Know Your Timber: Merbau

If you are looking for timber flooring or decking for your Brisbane home, Merbau is a great option. Merbau, also known as Kwila, has a durability rating of 1. It is used extensively for decking, hardwood flooring and handrails. It grows in Northern Queensland, Southeast Asia, the Pacific Islands and Papua New Guinea.

It is a very strong timber and is used not only for decking and flooring, but also for shipbuilding, construction and engineering. Merbau is also used for indoor joinery and outdoor furniture. It is recommended that you check with your supplier to ensure that Merbau has been sourced from well-managed and legal forests.

Know Your Timber: Merbau

Merbau can grow as high as 40 metres, with a trunk diameter of 0.6 metres. The upper parts of the tree are very leafy and form a canopy. When fresh-cut, Merbau heartwood has a colour that combines brown, orange and yellow. As Merbau ages, the colours deepen and usually redden.

On the other hand, the sapwood is usually pale yellow or white. If the sapwood isn’t treated, it is vulnerable to lyctid borer attack. Otherwise, Merbau is naturally resistant to termites and responds to air or kiln-drying very well. Merbau has minimal shrinkage, degradation or movement as it ages, making it a favourite for precise applications.

Merbau usually has a wavy, interlocked grain, producing a texture that is coarse but even. This makes Merbau visually attractive, often garnering the adjective, “stunning.” Stain, polish and paint all look great and perform effectively on Merbau. Occasionally, Merbau produces gum bleed.

While Merbau is a hardwood, it is very workable and responds well to hand tools. We mentioned uses for Merbau earlier, but it is also so workable that it can be used for applications that require extreme precision, such as musical instruments.

To learn more about Merbau or any other varieties of timber that we carry, drop by and visit our Display Deck or call Narangba Timbers today: (07) 3888 1293.

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Posted in Jack's Blog, Timber Suppliers Brisbane