Table of Contents:
1. What Is Rubberwood Furniture?
Rubberwood is often regarded as environmental- friendly wood. It reuses the plantation trees that have priorly served a valid and useful function. This hardwood comes from the maple family and is highly used to carve the furniture and wooden accessories. This wood is widely advertised because of its durability. Rubberwood can grow up to 40 meters in plains and 100 ft in the wild and recurs a life-span of 100 years. This tree is grown majorly in South America, Africa, and Asia.
A rubber tree, often referred to as rubberwood can be used to extract latex only after six years of age.
2. Is Rubberwood Good Quality?
Rubberwood is one of the finest furniture making timber. It is flexible and strong that makes it an ideal choice for making commercial cabinetry, trays, carvings, and more. As this tree is also responsible for harvesting rubber, it has become a commercial plantation in Asia and Africa. Compared to soft maple rubberwood is hard. It is straw-coloured and has brown streaks. There is no significant colour variation between the heartwood and sapwood. Rubber Wood has a coarse texture and is straight-grained. This wood is chemically treated to get a stable outlook still it cannot be used in the exterior environment. This wood works well in the interior although the surface might be rough due to enormous pore size.
This wood holds screws and nails in its place and provides solid support to the furniture. As this tree secretes latex sometimes it is hard to use saws and blades. Rubberwood is popular for carving as it can hold neat designs and can bring out all the fine details. This wood can be painted but will need a lot of priming and filling to settle the rough surface. Rubberwood can mimic other woods because of its large pores. This wood is easy to carve and make furniture both with hands and machines. It is not suitable to keep near water sources as it can absorb moisture and cause shrinkage.
Rubberwood is kiln friendly that means it is easily managed in the kiln drying process. In this process, the wood is exposed to 100°C. In 2019, 134.84 thousand cubic meters of rubberwood was produced in Thailand.
3. What Is Rubberwood Furniture Made Of & More Facts?
- Rubber trees are Amazon rainforest natives and are generally found in low altitudes.
- The rubber tree is also known as the rubberwood tree or rubber fig tree. These trees can grow up to 100 ft in wetlands.
- These trees have strong and stretchy roots and are not advised to be grown near houses and sidewalks.
- This tree adorns a cylindrical trunk that is inflated towards the base.
- This tree is natively found in the rainforest but it can withstand extreme dry conditions.
- Extracting latex out of the tree does not harm the tree's overall wellbeing.
- Rubber trees were first noticed by mesoamerican people, who made rubber balls from the latex. At that time latex was also used as a waterproof coating for apparel.
- The flowers of the rubber tree contain no petals and the leaves are spiral-shaped. The leaves tend to fall as the temperature drops.
- Extracting latex from a rubber tree starts after six years of growth. A deep cut is formed in the trunk by eliminating the silver bark.
- Rubber trees produce latex throughout their lifetime. The amount differs from time to time.
- The trees in the plantation only grow up to 25 ft because they are constantly tapped for latex.
- The leaves of rubber trees carry a pungent odour and are generally found in cream to yellow colour.
- Rubberwood tree self fertilizes itself as both the male and female flowers are found in the same tree.
- The fruit of the tree erupts and releases the seed in a radius of 30m.
- In the year 2013, 900 ktoe of petroleum products were used by the rubberwood industry.
4. Is Rubberwood Furniture Durable?
The popularity of rubberwood in commercial furniture grew exponentially. In most Asian countries rubber wood is endorsed as the toughest hardwood. The eco-friendly feature of rubber wood makes it desirable among families and offices. As the wood is produced from a renewable source it does not hamper the ecosystem. Here are some doting advantages of rubberwood furniture.
1- Soft Textured
Rubberwood is soft to touch and can be very relaxing to step on after hectic work schedules. This feature makes it ideal for bedrooms, playrooms, and living spaces. Make sure to keep the wooden furniture in a cool and dry place for zero damage.
Parawood is robust, resilient, and durable. Before using the tree as timber, it goes through a chemical treating process that makes it tough and provides a stable exterior covering. If treated well it can last up to twenty years.
3- Low Maintenance
Rubberwood needs no fancy sprays or ointment to keep up its natural sheen. This wood is referred to as the most cost-efficient timber. Although it is susceptible to moisture and can shrink a bit if exposed to water sources.
4- Fire And Burn Resistant
Rubberwood is burn resistant only if the source of heat is small like a cigarette butt. It has antimicrobial properties that keep it safe from fungi, bacteria, and moulds. Although even if it's burning it does not release harmful greenhouse gases.
5. Great Shock Absorber
Rubberwood is used in gyms because of its shock absorber nature. It provides great cushioning that eliminates the chances of injury during rigorous workout sessions. Parawood flooring is ideal for elderly people as it decreases the stress in the joints and relaxes the muscles.
