing cherry hardwood flooring planks, and installation costs are typically about the same as with any other hardwood flooring. With installation, you may expect to see costs of around $4-$8 per square foot for cherry hardwood floors. Because it is grown and harvested locally, American cherry wood is significantly less expensive than the more common (and stronger) Brazilian cherry wood, which comes from the jatoba tree native to the jungles of the Amazon.

There are, of course, less expensive options to achieve the look of cherry hardwood floors without paying for the solid hardwood planks. There are laminate flooring options comprised of cherry hardwood layered over a wood composite, or even vinyl or tile options designed to mimic the look of a natural cherry hardwood floor.

From Where Should I Purchase Cherry Hardwood Flooring?

I get asked this question a lot. People are always coming to me looking for reputable providers of certain varieties of hardwoods and my answer does really vary depending on the particular hardwood species you are looking for and whether you are sold on purchasing a solid hardwood flooring or are considering other options, such as a laminate flooring designed to look like a cherry hard wood. When purchasing a Brazilian cherry hardwood flooring, it is important to purchase from someone reputable who uses sustainable practices, as the jatoba tree is one of many that have been over-harvested, contributing to the deforestation of the Amazon. You can check with Forestry Stewardship Council on sustainable practices and do research before purchasing any hardwood flooring. Typically, my advice is that if a price seems too good to be true, it usually is. Do market comparisons and get feedback and reviews before making any kind of major home purchase, including flooring.

When considering flooring options for your home or office, cherry hardwood flooring makes for an interesting and dramatic choice. Not only will cherry hardwoods add warmth and elegance to a room, but will also increase the resale value. Since you can readily buy cherry hardwood floors from any hardwood specialty stores, you won’t have trouble finding a quality, beautiful flooring that fits your tastes. You also won’t have to resort to chopping your own cherry tree, like George Washington!

100 thoughts on “Cherry Hardwood Flooring

  1. How do I clean cherry floors. The contractors suggested vinegar and water — that leaves the floor cloudy. I bought a hoover floor mate and its cleans but doesn’t leave the floors shiny. Help!!

  2. Vinegar and water is what I suggest. My recipe is 1 cup of white, distilled vinegar to a gallon of water. And be sure to use a damp mop — not wet — or spray the solution on the floor and use either a terry mop-head or micro-fiber cloth to mop.
    What recipe do you use?
    One more thought: if your water is hard (has lots of mineral content), consider buying distilled water for this job.

  3. Can Brazilian Cherry be used in a bathroom? The bathroom has a shower in it, but is used rarely, like once or twice a week (it’s a weekend home)by myself only, and I’m very careful.

  4. I have observed flooring “manufacturers” say about various wood floors you can’t use them in the bathroom, or kitchen and laundry either for that matter. Understanding there’s much more potential for floods, and thus damage, is part of your decision process; if you’re willing to take the risk, your decision is easier to make.

    I used ash Pergo flooring in my entry, kitchen and bathrooms years ago — and they are all doing well still. The precautions we took were to dry off before stepping out of the shower, and then be sure to step onto a bathmat that was subsequently hung over the edge of the tub or on a towel bar to dry. We also dried spills quickly.

    Since you are careful, and have now read several times of the challenges of wood flooring in a bathroom, if you still want to — go for it! And enjoy its beauty there too.

  5. I moved a area rug to another spot in our cherry hardwood floor den..notice the fading. Will this eventually even out?

  6. Since I haven’t seen it, it’s hard for me to say how long it will be before the colors blend better. Some of the fading on my bamboo floors has evened out in two or three months, and other fading hasn’t evened out in five or sixth months.
    The difference for my situation is that one floor area is in direct light so gets quite a bit of UV, and the other area (the one that hasn’t evened out yet) is in a more indirect-light situation and the darker color is still obvious.
    Time will take care of it, but it’s a matter of how intense your sun is and how much direct light your floor gets.

  7. I have the B.C.HW. Flooring throughout, Big problem is the film buildup. I have tried everything, from Murphy’s, to Lysol, to Specialized Floor cleaners and nothing seems to remove the film – One of our floors are high gloss finish (mistake by installer) so this is particularly filmy – ANY REAL SUGGESTIONS?
    Should water be cold, warm or hot?

