A beautiful, dense hardwood with a lustrous appearance, bubinga has a rose-colored background with darker purple striping. This wood is usually very uniform in graining and color, and the texture is fine and even. When quarter-sawn, the figure of bubinga shows considerable "flame," while it exhibits attractive rosewood graining when flat-sawn. When fully aged, bubinga has a rich burgundy red color.
Bubinga is a moderatly durable wood. The sapwood is more permeable than the heartwood and so is less resistant to preservative treatment. It is resistant to termite attack.
Bubinga is a hard and durable wood flooring species. It is ninety-eight percent harder than teak, about fifty-three percent harder than hard maple, roughly fourteen percent harder than African padauk, a little over eight percent harder than hickory or pecan, almost identical in hardness to jarrah (under one percent), and ninety percent as hard as santos mahogany's ranking of 2200.
Although bubinga works easily with hand or power tools, it can sometimes be difficult to glue because of gum pockets. For nailing, it is recommended that holes be pre-drilled. This wood stains easily and has excellent finishing properties. Care should be taken when sanding, as contact with the wood dust has been known to cause mild dermatitis.
Commonly found as a veneer for cabinetwork, furniture, paneling, knife handles, and fancy goods, bubinga is also used for wood flooring and inlays wherever fine graining and a rich reddish color are desired.