5. How To Maintain Rubberwood Furniture?
Rubberwood is a versatile timber which is perfect to carve quality furniture. However, it is very important to know how to maintain rubber wood furniture as they are expensive and can stay in good condition for a longer time if treated well.
- Cleaning- Cleaning rubberwood furniture and furniture made up of other wood are similar. Make a daily routine of dusting your wooden furniture to get rid of dust particles. Make a solution of water and soap and clean the rubberwood furniture with this solution once a year. Make sure to dry the wood and clean the area with a dry cotton cloth. To give your rubberwood furniture a quick shine, apply a thin coat of wax. If you wax your rubberwood furniture often, use a wax stripping soap to get rid of the accumulated dust.
- Fixing Dents- Rubberwood is moderately hard so surface dents are quite obvious. Deep ones can also be filled by dabbing more fillings. To fill up a small dent cover the area with a towel and plan a hot iron on the top for a minute. Rubberwood swells up after applying heat and lightens up the dent easily.
Other Helpful Tips
- Rubberwood furniture can be damaged if kept near a direct heat source.
- Do not keep it under direct sunlight
- If you spill water or alcohol on the rubberwood furniture, make sure to wipe it up instantly to avoid further surface damage.
6. Key Takeaways
There are various species of rubberwood as it falls under the genus Hevea, it has 11 species in which three of them are usable. Hevea brasiliensis, Hevea guianensis, Hevea benthamiana are grown commercially to harvest rubberwood. This member of the maple family produces hardwood that is flexible, robust, and resistant to mould, fungus, and bacteria. This wood is used only after it completes the latex-producing cycle.
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7. FAQs On What Is Rubberwood Furniture?
Q. Is rubberwood furniture durable?
Ans- Rubberwood is not as durable as other forms of woods. Belonging to the maple family, the rubberwood has a depth of approximately 9500 psi, stiffness of 1.3 million psi, and hardness of 500 pounds.
Q. Is rubberwood any good?
Ans- Rubberwood comes from rubber trees. Its lumber has a dense, coarse grain making it unsuitable for use in “exquisite furniture,” but since it's cheap and cost-effective it aids for lower-priced imported products. Rubberwood is good for manufacturing smaller items.
Q. Does rubberwood scratch easily?
Ans- Rubberwood has a Jank's score of 980 lbs that makes it more difficult than some coniferous species, hence, making it scratch resistant for a longer period of times. It has the same amount of hardness as teak and walnut but it's softer than oak.
Q. Is rubberwood real wood?
Ans- Rubber wood is a solid wood product that holds your furniture well. Its light colour makes it very easy to build things and also makes it stain-absorbent.
Q. Is rubber wood long-lasting?
Ans- Yes, Rubberwood can grow up to 40 meters in plains and 100 ft in the wild and recurs a lifespan of 100 years. Rubberwood is often regarded as environmental- friendly wood. This wood is widely advertised because of its durability.
Q. How do you maintain rubber wood furniture?
Ans- In order to clean and maintain rubberwood furniture one must follow the following methods:
- Weekly Dusting with a lint-free cloth.
- Wash with warm water and a mild soapy solution.
- Prepare a deep-cleaning solution with turpentine and boiled linseed oil, it'll seal the woodcuts and protect them from further damage.
- For alcoholic spills- use few drops of ammonia, for old spills- use a paste of rottenstone and lemon oil to clean.
- Remove greasy stains with a blotter and a warm iron. To moisten the cloth use ammonia.
Q. Is rubberwood waterproof?
Ans- No, rubberwood is not a waterproof substance. It's not suitable for outdoor usage as rainy seasons can purge out the woods protective chemicals. Hence, it becomes exposed to insect attacks and fungus. If rubberwood gets filled with excessive moisture then it would rot and warp.
Q. Is rubber wood termite resistant?
Ans- No, rubberwood is not termite resistant. Rubberwood does not have natural properties like teakwood and rosewood to protect itself against termites and weather vagaries. It is susceptible to termite attack and may not last long without proper treatment.
Q. Is rubber wood better than engineered wood?
Ans- Rubberwood is touted for being eco-friendly compared to other types of woods available in the forest. It is recycled wood and gives an added advantage of being densely grainy enough to get easily controlled in the kiln drying process. Hence, rubberwood better than engineered wood.
Q. Is rubber wood heat resistant?
Ans- Yes, rubberwood is naturally resistant to heat. The wood from a rubber tree can easily withstand fire and burn uniformly when something hot touches its surface.
Q. Is rubber wood sustainable?
Ans- Rubberwood is bad for the environment, hence, it is not sustainable. Given the current scenario, the rubber industry withdraws more limited carbon than natural forests and their expanse has led to an abundant net discharge of carbon dioxide.