  8. My contractor asked me whether I want staining for unfinished cherry wood or not? In general, if you can teach me general procedure of finishing unfinished cheery floor, it would be great. Thanks,


  10. I don’t have direct experience with finishing unfinished cherry flooring but think it would be done the same as any unfinished hardwood flooring. Sand it and then seal it. Lightly sand and seal again for a more durable finish.
    I personally prefer low VOC products to keep your air quality high, and there are some great products out there that fit that bill.
    I also wouldn’t stain your cherry flooring because the wood is beautiful as it is. But if you are going to, the staining process is done right after the sanding, followed by a light sanding before sealing the floor.

  11. My brazilian cherry floors are 9 years old and the areas by floor to ceiling windows are very faded out. They have a water based finish. Can these floors be re-finished, sun protected and have the color restored?

  12. You can indeed refinish that flooring. You can either strip the existing finish and then reapply or you can use Rustoleum’s Varathane Water-based Diamond Polyurethane floor finish directly on what you have.
    But if you want to restore the color, that’s a bit trickier. The wood has been bleached and I believe only stain will put color back in the wood. The wood needs to be bare for the stain to adhere. Getting the colors balanced between the bleached and other wood surface will be challenging, but a professional might be able to do a fine job.
    You could protect the floor in the future with a polyurethane that has UV protection. The Varathane product line has such a product, though that one isn’t intended for indoor use. There are other products out there with UV protection, I just don’t have personal experience with them.
    Sticking with water-based, low VOC finishes is important for your health on this indoor application. I hope you can find all of the pieces you need to renovate your floor to your satisfaction.

  13. Hi
    I thought wood & water don’t go together. How can I clean my cherry hardwood flooring with 1:10 vinegar:water, I’m hesitant, please help by giving an alternative.

  14. The difference between what you are thinking and reality is that when you clean your cherry flooring you don’t get it wet, it’s merely damp and you dry it as you go. You don’t “swab the decks”, you only clean it. I’ve used this solution on my wood floors for years with no problem.
    Any cleaning solution you use is made with water — Murhy’s Oil Soap not excluded. The secret is that you aren’t using much solution, the solution doesn’t sit on the floor long, and your floors don’t suffer.
    Be sure to change your cleaning solution often so your floors get really clean.

  15. I bought a house with brazilian cherry wood floors. I really don’t like the red color. Is there any way to bleach out some of the color to make it paler in tone or do I just have to live with it?

  16. I don’t know if applying bleach to it would lighten it or not. But that’s not a healthy way of approaching it anyway.
    You could try making a white-wash with white paint in polyurethane and applying it, lightening the color without losing it. Make it very dilute so you only lighten the color.
    I’m only guessing at both approaches though. I’ve never tried to lighten wood, though sun has bleached my floor.

  17. Just a couple comments that may be some help. We’ve had our brazilian cherry solid hardwood floor for 2 years now. Still in love with it. Extremely durable. I’m trying to rotate my area rugs to even out the floor color beneath them. Since the areas aren’t exposed to sunlight it is taking 14+ months for those spots to darken. I’ve been told to never use Murphy’s oil soap on your wood floor, it will put an oily film over it. I’m using Bona products which do a great job.

  18. I’ve heard the same thing about Murphy’s Oil Soap, though I never experienced the problems I hear associated with MOS. I also use Bona on my bamboo floor, but I find that vinegar and water work as well for a lot less.

  19. We have lived in our new-construction home with Brazilian Cherry floors for 10 months. We have area rugs in the dining and living rooms. I just noticed that under the rugs they are a lighter color now. What should we do? I am heartsick!

  20. I think I just learned something new! Most floors get lighter as they are exposed to UV light from the sun. From what you are saying I think Brazilian Cherry must darken with UV exposure; my bamboo floors are dark under my throw rugs.
    The only thing you can do, if you want to even the colors is to not use throw/area rugs. With time the color will even out as the covered area is exposed to the UV rays. But if you are always going to have those area rugs in those spots you may not think it’s important that the wood is changing color.

  21. We just installed brazilian cherry hardwood floors. We were told of the darkening that occurs. How long does this process go on? When is it safe to put area rugs down? Thanks!

  22. Since this is a new bit of knowledge for me I have no idea. I’ll research it this week and see what I can find. If you get an answer before I do it would be great for you to post it here. In fact, anything you find would be good to add to this topic.
    Based on my bamboo floor experience, it may be awhile before it’s finished changing color.

