What Is Rubberwood Furniture?

If you’re looking at furniture, you’ve probably been hearing about all kinds of different materials – pine, mahogany, oak, and more.  But what about rubberwood?  In this article, we’re going to look at what exactly rubberwood is and how it fits into the world of furniture.

What Is Rubberwood Furniture?

What Is Rubberwood?

It might not surprise you to learn that rubberwood is a kind of wood, and if you’re particularly sharp, you might have guessed that it comes from rubber trees (trees bearing rubber, that is, not trees made of rubber).  To be more specific, it comes from a type of rubber tree called the Pará rubber tree (Hevea brasiliensis).

It is often thought of as being an environmentally friendly type of wood.  This is because it is usually taken from trees that have already been part of rubber plantations and have now stopped producing useful amounts of the latex that’s used to make rubber.

In the same way that leather is a byproduct of the meat industry, rubberwood is a byproduct of the rubber industry.

Rubberwood Furniture

While rubberwood has always been used to make furniture on a small scale, this has greatly increased since the later part of the 20th century.  This is due to newly developed chemical treatments to more effectively protect the wood from attacks by insects and fungi.

As a very durable hardwood, rubberwood is useful in making all kinds of furniture.  It is quite cheap when compared to other hardwoods like oak, so it’s sometimes used to make less visible parts of furniture that are otherwise made of oak.  This makes it ideal if you don’t want to break the bank when you buy your furniture.  

It’s naturally pale coloured – almost white, in fact – but can be painted to change its colour.  This will require an acrylic coat, an undercoat, and then a layer of glossy paint.  It’s also more stain-resistant than most woods, which is particularly useful if you have kids.  It resists fire and burns well, too.

One drawback is that the finish of rubberwood is a little on the dull side, so if you really want your furniture to looking impressive, then rubberwood might not be ideal.

However, one way to get around this is to have a piece of furniture that’s made of rubberwood but with sheets of another type of wood (oak, say) on top to provide that great finish that you want.

Another drawback is that it’s not suitable for use in making outdoor furniture, or furniture to be used in places with a lot of moisture. 

This is because it absorbs moisture easily, and this can cause it to lose its protective chemical coating, meaning that it will again be vulnerable to attacks from insects and fungi.  It should also be kept away from places where it will be exposed to a lot of heat or direct sunlight

Final Thoughts

So, now you know what rubberwood is and how it rates as a material for furniture.  It’s solid, durable, light, and inexpensive, which makes it very useful in many different kinds of furniture.

However, it’s not the most aesthetically pleasing wood out there and can’t be kept in moist areas.  Keep all this in mind when you’re deciding whether or not it’s suitable for your furniture needs.

Ida Oliveira
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