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The Allure and Durability of Ebony Wood in Flooring

Posted on August 12, 2023


Understanding Ebony: Origins, Characteristics, and Use in Flooring

In the melodies of time-honored songs, like “Ebony and Ivory”, the allure of ebony finds voice. Yet many, dancing to these tunes, remain unaware of the true nature of ebony. Contrary to popular belief, it is not a material fashioned from the tusk, as ivory is, but a rich, deep wood. Depending on where its roots touch the earth, it goes by different names: kukuo in Gambia, omenowa in Ghana, msindi in Tanzania, and nyareti in Nigeria. This mosaic of names paints a picture of its home, primarily the sun-drenched equatorial belt of West Africa. Beyond its resonance in song, ebony is cherished by those who seek steadfastness beneath their feet. As a choice for hardwood flooring, its character stands unmatched. It boasts a density and weight that allow it to gracefully bear the cycles of sanding and finishing that wooden floors inevitably face. Furthermore, its natural armor is a formidable barrier against termites, a vital consideration for homes in certain terrains. Yet, like stories that evolve with time, ebony’s shade changes. Freshly harvested, its sapwood carries a hint of pink, maturing eventually into a rich, reddish-brown. Its heartwood, however, is a narrative of deepness, often cloaked in the profound brown-black or the iconic jet-black that people often associate with ‘ebony’. For those who seek its depth of color without its soul, staining alternative woods is an option. But such substitutes often lack the resilience and timelessness of authentic ebony.

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