  23. Do not use vinegar and water on brazilian cherry!
    Do not use Murphy’s Oil or you will never be able to buff and recoat with poly. If you ever want to get a quick coat of poly, the Murphy’s will interfere with poly adhesion b/c of the wax it has. After you use Murphy’s, your floors will have to be sanded all the way down or poly will not adhere.
    Use Bona, available at Ace Hardware and other flooring stores. My floor man advised me against both vinegar/water and murphy’s.

  24. I’ve heard the same arguments against using Murphy’s Oil Soap on wood floors. But I haven’t heard a good argument against using vinegar water on wood floors. Usually the people who say that are selling a product they want you to buy.
    I don’t have a cherry hardwood floor but the vinegar water works well on my bamboo floor.

  25. We have new brazilian cherry floors in our new home. They finished it with a satin oil based polyurethane. It scratches terribly and I was told by another floor finisher that it should have been sealed with a commercial grade water based finish because we have kids and a dog. Now we are having the original finisher buff and reseal with the water based and I’m wondering if we should use a satin finish again or a semi-gloss, the satin finish we have is so dull looking, but I have been told that the water based semi-gloss can make the wood look too perfect and fake like pergo floors. We just want beautiful new looking floors that dont scratch for our new beautiful house. It’s been disappointing. Also I have cleaned the floors with watered down Murphys oil 2 or 3 times. help!

  26. It’s too bad about the oil-based sealant because of your experience with it’s scratching but also because of the lowered air quality in your new home. Your general dilemma is outside my level of direct experience, but let’s see what we can do through discussion.
    You have bumped into that area of every flooring installer is going to have a different opinion about which finish is better. Their opinions are sometimes guided by what they have used and know about it in a few years of experience, sometimes their opinions come from years of experience with a wide range of products, and sometimes it’s based on what product they are sell through their business.
    I’ve heard flooring experts say that water-based sealers are the worst to use when you have lots of hard traffic (kids and dogs) and others say it’s the best. I personally think it’s the specific product line that makes the difference more than whether it’s water- or oil-based. I do know that oil-based sealers have more VOCs which lower your air quality.
    I’m not sure that buffing the original sealant is going to work, unless you mean he’s going to strip the old finish. You need to be sure that you can apply a water-based sealant to an oil-based sealant and have it be effective.
    I think that the sheen of your floor is a personal preference, that there’s no right or wrong about which you choose. Personally I prefer the satin finish on wood because I like the more natural look of the wood than the shiny look. I don’t know that I’d compare the look to a Pergo floor (mine had a satin finish and looked like natural wood).
    I think you’ll find a semi-gloss finish will show scratches and dings more than a satin finish floor. Keep that in mind as you decide between the two options.
    The sealant I used on my cabinets, doors and window trim is Diamond Coat Urethane Polyurethane and I’m extremely happy with it. It applied easily, dried quickly and is as hard as diamonds. They have a floor formula that I hear great things about — along the same lines of what I have experienced with the cabinet formula. Their water-based products are low VOC and durable. That’s what I recommend you use, if it will go over your existing product.

  27. I have 1 year old brazilian cherry wood floors with I believe factory finish. I did not do my research and used Murphy’s Oil Soap once…I thought I was going to clean them really good. Unfortunately, now they are dull and seem to have a residue on them. Do you have a suggestion on how to return my floors to their orignial shine? Should I buff them? Thanks for your help.

  28. I’m not sure what removes Murphy’s Oil Soap. You might try a stronger vinegar water solution than I usually recommend to see if that will remove the oil. It may take several attempts to cut through all of the oil.
    And maybe somebody else here will be able to give you an answer.

