Rubber Wood (Hevea Brasiliense) is a light wood that can be purchased at a low cost. It is from rubber trees that produce latex (a raw material used in the production of natural rubber). Rubberwood can also be referred to as parawood.
It grows in Brazil in the Amazon forest, and its latex extraction begins when it becomes fully mature ( approximately 9 years) and won’t stop until 30 years. The wood is then harvested for furniture after it stops producing latex.
What rubberwood really is can be stretched out to its features and applications. The wood is of various qualities and is perfect for a large array of woodworking projects. It has good strength and can easily be worked on. Besides, it’s a durable and sturdy wood that can be used to make several kinds of furniture.
Rubberwood is an ideal material for indoor furniture or other household wooden products. Typically, it can be used to make furniture and kitchen accessories such as chairs, cabinets, tabletops, cutting boards, frames, countertops, wardrobes, and so on.
Based on the popularity of the furniture produced from rubberwood, its wide application is prominent in the following areas:
- Construction of shelves.
- Fine-art handicraft products.
- 3D, engraving, Framing, or printing on wood.
- Construction of wooden floors.
- Production of cinema chairs and hall chairs.
- Production of furniture for offices, houses, and interior design for display showroom at sales shops.
- Production of furniture for outdoor use ( this furniture has water retention, resistance to mold, and anti-termite.
Note: Rubberwood is commonly used in the moulding and joinery industry, such as parquet and strip flooring or staircase
It should also be noted that rubberwood has weaknesses for external attacks. It will fail to last and end up perishing rapidly when placed outdoors for a long period. Its protective layers of chemical substance can heavily be affected by rains and other extreme weather conditions, exposing the wooden gadget to insects and fungi.
Rubberwood is not just like other trees; it’s wood that provides numerous benefits to users. Below are some of its important features:
- A durable product: Many woodworkers prefer rubberwood to other hardwoods because of its durability. Its Janka score is about 980 lbs. This enhances its stability for every user if the materials are seasoned properly.
- Low-cost hardwood: Rubberwood is cost-effective because it’s considered a byproduct and used as an alternative to particle board or engineered wood called MDF (Medium-density fiberboard), especially when these materials are not suitable.
- A flexible wood: Rubberwood can easily be worked with whether you’re using your hand or power tools. It’s ideal for furniture because it takes stains and finishes efficiently. Besides, it’s an indoor material that can accept paint well as it can easily be molded with feed speeds above 20 m per minute.
- Simple and nice grain: The color of the wood is creamy when sawed but turns darker after passing through the drying process. You can get it stained easily to get an oak, walnut, and cherry appearance. The rubberwood grain has a nice coarse appearance since it’s similar to heartwood and sapwood. Acrylic primer is perfect if you need to paint the wood. You can then add an undercoat and two gloss finish coats.
- Environmentally friendly: Rubberwood is a sustainable forest wood because it’s plantation-grown. Since felling a tree can lead to several environmental disasters, the wood is harvested when it gets to the end of its production cycle because latex production is its main goal. Besides, preventing an old tree ( which has stopped producing latex) from rot can effectively help avoid releasing more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.
- Fire-resistant product: Rubberwood is naturally Fire Resistant. Even if it catches fire, the fumes are harmless because the wood is non-toxic.
4 Facts You Should Know
1. Is rubberwood real wood?
Rubberwood has been in use in the timber industry since the mid-1980s, and it has grown to become one of the most popular in the industry. So, because of its popularity, rubberwood remains a real wood (moderately hardwood) with medium texture and similar weight and density as ash or maple.
Also, rubberwood is available in different colors, amazing grains, and finishes, making it suitable for any home furnishing retailer. It’s good for indoor use and can be turned into furniture, interior millwork, cabinetry, kitchen accessories, etc.
2. Is rubberwood toxic?
No, rubberwood is a non-toxic timber. But they can pose the standard health risk like dust. Besides, you may react to rubberwood if you have some allergy to natural rubber or latex.
3. Is rubberwood waterproof?
No, rubberwood is not waterproof. Professional woodworkers will advise users to use rubberwood products indoors. This is because they are not suitable for outdoor conditions. For instance, rains can wash the protective chemicals on the wood away, exposing it to attacks by fungi and insects. Excessive moisture on rubberwood can result in wrapping and rot.
4. Is rubberwood better than engineered wood?
Rubberwood is a tropical hardwood timber that is significantly light and cost-effective. It has an approximately similar density as maple and ash hardwood as it is a moderately hard, medium-textured, and straight-grained wood. MDF (medium-density fiberboard) looks like traditional plywood but is better for its benefits. It’s stronger and denser than particleboard and plywood.
Rubberwood is commonly applied as toys, kitchen accessories, and furniture, while MDF is mainly used in furniture making and building material. It is perfect for veneering due to its hard, flat, and smooth surface.
Rubberwood is more eco-friendly when compared to many other hardwoods. MDF is not eco-friendly because it emits consistently volatile organic compounds such as urea-formaldehyde for not less than several months after manufacture, resulting in health risks at sufficient concentrations.
For those interested in a unique and attractive look, rubberwood provides numerous outstanding qualities. The timber is solid yet produces a flexible but tough and durable hardwood resistant to fungi, mildew, mold, and bacterial growth if properly maintained. Rubberwood can be applied in different ways and comes with various distinctive features, perfect for any furniture industry.