Cherry

Black Prunus serotina

Appearance

Shown with water-based finish (top), and oil-based finish (bottom)

Shown with water-based finish (top), and oil-based finish (bottom)

Color: Heartwood is light to dark reddish brown, lustrous; sapwood is light brown to pale with a light pinkish tone.  Some flooring manufacturers steam lumber to bleed the darker heartwood color into the sapwood, resulting in a more uniform color.

Grain: Fine, frequently wavy, uniform texture.  Distinctive flake pattern on true quartersawn surfaces.  Texture is satiny, with some gum pockets.

Species & Grade Variations: Significant color variation between boards.

Properties

Hardness (Janka): 950; 26% softer than Northern Red Oak.

Dimensional Stability: Above average (change coefficient .00248, 33% more stable than Red Oak).

Durability: Strong, moderately hard; excellent shock resistance.  Usually considered too soft for an entire floor –  mostly used for borders and accents.

Workability

Sawing/Machining: Good machining qualities.

Sanding: Sands satisfactorily.

Nailing: Good holding ability.

Finishing: No known problems.

Comments: High in bending strength.  Light-sensitive; strong color change upon exposure to light.

Cost

(Relative to plain sawn select Red Oak)
Multiplier: 1.70

Availability

Limited.