  29. We are in the process of remodeling our home and installed brazilian cherry on our main level. The floors went down first and got two coats of oil based poly (the final coat will go down once we finish everything). The rest of the construction then resumed so we put down card board boxes everywhere to protect the floor. This has been going on for 4 months. As time has passed the boxes have moved and shuffled so little areas of the floor have been revealed. This week I took everything up to do a cleaning before the cabinets are finished. To my surprise there were lines and color variations everywhere. Brazilian cherry does darken when exposed to light, it is the natural oils in the wood that make this happen. This process continues through the life of the floor. If you’ve ever seen brazilian cherry that’s been down for 35 years or more, the floors are very very dark, almost black. The flooring guys had told me to be careful with rugs and move them often. But they said it happens over years, not months. So for those questioning how long it takes, 4 months and I know it happens. In time it will even out and I plan to leave all the floors exposed for the next few weeks to see what happens. I’ll let you know so everyone will have a sense of how long the process takes to correct itself.
    As for sheen, I think it’s a personal preference. Satin is always a nice choice and will show scratches the least. Not that the floors will scratch less, but the scratches are less noticeable on duller finishes. I’ve heard that shinier finishes are stronger, but can’t back this up with evidence. I’ve also heard that oil-based finishes are stronger, but again, I can’t back this up. I do know from experience that shinier finishes show everything, scratches, dust, pet hair, etc. It depends on what you like and how often you want to clean. For us, the shinier the better. We’re going with high gloss on our floors. For what it’s work, no it does not make them look like pergo, it brings out the natural colors and make them look like glass. My personal opinion as also how formal you want your home to feel. Satin to me tends to be more casual and shinier finishes tend to lean toward a more formal feel. We don’t have kids to worry about but do have a 50lbs dog that is going to do some damage. I think it’s a cost benefit thing. We love our dog and he’s not going anywhere. I’ll live with the scratches- it’s part of the floors charm over time (or at least this is what I will tell myself ).
    My sister put these floors in her home when they built 5 years ago and finished with high gloss, oil-based. They are absolutely beautiful and have aged very well. There are a few scratches if you look hard, but for the most part you don’t notice them. They don’t have kids or dogs though, only a cat. She has always cleaned hers with vinegar and water and the finish is still great, no dulling or anything. No experience with Murphy’s oil so I can’t comment on that.
    I hope this helps. Good luck to everyone.

  30. We put down Brazilian cherry floors in our kitchen a year ago. It now looks as though it has a film over it. I clean it every week. I started with just water and a little amonia, then I started using wood floor cleaners like Minwax and Pledge. What am I doing wrong?

  31. Using the wrong products. Ammonia is a harsh chemical you should avoid using in your home. And Minwax and Pledge leave residue. You need to strip those products off your floor — try a borax solution. Then clean with a 1:15 vinegar water solution.

  32. Vinegar/water will leave a cloudy residue on brazilian cherry!!! Trust me, I’ve tried that when I’ve cheaped out. It’s expensive stuff so don’t cheap out and use vinegar/water. I’ve heard that using vinegar/water is acidic and is not good for your floor.
    Check with the manufacturer of your specific floor. For mine (sand on site, brazilian cherry), I was told Bona with the microfiber. And I have to admit that I love it even though it is expensive.
    If you don’t want to use it everytime you need a quick swipe up of a spill, why not use a damp (not wet) microfiber cloth. I bought a few packs of microfiber towels (normally used for car washing) and dampen those ever so slightly to get up stuff if I don’t want to use the Bona at that particular second.
    But call your flooring manufacturer AND the manufacturer of your finish (ex Minwax, Duraseal, Bona…whichever brand your floor man used when he coated them.

  33. We are in the process of building a house. We have puchased brazilian cherry hardwood flooring for the living room and the kitchen. It is an open floor plan. I am debating on putting brazilian cherry hardwood in the kithcen or just using tile. Also if I put the brazilian cherry in the kitchen what color do we stain our “OAK” cabinets. Should I go dark or light? Please help!
    Thanks Sandy Kennedy

  34. Hello Sandi, you have some very interesting questions! I hope you’ve read thru this page and the other pages that deal with cherry hardwood flooring already.
    Remember that cherry floors darken over time, it’s just ‘how it is’, so the stain you choose for your oak cabinets might please you now, but with over time as your floor you may not be quite so happy. I really can’t tell you if a dark stain or a light stain would look better, it really depends on your personal preference and whether you want the cabinet shade to match closer to the floor shade or if you prefer it to contrast in tone more. You can get color brochures put out by different stain manufacturers, they’re available at most any store that sells stains. Look at the stain while they’re alongside your flooring to get a better idea of what YOU like.
    I’d be interested in hearing back from you on what you decide, even if you decide to scrap the whole idea of wood flooring in the kitchen and go with tile.

  35. In my experience as a professional homes and office cleaning person I have found vinegar water works well on floors that are properly sealed. As with any flooring that gets mopped, you need to change your “water” frequently. And when you are finished with your mopping you need to go over the floor again to polish it.
    I have cleaned cherry floors with Bona and with vinegar water and have had equal luck in getting them clean, though I prefer the vinegar water (and it’s cheaper too!). It seems different people have different results, but vinegar water works great for me.
    It doesn’t matter what use to clean a floor, regarding that streaked or hazy look. If I don’t do that follow-up polish with a clean cloth — I’m partial to micro-fiber mop heads — my floors don’t look the way I want them to.
    A 10:1 water:vinegar solution works well to clean my floors. Following that with my polish wipe and the floors look great.

