Some of you might have just heard about rubberwood furniture, or maybe you might have heard a thing or two about rubberwood furniture and now you want to learn more about it. If you are the type of person who prefers natural wood furniture instead of other “mixed-and-engineered-wood”, Rubberwood is the right option for you.
This underrated yet high-quality wood is commonly used for many kinds of furniture, from bar stools to tabletops. It’s not without reasons that many furniture use rubberwood as its main material. Through this article, we want to tell you all about rubberwood furniture and what’s so special about it.
Is Rubberwood Furniture Made From Rubber or Wood?
Just as the name suggests, rubberwood furniture refers to a piece of furniture that is made out of rubberwood. When you hear the word rubberwood, the first thing that comes to your mind could be “Wait, so is it made from rubber or wood?”.
We understand that the rubberwood name itself can be a bit confusing. The one thing we know for sure is that rubberwood is not rubbery. In fact, it is pretty solid. In terms of characteristics, rubberwood is quite similar to maple, just that it has a more porous structure. It is suitable for furniture and is also used for other engineered products such as particle board and fiberboard.
Known as one of the most popular wood species in the world, rubberwood comes directly from the trees that produce latex. These trees are often called rubber trees, Asian hardwood, parawood, plantation hardwood, or Hevea brasiliensis. But in this article, we will just call it rubber trees. Rubber trees originally come from Brazil, but they often grow on plantations with a lot of production throughout Asia.
Rubberwood is sustainable as rubber plantations plant, harvest and replant their rubber trees on proper scheduling cycle. The primary purpose of rubber trees is still for the latex, and as old rubber trees are being felled and harvested for the wood, new rubber trees are planted. The increasing usage of rubberwood helps stop old trees from rotting on the ground. As you might have known, rotting trees release more carbon into the atmosphere.
A rubber tree needs a long time to grow, it takes approximately 6 years to mature. After 6 years, it will start yielding latex. However, when the tree reaches the age of 22 to 26 years old, its latex production will slow down.
Nowadays, once a rubber tree is no longer economical for latex production, it will be harvested for its wood which will then be used for wood manufacturing processes, with furniture being one of the end products.
Typical Use Of Rubberwood In Furniture
Rubberwood solid and board are usually used to make furniture like cabinet, dining set, bed frame, tabletop, facade, panel, and butcher block. It is common to find rubberwood being used together with other types of hardwood. For example, furniture makers may use a combination of rubberwood and oak to manufacture their furniture. They usually do this to lower production cost.
There are many furniture makers that only use rubberwood as their material to manufacture beautiful and affordable furniture that can be found at your local stores. Read on to learn more about things that make rubberwood ideal for furniture and how to take care of rubberwood furniture.
Things That Make Rubberwood Ideal For Furniture
Rubberwood comes in slightly different shade of colors. But naturally, it has a light color and whitish. Don’t worry, rubberwood can be stained or painted just like any other wood. Other than this, rubberwood also has several advantages that makes it suitable for furniture material. Here are some:
· Rubberwood is easy to work with in furniture making
For builders who prefer to work by hand, rubberwood is the best choice since it is very easy to work with when it comes to making furniture. If you prefer using certain tools to make furniture, rubberwood works well too. One of the reasons is because rubberwood accepts paints really well, which makes it a great material for furniture.
· Rubberwood is durable and stable
Durability is another advantage of rubberwood furniture. The level of durability is even quite similar to hardwoods. If you compare it to American Cherry, rubberwood is considerably although it is a little bit softer than Teak. This means rubberwood furniture has around 15-25 years of good wear before you begin seeing some wear and tear issues. Given the right processing, rubberwood is a stable material to make tables, chairs, cupboards and other furniture.
· Rubberwood has unique brownish grain marks
Rubberwood has random brownish grain marks as a result of the kiln drying heating process. Although the heating process shrinks its size as a whole but it also gives it the strength, which makes it unique and one of a kind.
· Rubberwood furniture is one of the cheapest solid wood furniture
You know how expensive it can be to fill your home with furniture. Buying rubberwood furniture can reduce your spending though there are various prices when it comes to rubberwood furniture, depending on the quality and finishes. Even so, rubberwood furniture is still one of the cheapest compared to furniture of other materials. If you happen to encounter Golden Oak furniture, it might very well be made of Rubberwood. Some people can be really creative in that regard.
· Rubberwood has good impact absorption and somewhat soft to touch
When touching rubberwood, you might be able to feel that it has good impact protection and somewhat soft to touch. This makes it very suitable to be used in the living rooms, bedrooms and even indoor gyms.
Should you knock yourself or drop anything onto anything made of rubberwood, you’d be glad to find that you or your belongings don’t suffer as much impact that might have caused a more serious damage. You would also notice that some professional basketball courts are using rubberwood flooring now.
How To Take Care Of Rubberwood Furniture?
Yes, rubberwood furniture is durable, but you need to understand that you still need to take care of it properly to maintain its pristine condition. The good news is that taking care of rubberwood furniture is not any different than taking care of wood materials like teak, mahogany, or oak. Here are a few tips for you:
· Cleaning Your Rubberwood Furniture
If you have cleaned furniture made from other wood materials, the cleaning method for rubberwood furniture is pretty easy and similar. We suggest that you clean your rubberwood furniture by wiping it with a cloth that has been soaked with soap and water from time to time, then use a clean dry cloth to wipe it off as leaving water on the surface for a long period of time is bad for your furniture. You might want to brighten the rubberwood’s natural dull patina with furniture wax to give it that newer and fresher look.
· Repairing Dents On Your Rubberwood Furniture
It is common to find dents on rubberwood furniture’s surface as it is moderate in terms of hardness scale. If the dents only affect the finish, you can repair it by dabbing in more finish. However, if the dents affect the wood, you can try to cover the dent with a towel then place a hot iron on the towel. Leave it for about a minute and the dent shall disappear because rubberwood tends to swell under this condition.
· Maintaining Your Rubberwood Furniture
It is not uncommon that your rubberwood furniture suffer damage due to various reasons. Therefore, you should take some preventive measures to avoid that from happening. Here are a couple of Don’ts for you to remember:
Don’t place your rubberwood furniture in extremely dry or hot places.
Don’t place your rubberwood furniture under direct sunlight as it will cause discoloration on the surface and finish.
Don’t place hot pots or cups on your rubberwood furniture as they can cause white rings to develop on the surface. If you need to put hot items on the surface, you should use a pad or pot holder.
These are the essential things you need to know about rubberwood furniture. Whilst rubberwood is not suitable for your outdoor use, you might want to consider using rubberwood for your indoor use. It is more affordable, more durable and unique. By using rubberwood, you play a part in supporting rubber farmers’ livelihood and contributing to a Greener World that we must take care of for future generations.
If you are a furniture maker or a distributor and would like BTP to take care of your rubberwood supply, feel free to Contact Us Here.