American Cherry Hardwood vs Brazilian Cherry Hardwood: Know the Key Differences

American Cherry Hardwood vs Brazilian Cherry Hardwood: Know the Key Differences

One of the most commonly asked questions we get at First Atlanta Flooring is ‘what’s the difference between American Cherry Wood and Brazilian Cherry Wood?’ Consequently, we decided to put all the information in writing, and share the answer with our readers. This way, the next time a client asks you about the differences between American and Brazilian Cherry Wood, you’ll be able to share this article with them and give them all the info they need, and more. 

Cherry hardwood is one of the most popular options out there when it comes to solid hardwood flooring. Its dark, rich hue, its luxurious finish, and its durability make Cherry hardwood a wonderful choice for any home. However, deciding between American and Brazilian Cherry Wood can be tricky, especially if your client is not familiar with the differences at all. So, without further ado, let’s get into the differences, similarities, and how to pick the right type of hardwood for the job. 

What is American Cherry Wood? 

American cherry, also known as Prunus Serotina in Latin, is a type of hardwood unique to North America. It’s most commonly found in the dense forests of Pennsylvania, New York, and Virginia, and has a relatively short growth rotation. This type of hardwood boasts beautiful, warm color tones, and has medium density, being relatively soft compared to other species. It’s better suited for areas with low foot traffic, given its tendency to bend easily. 

What is Brazilian Cherry Wood?

Brazilian cherry is a type of hardwood that grows primarily in the rainforests of Central America, particularly Brazil. Interestingly enough, it’s not in fact a member of the cherry family, but is a legume species dubbed Hymenaea courbaril, although you might also know it as jatoba. Instead, what gives Brazilian Cherry its popular name is its dark, deep reddish color. Brazilian Cherry can grow up to 130 feet high, and is one of the most popular types of hardwood for homeowners, due to its beautiful color and top-class durability, and easy maintenance. 

Key differences between American and Brazilian Cherry Wood

Both American Cherry and Brazilian Cherry are top choices for homeowners across the U.S. While Brazilian Cherry isn’t as popular of a choice as it used to be, it’s still a favorite among clients who want to invest in a hard, durable, and easy-to-maintain type of hardwood. At the same time, American Cherry is much easier to find and comes at a slightly cheaper price than Brazilian Cherry. Let’s go over some of the key differences between these two hardwood types.

Hardness and durability 

Hardwood floors are generally a great investment if what you want is durability. Both Brazilian and American Cherry will guarantee years and years of use, but Brazilian Cherry does have the upper hand here. American Cherry wood is softer, and therefore more prone to bending and scratching, especially under heavy daily foot traffic. That’s why it’s recommended in areas with low foot traffic, to avoid unwanted bends and snags. Brazilian Cherry, on the other hand, is one of the hardest hardwoods out there, with a score of 2,350 on the Janka hardness scale. It’s also a lot firmer than White Oak or Red Oak. By comparison, American Cherry has only 950 on the hardness scale, so if durability and firmness are what you’re looking for, the choice is clear. 


It’s clear that Brazilian Cherry is the best choice for a home with intense foot traffic, where firmness and hardness are necessary. However, if the budget is a top priority, things look slightly different. While none of these two options is necessarily cheap – hardwood can get quite expensive in the U.S. – American Cherry does offer an advantage. Brazilian Cherry, being an exotic import, is harder to find than domestic cherry varieties, and consequently, it can be slightly more expensive. Of course, the price will vary depending on the quality and finishes applied to the wood, but generally American Cherry is more affordable than Brazilian Cherry. 


While both American Cherry and Brazilian Cherry boast rich reddish hues, Brazilian tends to be darker and richer than the domestic variety. Brazilian Cherry also comes in more colors and offers more variety than the medium-toned American Chery, which means it offers more options to choose from, ranging from salmon-red to dark wine. American Cherry, on the other hand, presents with less color variation, ranging from light brown to pale brown, while having a distinct pink tone that is not found in the Brazilian variety. 

Owners can choose to stain their American or Brazilian Cherry hardwood to get the color they want, even though staining is not recommended for cherry hardwood. It’s best to go with the natural color of the wood and pick American Cherry if your preference is a lighter color, or Brazilian Cherry if you prefer a darker, richer reddish hue. 

Regardless of the type of cherry hardwood you pick, you will end up with a durable, warm, luxurious, beautifully-colored hardwood floor that will stand the test of time and take your interior design to the next level. 
If you’re a professional looking to buy cherry hardwood in bulk, make sure to check our offerings at First Atlanta Flooring, and reach out to our team if you need assistance or want to place a personalized order.