  36. I couldn’t have said it better……. not letting your mop water get too dirty is so important and I agree with you about that final polish and the microfiber mops! Thanks for stopping by to add your words of wisdom! If you come back, it’d be nice if you left a first name or psuedonym so I can more properly address you! ;~)

  37. If you read all of the comments in this thread you’ll see several testimonials to that fact. The time frame depends on the sun’s intensity of where you live and how much sun comes into your home. I’m guessing you’ll notice it pretty quickly though, based on how quickly I noticed the bleaching of both my cork and bamboo floors.

  38. Personally I don’t use Windex for anything — I hate the smell. Are you making your vinegar solution at the right dilution? Are you buffing your floor after damp mopping it?
    When I had too strong a vinegar solution and didn’t buff my floors afterward I too had the problem you are describing. I don’t any more; I weakened my solution (15:1 water:vinegar) and do a quick buff and have beautiful floors.

  39. We recently purchased a house with a 2 year old Brazilian Redwood back porch. It has been exposed to some weather and is grey. What can we do to renew the wood?

  40. Hi Lisa,
    You can try power-washing your deck, or better yet, sand it. After it dries, stain it. Ask around at your local hardware or home improvement store – they’ll be able to steer you to the right products.
    I did run across something that sounds good – Messmers Wood and Deck Cleaners/Brighteners- Messmer’s Wood and Deck Cleaner and Brightener (Part A and B) powder concentrates are specially formulated to clean and brighten exterior wood decks, fences, log homes, and other exterior wood projects.
    And they also have Messmers UV Plus for Hardwoods and IPE
    Messmer’s UV Plus for Hardwood Decks is a premium natural wood finish which protects and beautifies exterior wood decks and other wood projects. For dense exotic hardwoods like Ipe, Mahogany, Brazilian Redwood, Massaranduba, Meranti, Pau Lupe, and Teak
    I can’t vouch for the products personally, but I’ve been reading some good things that others have said.

  41. Lisa, I found StainSolver on this site and have used it for just this project. I washed the deck with a solution of Stain Solver and scrubbed it with a brush. Then I rinsed and redid areas that weren’t as clean as I wanted. When I had it finished I let it dry thoroughly before sealing it. I personally like the look of natural wood so didn’t stain it, but my neighbors stained their deck as they sealed it. The deck looks great!

  42. Thank you for your input! Yes, I too think that StainSolver is a wonderful product, and have recommended many times. Lisa, you may want to try this product first as it’s environmentally friendly as well as *just* being a product that usually does very well for this type of job.

  43. After you clean floors with vinegar and water some articles mention to follow up with a final follow up polish. What type of polish should I use on the cherry hardwood.

  44. Hi Bill,
    I think that what you’re referring to is when it is meant to use a dry microfiber mop to ‘polish’ the floor, sort of like a light buffing……. to shine it up a bit.
    You’re floor shouldn’t need a real polish after cleaning – unless it’s at the point to where it really does! You don’t have to apply polish every time you mop – that’d be a real pain if you mop your floors once or twice a week! ;~)

  45. My brazilian cherry floor has darkened quite a bit since I installed it 4 months ago. It is considerably lighter where there where carpets and furniture placed. Seems to be the oposite from your comments above. Do you have any advice for me?
    Thank you very much for your info.

  46. It does darken, but sometimes it will actually lighten (after the initial darkening) in very strong sunlight, especially outside. The best thing to do would be to rearrange your furniture and throw rugs for a while to help it darken evenly – hopefully that’s a possibility for you.

  47. I am considering buying Sakura cherry engineered wood floors for my apartment. Do you have any experience with this? How does it wear compared to, say, maple or oak? Any insight would be very appreciated.

  48. Hi Elaine,
    I would think that they’ll pretty well wear the same.
    Different products have different warranties, don’t skimp – buy something that’s going to last. Remember, the top layer can come in different thicknesses too, which is handy to know in case you figure you’ll be having to refinish the floors at some point in your life. ;o)

  49. I have a Brazilian Teakwood floor. It had several layers of “instant” shine wax applied. I am trying to restore and have been unsuccessful in removing the wax. Any suggestions?

