Rated a mid-range 1,410 on the Janka scale, sapele is a tight, wavy-grained hardwood from tropical Africa.
Pros: This is ideal when you want flooring with a lush, wavy pattern that looks rich and very up-scale.
Cons: Sapele is reported to be very photo-sensitive. So, areas that are carpeted, have sofas on them, or are otherwise covered may retain an outline. Sapele is also somewhat softer than other tropical hardwoods, though more durable than other forms of mahogany.
The environmental question: Sapele mahogany is a widely-sold wood from tropical Africa, and while the species is not considered endangered, it is listed as a species “of concern” by organizations such as the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature).
It is, however, a good alternative to other forms of mahogany that are more seriously threatened, provided you can verify that it is FSC-certified.