Malaccan Cherry is the advertising name given to an exotic hardwood called taun. Taun--whose botanical name is pometia pinnata--is often seen as a cost-effective alternative to a popular flooring that has a similar appearance: Brazilian Cherry (Jatoba). But does this lower cost mean lesser quality?
Its name is descriptive. It does come from Malacca, a state within the Asian country of Malaysia (itself south of Thailand and Vietnam).
Malacca is a heavily forested area known for its excellent hardwoods for flooring. Taun does have a slight natural brownish-purple color that is enhanced and reddened when finished.
Hardness and Durability
At a Janka rating of 1900, taun is harder than most flooring woods, including all softwoods such as pine and fir. Janka 1900 also places taun above U.S. domestic hardwoods like red oak. But 1900 is still mid-range on the Janka scale.
Brazilian Cherry's 2,350 Janka means that it is slightly harder than Malaccan Cherry. Some buyers of taun complain that it is softer than they expected.
In a survey of prices at Lumber Liquidators, Malaccan Cherry priced out at a full $2.00 less than low-end Brazilian and $4.00 than high-end Brazilian.
Considering the vast price difference, taun is an acceptable alternative to Brazilian Cherry. It stains equally as well as the jatoba and is roughly as durable.
The main downside of taun is that it is difficult to obtain. Lumber Liquidators' supply of taun flooring is not consistent.