  50. What have you used to try to remove it?
    If you do some google-ing, you’ll find that Orange Glo wax & Quick Shine have many complaints from users.
    I’ve read this process works for removing Orange Glo: Use Windex to remove the waxy residue. First, clean your floor in SMALL sections. This is very important because you want to evenly remove the wax. Second, use fresh unused paper towels with each new SMALL section. You are removing wax which will transfer onto your paper towel. Do not take shortcuts (i.e. use dish towel) or be cheap (re-use paper towels) as this will cause you more grief later. Will this remove all of the Orange Glo wax? Your guess is as good as mine………
    From what I gather, it’s a real pain to remove Quick Shine. You can either throw some elbow-grease into the floor and mop with really hot water at least 4 times over the area you want to come up, OR you can dry buff the floor. Either one of those work (dry-buffing will work faster). Really, I wouldn’t recommend the hot water on wood floors, just a bad idea. Other than that, you may actually need to sand the floor to get rid of it, and then use some good products for sealing your floor. I would recommend Diamond Coat Varathane Polyurethane – I’ve always gotten great results with their products.
    Now…….what to do for YOUR floor now that we’ve found something that removes both of the products…. I’m not wild about Windex in general, though they do have an environmentally friendly line out now, uses vinegar. It may work to use a simple solution of vinegar/water – I recommend a 1:15 ratio for cleaning floors, this may require using a bit less water since you want to get this gunk off your floor. I would use a fine abrasive pad, I’d really be afraid to use anything very rough just in case you do get through the layers of this stuff and wind up abrading the wood to where you really have refinish it. Try it in a small and hopefully out-of-view area – even I don’t know if this will really work. I’d also recommend using your favorite search engine (mine’s Google) and doing further research to help draw your own conclusions – you might find something even more helpful & practical than what I’ve found.
    What would I do? I’d bite the bullet and hire a professional to strip the floor, including sanding to prep for refinishing. You could either have them refinish it or refinish it myself.

  51. I have American Cherry floors and they have also darkened as Colleen’s did. When I called my installer he also recommended moving my rug but it has been a few months and I can still see a distinct difference. Do you have any other suggestions?

  52. Hi,
    We have a house full of Brazilian Cherry floors… just beautiful! In many areas, they are in need of sanding and refinish. Since this requires our leaving the house for up to a week, I am wondering how I can protect them and make them look nice in the meantime. Any suggestions?
    Thank you.

  53. Hi Elaine,
    I have 2 new brazilian cherry tabletops in my kitchen … one over the wetbar area and a 2nd, round “cafe” type table at the end of my kitchen peninsula. Both are newly installed and they are THICK wood. How would you recommend that I care for the brazilian cherry counters? Already I see a slight need to treat with a polish / conditioner / oil to bring back the original luster after a newly-renovated kitchen and a fair amount of dust and debris flying around. Thanks!

  54. What are you using on them? Yes, you’ll be having this problem for a while until the dust finally clears…….
    Your safest bet is to use something that’s considered ‘environmentally friendly’, doesn’t build up, etc. I’m not sure what product(s) to specifically recommend since this site is devoted to flooring issues. Thanks for dropping in!

  55. Hi,
    I started building homes and I finished the 3rd one 7 months ago and it has not sold yet. I put Washington Cherry on all the floors except the kitchen and baths. Unfortunately, I put down paper walkway runners. On December 27th I went to clean a little in anticipation for a showing on New Years Day. I looked under the paper protective walkways and I am in shock due to the lighter floor color under all the walkways that I made. I understand that it will take some time for the color to even up after I remove the paper, but can anyone tell me how long and has anyone seen it actually catch up with the darker part………I am desperate for the answer……I am looking at probably 20,000 dollars worth of flooring and labor to redo the floors……there goes my income from the house sale……and that is IF I can sell it with the way it looks now.

  56. Hi Deborah,
    Yes, a UV light would probably help since it’s the UV rays from sunlight that reacts with the cherry wood to give it it’s beautiful color. I don’t know how long it would take to even up the color tones though, it all reacts differently and depends on how much exposure to sunlight the floor gets as well.

  57. It is not UV but light, and especially strong light, that both fades fabrics and darkens woods as in your cherry floors. So you don’t need a UV lamp–which is dangerous to run while people are around. you just need a strong light source. It is a common misunderstanding that UV is what affects both fabrics and wood, but ask any physicist if UV could possibly penetrate glass (and especially double-panes as most are now). The answer will always be NO. This is why your arm gets sunburned if you put it in your car’s open window, but doesn’t sunburn–even if it feels uncomfortably hot–when your arm is inside with the window rolled up.

