Rubberwood has rapidly become a buzzword amongst furniture enthusiasts and woodworking hobbyists. But what is it about this material that makes it so valuable in the craft of furniture making? In this comprehensive guide, we uncover the origins, benefits, uses, and care tips for rubberwood, shedding light on why it’s emerging as a popular choice for sustainable and cost-effective furniture.
Rubberwood, often regarded as an ‘environmental savior’ in the timber world, is increasingly recognized for its remarkable qualities and applications. While commonly associated with the rubber it yields, this wood has a second life – one that begins after it stops producing rubber.
Follow along as we explore the intriguing world of rubberwood and its transformation into durable, versatile, and eco-friendly furniture.
What is Rubberwood?
Rubberwood originates from the Pará rubber tree (Hevea brasiliensis), primarily grown in the tropics for its sap, the primary source of natural rubber. Once these trees reach around 25-30 years of age, their latex production declines, paving the way for them to be repurposed into rubberwood timber. Not only does this promote a more sustainable use of resources, but it also prevents unnecessary deforestation.
This wood displays a pale cream to light yellow hue, adding a warm touch to living spaces. Furthermore, it’s renowned for its tight grain and solid density, factors that contribute to its notable stability and strength. So, if you’re seeking a sturdy and durable wood for furniture construction, rubberwood may just be the one.
Benefits of Rubberwood
Rubberwood, often cherished for its remarkable resilience, emerges from the most unassuming beginnings – the humble Hevea brasiliensis tree, better known for latex productions, which ceases after a couple of decades. With environmental consciousness at its core, rubberwood harnesses these ‘retired’ trees, bringing forth a hardwood with benefits aplenty.
Remarkably dense and durable, rubberwood presents an eco-friendly alternative to traditional timber, effectively reducing deforestation and advocating sustainable utilizations. Its tight grain and pleasing aesthetics do not compromise on versatility; it readily welcomes stains and finishes, allowing a seamless integration into diverse architectural and design motifs.
Moreover, rubberwood’s resistance to molds, bacteria, and fungi champions it as a hygienic choice for kitchen appliances and furniture. As the name suggests, this wood is not just robust but also possesses an inherent elasticity, enabling products made from it to sustain more wear and tear over time. Rubberwood is carving out its niche as an accessible option that doesn’t force consumers to choose between quality and environmental responsibility.
Rubberwood is becoming increasingly popular in the furniture industry due to its many desirable qualities. In addition to being environmentally friendly, it is also budget-friendly, making it an ideal choice for those looking for high-quality yet affordable furniture. Its durability makes it suitable for everyday use and can withstand heavy traffic without showing signs of wear and tear.
One of the unique properties of rubberwood is its ability to resist warping and shrinking, making it perfect for furniture pieces that require precise measurements. This also means that the furniture made from rubberwood will maintain its shape and stability over time, ensuring long-lasting satisfaction for consumers.
Aside from being a sustainable option, rubberwood boasts natural antibacterial properties due to the presence of latex in its composition. This makes it a hygienic choice for kitchen appliances and cutting boards, providing a safe and clean environment for food preparation.
Also referred to as “plantation hardwood,” rubberwood is harvested from trees that are no longer producing latex. This ensures that no trees are cut down solely for their wood, thus reducing deforestation and supporting sustainable forestry practices.
Rubberwood’s light color also makes it a versatile choice for furniture and interior design. It can easily be stained or painted to match any aesthetic, making it an adaptable option for various styles and preferences.
Furthermore, this wood is highly resilient and has excellent shock absorption properties, making it suitable for products that are subject to frequent use and impact. This makes it a popular choice for children’s furniture, where durability and safety are essential factors.
In other words, here are the benefits of rubber wood:
1. Durability and Strength
With a Janka hardness rating comparable to woods like ash and maple, rubberwood boasts admirable durability. Its dense grain structure endows it with excellent resistance to wear and tear, making it ideal for everyday furniture.
2. Versatility in Furniture Making
Whether you’re crafting a simplistic coffee table or an intricate wardrobe, rubberwood’s workability and smooth finish enable limitless creative potential. Due to its subtle coloration, rubberwood also presents a great canvas for stains and paints, offering versatility in design aesthetics.
Considering rubberwood’s supply originates from recycled plantation trees, its availability lends to affordability. Those on the lookout for quality yet budget-friendly wood for furniture or projects may find rubberwood to be the perfect fit.
Common Uses of Rubberwood
Rubberwood is highly regarded in the furniture industry for manufacturing a vast range of products from dining tables, chairs, and bed frames, to cabinetry and even toys. Its medium density ensures that it does not warp or crack easily which is essential for furniture exposed to the hustle and bustle of daily life. Furthermore, its ease of use makes it a favorite for DIY woodworking projects.
Maintaining and Caring for Rubberwood Furniture
Like any wood furniture, rubberwood requires upkeep to retain its beauty and utility over time. Routine cleanings with a damp cloth, protection from prolonged sun exposure, and the occasional polish go a long way in maintaining the wood’s integrity. It’s also vital to address spills immediately to prevent staining and to avoid abrasive cleaners that could harm the wood’s surface.
Comparison with Other Types of Wood
Rubberwood is a formidable contender in the world of woodcraft, boasting exceptional strength and durability that rivals even the most revered hardwoods like oak and maple. Its robust canvas can accommodate a multitude of functional designs, making it an ideal choice for the finger joint laminated board industry.
What’s more, rubberwood has an excellent environmental footprint and is often made from a byproduct of the latex industry, which was once considered waste.
Unlike exotic woods such as teak or mahogany, rubberwood is affordable without sacrificing quality. Its unique blend of durability, sustainability, and affordability makes it a sought-after material among artisans and environmentally conscious consumers alike.
Rubberwood simultaneously carves a niche for itself by providing an eco-friendly and cost-effective alternative without compromising on durability and versatility. Its unique origin story, combined with its attributes, makes it a champion of sustainable furniture materials revered by homeowners and professionals alike.
In the pursuit of quality, sustainability, and affordability, rubberwood furniture stands out as a beneficial and responsible choice for various woodworking projects. Delving into the realm of rubberwood opens up a whole world of possibilities for creating stunning, long-lasting, and eco-conscious pieces that are sure to enhance any space.
Explore our selection of rubberwood furniture in our FJL Board: Experience the beauty, durability, and sustainability of our rubberwood collection. Perfect for any space, our rubberwood pieces present the right blend of practicality and eco-friendly appeal.