When people consider buying furniture, sometimes they want to know if they should choose a piece made from rubberwood or maple wood. These woods have some similarities, but there are also some differences.
Rubberwood and maple wood produce floors, furniture, cabinet, and other objects. Rubberwood comes from southeast Asia, and Maple wood grows worldwide but is predominately found in North America. Both rubberwood and maple wood have advantages and disadvantages.
Rubber Wood Vs. Maple Wood
Both rubberwood and maple woods are woods used in a lot of furniture manufacturing. Rubberwood is a light-colored medium-density tropical hardwood. It is from the rubber trees that usually grow on rubber plantations.
Both rubberwood and maple wood are used for various products, including furniture, flooring, cabinets, and even sports equipment or kitchen products. As they are both light-colored woods, it can be harder to tell which one is rubberwood or maple wood once the wood is stained or finished.
About Rubber Wood
Some people consider rubberwood to be an environmentally friendly wood as once the rubber plantations can no longer use the trees to extract rubber; then the tree is cut down for wood. The reason is that the trees had already served their purpose of producing rubber, so using the tree for quality wood furniture is a bonus.
It was not until the late 20th century and early 21st-century with the development of chemical treatments to protect the wood against fungal and insects attacks that the rubberwood was able to be used for furniture production. Because of this, rubberwood is considered a plentiful wood as there are many rubber plantations with many mature trees, especially in southeast Asia.
Before using chemicals on the wood, the tree was not considered helpful once the trees could no longer tap for rubber. The rubber plantations would burn down the rubberwood trees and then plant new ones.
Today, wood can be sold, processed, and used for high-quality furniture and production.
Some of the Advantages of Rubberwood:
Rubberwood has a lot of advantages which is why it is a popular wood that continues to be used in many kinds of products. Here are some of its advantages:
- Plentiful Wood – Rubberwood is abundant wood, especially in Asia, where many products are being produced.
- Environmental Friendly Wood – As no trees were cut down just for wood production, rubberwood is considered by many to be an eco-friendly wood. The wood is only cut down once the rubber trees can no longer produce rubber.
- Takes Stains Well – Rubberwood can take many different stains and finish well. This makes it an excellent wood that is used for a variety of products.
- Versatile – Rubberwood is a versatile wood and can be used for many different products.
- Durable – Rubberwood is a durable wood that can give excellent durability, similar to some hardwoods.
- Cheaper – Rubberwood is usually more affordable than other more expensive hardwoods.
Some of the Disadvantages of Rubberwood
Even though rubberwood is considered a perfect wood for furniture and other wood production, there are some disadvantages.
- Smaller Planks And Boards – Some of the significant disadvantages of rubberwood is that you can not use the wood to cut large plank boards like some other woods, so there may be limits for your furniture design for rubberwood.
- Warping And Twisting – When the wood is drying, that wood can warp and twist. So when working with rubberwood and drying and treating it, you need to understand this and ensure you take this into account.
- Perishable Before Treatment – Before rubberwood is fully treated with chemicals and other treatments, it tends to decay. Before treatment, it can be susceptible to insects and fungus. But once properly treated, it is perfect and stable wood.
- Allergies When Working With Wood – Some people who have latex allergies have reports of their allergies having issues when working with the wood. But once the wood is processed, cut, and finished, this should not be an issue. In other words, if you have allergies and your buy a piece of rubberwood furniture, it should not be a problem.
- Not Durable Outdoor – Rubberwood is not very durable when used outdoors as other kinds of wood. Because of this, rubberwood is usually used for indoor furniture and other items.
About Maple Wood
Maple wood is from the Maple tree found in many of North America’s forests. Maple is a wood known to furniture makers and woodworkers as a light in color, has a smooth grain pattern and is very durable. These qualities make it an ideal wood for flooring, furniture, cabinets, and other items.
There are varieties of maples all over the globe. The two most common and abundant species of Maple in North America are hard and soft maple. Even though Maple wood can be referred to as hard or soft maple, maple comes from the deciduous tree, so they are all considered a hardwood.
Here are some of the differences between hard and soft maple:
- Hard Maple – Hard maple is more commonly known as Sugar Maple.
- Soft Maple – Soft Maple usually comprises a few varieties of Maple Species such as Big Leaf Maple (Acer Macrophyllum) and Red Maple (Acer Rebrum).
Both Hard and Soft Maple tree varieties can produce a variety of grains patterns and effects. So depending on what kind of grain pattern you want, it can dictate what kind of maple you will want to use.
Maple wood is used in flooring, cabinets, furniture, and even musical instruments; these products would use either soft or hard maple woods.
Some of the Advantages of Maple Wood:
There are many advantages of using Maple wood and why Maple wood continues to be a trendy kind of wood for all kinds of products. Here are some of the advantages of Maple wood:
- Superior Hardness – Maple is considered one of the hardest varieties of wood. Because of this superior hardness, you will see maple flooring in bowling alleys and gymnasium floors.
- Easy To Clean And Maintain – Maple wood is considered easy to clean and maintain, especially for flooring. This is also true for furniture pieces; it is easy to maintain.
- Consistent Grains – Maple wood is preferred by many as it has a consistent grain and contains fewer imperfections than many other kinds of wood.
- Light Colored Wood– Maple is a light-colored wood, so it can be a preferred wood for certain stains and finishes.
- Shorter Growing Time For Maple Trees – Maple trees have a shorter growing season than many other hardwoods like oak, walnut, and cherry, slower-growing woods. The shorter growing time adds to the eco-friendly nature of Maple wood.
- Keeps Its Value – Maple furniture and wood are considered wood with value. Unlike rubberwood, which is regarded as cheaper, and more abundant wood, Maple wood is usually a wood that will retain its value over time.
Some of the Disadvantages of Maple wood
Even though maple wood is considered an excellent wood, there are also some disadvantages to using Maple wood. Here are some of the disadvantages of Maple wood.
- Lack Of Grains – If you are looking for wood with many grain patterns, then Maple wood may not be the wood for you. Most Maple wood varieties do not have a lot of grain patterns.
- Many Types And Grades – What is confusing for many people is that Maple wood has so many types and grades. Not all the grades and types of Maple wood are of the highest quality. You need to fully understand what kind and type of Maple wood you are buying.
- Can Be Difficult To Stain – Maple wood can be challenging to stain for some stains. So when working with Maple wood, you need to understand how well the wood takes the stain or color you require.
- Expensive – Maple wood is usually a more expensive wood, especially when compared to wood-like rubberwood. If expense is not a deal-breaker, you may want to use maple wood. But many times, Maple wood can be 2 or 3 times higher than rubberwood for the same product.
Both rubberwood and maple wood are excellent choices for a variety of products. Even though they have some similarities, they both have advantages and disadvantages. Which one is best for you will depend on what you are using the wood or how you are using it, along with your budget or price points.
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Hardwood Solids Furniture, What Does The Term Mean?
Hardwood solids can include non-solid woods as engineered woods. Hardwood solids are used in furniture and other industries to classify what kind of wood is used in a product. The terms usually do not classify what type of wood is used.
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What is Solid Wood vs. Engineered Wood?
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