  58. Maybe I should be more specific to deter a lot of disagreement. Not ALL of the UV will be filtered out by ordinary double-pane window glass, but certainly enough to make UV a minor consideration. Almost all of the more energetic wavelengths (above 350nm) will be filtered out. About half the less energetic UV (less than 350nm) does get through. This is the lowest part of the UV-A band. This is not usually enough to do anything, although I guess you could get some skin damage if you sat all day in the sun inside your double-pane window. But I doubt you’d tan. And I doubt this is why your floor darkens, considering all the other wavelengths in sunshine, and the strength of those sunbeams.

  59. Hi…I’m hoping you can help. We put in about 1,000 square feet of brazilian cherry a couple of years ago. It is beautiful but EXTREMELY time-consuming and high maintenance. When we clean them…they look good for only a matter of hours, before they start showing absolutely everything…feet marks (we have two small boys), dust (we live in the country), etc. We have tried absolutely everything, and they are so gorgeous when we clean them, but honestly…I cannot clean them every single day. Someone recently suggested distressing them or bleaching them to help with the maintenance–the logic being that they wouldn’t show as much of the daily grime. What do you think? How would we do this?

  60. We thought about bleaching because lighter floor don’t show as much. We have pine upstairs and those floors are much, much less work.
    I vacuum our cherry floors, then do a damp mop. I have to get on my hands and knees to really clean them. Sometimes (maybe once every 4 months), we apply Bona swedish floor cleaner.
    Thank you!!!

  61. Hi Mary,
    I don’t know how damaging it would be to your cherry floors if you bleached them, so I’m not going to recommend it. The floors are yours, you can do what you want obviouslty, at your own risk.

  62. Did Deborah ever get the color discoloration in her cherry floor solved? I have installed brazilian cherry in my daylit basement about 6 months ago. It has darkened wonderfully near the windows and doors, but not in the center of the room. I am trying to wait until I see relatively even coloring before I furnish the room. We plan to put a pool table inthe room which obviously will not get moved around, so I don’t want to end up with discolorations under furniture if we ever move out of the house. I have been thinking about getting some sort of lamp too and was wondering it worked for Deborah. Thanks.

  63. how do you stain a brazillian cherry floor ( nothing but problems ) every seam ends and sides shows white,floor stained dark walnut. Can you stain a cherry floor

  64. Hi Al,
    You mentioned that it was already stained dark walnut. You could always use more stain at the seam ends & sides – working quickly. If it was sealed after staining, you’ll have to strip the sealer. Brazillian cherry flooring changes color over time too, perhaps as the floor ages the color will deepen naturally, though I’m not sure how good it will look since it’s been stained with dark walnut.

  65. What are your thoughts on the new “steam mops” for cleaning Brazilian Cherry Hardwood? The TV makes it sound like a good way to clean your hardwoods. If in fact, the steam dries quickly as the commercials show, is there a difference then damp mopping? Thanks for your help.

  66. Hi,
    I’m looking a purchasing a house that’s 5 years old and has 3/4″ Japanese Cherry Hardwood in it. (I live in an area with quite dry climate and winters 5-6 months long.)Needless to say there is some shrinkage in the floors. Some areas worse than others. Is there some kind of maintainence, humidifer etc, that can reduce or reverse the amount of shrinkage. If not, is there an amount of shrinkage I can still expect to come or do you think it has shrunk as much as it will?
    Thanks for the info

  67. Hi Jodie,
    I’ve heard reports – both good and bad – about using a steam mop to clean wood floors. Personally, I can’t say either way, I don’t have a steam mop because I’m concerned that it may damage my flooring.

  68. Hi Sandra,
    You shouldn’t get any more shrinkage after this long. There really isn’t a whole lot you can do about this, but at least it shouldn’t get any worse. Does the furnace/AC have a humidifier built in? Often they do. Don’t know if it will help much since I don’t know what part of the country you’re in. My guess is the flooring wasn’t acclimated well (if at all) before it was installed. How wide are the gaps?

  69. Hi Cynthia,
    I don’t recommend a steam mop to clean wood floors, but it shouldn’t hurt to use one if the flooring is sealed extremely well. There are so many on the market now and manufacturers are constantly coming out with newer models it’s very hard to keep up with them. The best thing to do is to do a google search for steam mops and look at reviews from real people. is one such site that comes to mind, there are others as well.

