Tough as nails, greener than Ipe: The story of reclaimed Dinizia
It started with a notice from one of our sourcing partners in the Midwest: a tropical hardwood sound barrier was being removed to widen a highway in the Chicago area, and the contractors needed to dispose of it. Specializing in reclaimed and sustainable wood flooring, cladding & tables, Anthology Woods is always looking for high-quality and unique woods ready for a second life, and the silver-gray weathered patina was beautiful. Once we had a sample in hand, the discoveries started:
Our wood anatomist determined it to be Dinizia excelsa, a Brazilian native prized for impressive durability, hardness, and resistance to insects & decay.
After 40 years exposed 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, the wood was in amazing shape – only boards with direct ground contact showed any significant decay.
The fasteners were going to be labor intensive to remove, but we could work with it. Milling costs would be a bit higher than that for most of our products because of the hardness, but it machined smoothly and finished well.
Beyond the stunning silver-gray patina that would be gorgeous on walls, the wood underneath could be used for decking, flooring, and siding. The rich wood color was similar to Ipe, and performance was similar to Ipe, as well. We fell in love with the rich color streaking and interlocked grain patterns.
The Dinizia wood polishes to a rich soft sheen (ironic because it is so hard!).
The verdict? We took the plunge with this distinctive and rare tropical wood and bought every board we could track down – and have now created a line of decking, siding, flooring, and wall cladding around it – and even built table tops with it, too! For a limited time, Dinizia will offer a very sustainable alternative to Ipe in applications where hardness and durability are critical.
Please contact us for information or samples pertaining to your next project!