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An Eco Friendly Wood for Kitchen Cabinets & Flooring

Aug 14, 2008
If you're looking to put in new kitchen cabinets, or perhaps a butcherblock countertop or even hardwood flooring, one of the more eco-friendlier woods you might consider for your kitchen remodel is Lyptus, a premium grade, sustainable, renewable, high-yield hardwood grown on South American plantations interspersed with re-introduced indigenous trees to preserve native ecosystems. Lyptus wood is grown in a responsible style of forest management.

Lyptus wood is a hybrid of Eucalyptus grandis and Eucalyptus urophylla and is grown in managed forests in Brazil. Each forest is planted on land that was once used for agricultural purposes and barren of trees. The Lyptus trees grow interspersed with other trees indigenous to the region to help preserve the area's native ecosystem and increase biodiversity.

Due to the warm climate in Brazil, Lyptus trees grow quickly enabling forest management professionals to harvest trees in 15 years versus the 50 to 70 years required in colder regions. And Lyptus trees can be regenerated after being harvested, without the need for replanting or disturbing the forest floor.

Cabinet makers and contractors love working with Lyptus citing that it machines well and does not fuzz like Mahogany. It sands well and definitely finishes very well. The look is great and a person would have a hard time distinguishing a finished part from Mahogany, plus you get a little different look than the ordinary wood selections.

The reason Mahogany is so well loved is that Mahogany is strong, beautiful and it has outstanding durability. Mahogany has a very fine and even texture and is a medium density hardwood that is a beautiful dark reddish brown color.

Once so plentiful that it was used as ballasts in ships returning to Europe from the New World Mahogany is now a rare and protected hardwood making it one of the most expensive woods as well, and also since it is in short supply, fewer cabinet manufacturers even offer it in their selections of woods and are instead starting to offer more eco-friendly alternatives like Lyptus and Bamboo.

As far as density, strength and technical properties go, compared to similar woods, its hardness rating is greater than white oak, mahogany, jatoba, red oak, hard maple or beech. It looks a LOT like mahogany but at a quarter of price.

It accepts all common types of finishing, including water and solution-based lacquers, various types of pigments, and oil and wax. This makes it well suited for diverse high-end applications like furniture, cabinets, flooring and architectural millwork.

Similar to Brazilian cherry, purpleheart and several other woods, the color will turn a rich cherry red and will even-out well.

You can have incredibly beautiful kitchen cabinets, countertops or flooring that look like Mahogany while still being kind to the environment. Lyptus is a great eco friendly wood that should definitely be considered.
About the Author
Rebecca Noel is a licensed real estate agent and real estate investor. Remodeling houses and home improvement diy are her area of interest. Find out insider information that will save you $1000's on materials and help you get your remodeling projects done weeks faster at Remodeling Recon.
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