  70. I purchased my Brazilian Cherry flooring and had installed in March of 2008. I was not aware of the fading that occurs and just this week happened to be moving furniture around and the fading is significant. What do you recommend me doing-we could never sell our house with this significant change in the wood flooring.
    It is lighter under the area rug in the formal living room and lighter under my corner cupboard in the dining room.
    Thank goodness I did not do more rooms than my formal dining and formal living-I am sick to my stomach about this, what are your recommendations.

  71. Hi–
    We are about to install an American Cherry floor, and hadn’t planned on staining it. Though, when I put a coat of polyurathane on a piece to see what it looks like, it was lusterless and a dull brown. Should we add a natural stain to bring out the beauty of the wood, or will it look better after sanding and professionally installed and finished?

  72. I don’t have direct experience with finishing unfinished cherry flooring but think it would be done the same as any unfinished hardwood flooring. Sand it and then seal it. Lightly sand and seal again for a more durable finish.
    I personally prefer low VOC products to keep your air quality high, and there are some great products out there that fit that bill.
    I also wouldn’t stain your cherry flooring because the wood is beautiful as it is. But if you are going to, the staining process is done right after the sanding, followed by a light sanding before sealing the floor.

  73. I bought a house with Brazilian Hardwood Cherry flooring. It is a nightmare to keep clean!
    Area rugs cause moisture issues and also cause discoloration problems so I don’t use anything to cover the floors. It looks so bare and non- cozy.
    I hate these floors. I am constantly cleaning them as they show everything.
    Maybe I should use polyurathane on them to seal them? Can I go from worse to worser? No one has ever suggested sealing them. Can anyone tell me just what to do with these floors to keep them looking nice? I mop, buff, steam and swiffer them all the time. If anyone wants to know what I am doing, I am doing the floors! I also have Hardwood Cherry cabinets and I have no idea haow to treat them either. They need polishing of some sort as they tend to get greasy.
    Thanks for your time!

  74. We just bought a house almost entirely covered with Brazilian wood floors. The previous owner used shining type waxes on the floor and I believe what we are dealing with now is wax build up. We are using Murphy’s Oil soap diluted with water to clean the floors and get some of the wax up. Is this correct? What are the signs of wax build up? Should these “Quick Shine” waxes be used on these types of floors?

  75. Rita,
    Thanks for asking! Why not head over to Cleaning Hardwood Flooring for my thoughts. I do want to point out that using water on your flooring has become a bit of a controversy and I now suggest 15:1 water:vinegar or just plain old water using a Microfiber mop or cloth. Remember to keep it damp and not wet!

  76. We are considering an American Cherry prefinished solid wood flooring in our den. The salesman says it has a 30 year finish warranty. We are putting it in our primary living area, therefore it will be high traffic, and we have two daschunds. Will it stand up to these issues, or should we look at another type of flooring? If the latter, what are some good options–prefer non-exotics, since many of those cause respiratory problems.

  77. We have a 4 1/2 yr old brazilian cherry floor near a couple large windows. We were told the windows were okay as is and it would not be a problem with fading, they would darken over time. They have totally bleached out and left a very obvious line where the sun hits them. The company refuses to honor the warranty and it does not look like they can be refinished. Any ideas?

  78. Barbara,
    If the floors are under warranty for sun fading, then you may need to just speak to someone else at the company, however cherry is known to fade in direct sun over time. You could have the floors refinished by someone else, but besides replacing, there is really no way to fix the bleaching. I would also use a rug or blinds in that area to prevent the fading in the future.

  79. We have Brazilian cherry floors and I hate them! They scratch easily and anywhere a rug is placed, the floor is much lighter. Had I been told that I should/could not put rugs on them, I NEVER would have invested the $. We are planning to sell our house and this is definitely, not a good selling point. Any ideas?

  80. Sandee,
    The floors can be refinished.
    However, if you are selling your home, you may want to include options with the sale. Such as an allowance to purchase carpet, or refinish the floor and let them choose what they prefer.

  81. I have Brazilian cherry floors that were sanded and stained on-site. The floors have developed a great many scratches from our dog. If I have someone come in and sand them can they be restained and then have protective stain similiar to the finish on pre-finished floors. We have friends with Brazilian cherry floors that are pre-finished and they seem to hold up much better to their dogs abuse than ours. thanks for any advice you have. Steve

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