Indoors or Outdoors, Flat or Angled: How to Use Cumaru in Your Ceiling
In a pandemic world, homeowners are rethinking what outdoor living means. If before outdoor living space was used to extend the usable capacity of a home, with Covid-19 there are safety and practical aspects for using the exterior as well.
The outer space can provide a more ventilated gathering area for family and friends, which may decrease the risk of transmission if all other precautions are taken. It also means you can entertain people without having them enter into your home.
Outdoor space has become essential for commercial businesses as well, since people are opting more and more for outdoor seating. With limited indoor occupancy, an outdoor area for commercial businesses can increase their seating capacity. Outdoor gatherings are now the new normal.
What to consider when designing an outdoor space
One of the most important aspects when designing a new space is choosing the color. That is why selecting the right type of hardwood for your outdoor (and indoor) ceiling is really crucial. There are many considerations when it comes to picking the right type of wood, and color is on the top of that list. Using light or dark colored wood can create an entirely different vibe. It even determines what you’re able to do with the rest of your space.
Cumaru has become a popular hardwood option for outdoor ceilings. With its golden tan to honey brown color, it is an option that gives warmth to contemporary and modern homes and is neutral enough to allow for many design options.
For those not yet familiar with this amazing hardwood, Cumaru (dipteryx odorata, pronounced as ku-mah-rue) or Brazilian teak is a naturally durable timber similar to Ipe. It is ideal for exterior use since it is a highly resistant wood that has an A1 fire rating as well as being rot, decay, and insect resistant without the use of chemicals and toxins. For this reason, Cumaru is often used for decking, siding, cladding, flooring, and even for exterior ceilings or overhangs.
Cumaru looks just as appealing indoors as it does outdoors, and using the same wood throughout the house creates a seamless transition from exterior to interior spaces.
The continuity in materials also creates a natural flow between indoor and outdoor rooms. Choosing Cumaru for both interior and exterior ceilings will have a tremendous impact on the aesthetics of your house and the way you experience the exterior of your home.
In Florida, where the weather can shift between sunny hot and persistently rainy all in one day, Cumaru has been gaining popularity for some time. As Cumaru can withstand extreme weather conditions without warping or bending, it is ideal for the Sunshine State’s fickle weather. Also, when used for ceilings, Cumaru requires very little maintenance if it’s not in the direct path of sunlight, and thus not exposed to UV rays which “bleach” out the color of Cumaru unless protected by a hardwood oil or sealer.
Even before the pandemic, homes in Miami incorporated a lot of indoor-outdoor living spaces. With near perfect weather all year long, it is the ideal spot for outdoor activities and relaxation.
When selecting the right hardwood for this luxury Miami home, the architect contacted Brazilian Lumber and chose its premium Cumaru. The use of Cumaru tied in the exterior cladding to the interior ceilings of the private gym the owners built on their second story. The Cumaru for this posh home provides a warm contrast to the copper gutters and glass windows wrapped around it.
Sliding doors on the second floor offers a view of its upscale neighborhood — for ventilation — and again, with the semi-outdoors concept in mind. The gym is surrounded by a small wraparound balcony which has the same Cumaru cladding on its ceilings.
The architect of the home also chose Brazilian Lumber’s Cumaru for the ceilings on the back balcony which is attached to the master bedroom as well as all the first floor’s outside ceilings and outdoor kitchen cabana.
How to install Cumaru on an angled ceiling
In this same home, the 45-angled ceiling in the gym area adds dimension and appeal to the small space.
For those who would like to use Cumaru in a 45-angled ceiling, it is best to use a professional contractor. As with all hardwoods, it is good to have someone with experience doing the installation.
Hiring a professional is invaluable as he or she will know all the steps required for proper installation. The first thing that should be done is acclimate the wood to the temperature of the indoor space. Even though Cumaru does not generally warp or shift when it is installed, it will need to be acclimated for at least three days, if it will be placed in air conditioning.
The next step, and possibly the most important step, is leveling the ceiling so that the 45 angle cuts will align perfectly. For the angled ceiling in this gym, tongue and groove boards were used with hidden deck fasteners with the exception of the boards that were perpendicular to the center boards. Due to the angle, those had to be installed using stainless steel 8 x 1 1/2 screws, which were then covered with Cumaru plugs.
Different board lengths can be used to create patterns or designs for the ceiling. In this gym ceiling 1 x 6 Cumaru boards were used throughout. Three foot long boards were used for the center of the ceiling, while seven foot and fourteen foot boards were installed all around the sides.
Placing the long boards at a 90° angle to the short boards added visual interest as well as the illusion of a larger space. The gym ceiling would look boring with a flat drywall and crown molding or other decorative features would not work for such a modern house. The Cumaru ceilings were an ideal choice for this space.
If a home gym can use Cumaru in the ceiling, commercial gyms may also want to try it to provide contrast to their industrial look. Doing yoga or sit-ups with a Cumaru ceiling is more pleasing to look at than drywall. Come to think of it, wood on the ceiling certainly makes it look like you are looking down on your floor.
Other benefits of Cumaru
The pandemic has certainly made it almost essential for people to open up their spaces for air to come in — and out. You will like to know that Cumaru ceilings can withstand hot and humid temperatures for many outdoor projects, protecting their color and tone as long as they are not in direct sunlight.
Here is an example of a Cumaru ceiling used in a bathroom:
Other than the ceiling, of course, Cumaru can be used for many projects, including cabinetry, flooring, furniture, docks and other outdoor home projects. Here’s why Cumaru also makes a big difference:
Grain/Texture: Grain is interlocked, with a medium texture and a waxy feel.
Rot Resistance: Cumaru has excellent durability and weathering properties. The wood is rated as very durable regarding decay resistance, with good resistance to termites.
Odor: Cumaru has a faint, vanilla or cinnamon-like odor when being worked.
Sustainability: This wood species is not listed in the CITES Appendices or on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. CITES stands for the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora), while IUCN is the acronym for International Union for Conservation of Nature.
For more info on Cumaru, refer to Wood Database.
Cumaru can also be mixed with Ipe or your choice of hardwood. Brazilian Lumber’s outstanding customer service can help guide you to more than 20 types of hardwoods and composite decks you can use for both your indoor and outdoor projects.