If you’re wondering about the new sensation of rubber wood and whether it’s durable or not, you aren’t the only one. While it’s making its way into American markets and becoming more and more popular, more people are wondering if it’s worth it. So I decided to dive right in and get some answers.
So is rubber wood furniture durable? For the most part, rubber wood is durable and can make a great affordable option for those looking to buy wood furniture. The tricky thing is because it has rubbery characteristics; it can be warped during the manufacturing stage.
This isn’t something buyers need to worry of since they’ll be buying it in it’s finished state. However, while there are a lot of positives about rubber wood there are some drawbacks that need to be further explored.
Rubber wood furniture has a lot of benefits like affordability compared to real wood. The secret is that rubber wood is actually real wood and comes from specific trees that produce latex like Asian hardwood, plantation hardwood, etc. Most of these trees grow over in Asia.
After the tree has been extracted of all it’s latex producing possibilities; it’s then used for producing furniture. This is another benefit as it’s super ecofriendly by it’s recycled process. Other positives include the double-edged sword that it’s super pliable. A point that we will address in the cons as well.
Let’s go more in-depth about the positives of rubber wood and talk about how it is a durable and long-lasting options.
Rubber wood may be used from lighter airy trees, but it offers the same durability as a solid wood. The best part is it’s a lot cheaper to buy. The tree wood is mainly imported from China, like many of the other things we buy from China in mass-production.
Below is a table that comprises of information on solid wood furniture and rubber wood furniture from Houzz. The furniture items are comparable to each other to show the difference in pricing between the two woods.
|Benzara Decorous Rubber Wood 5 Pieces Dining Set in 2 Tone Brown||$$$$||The table is self is stained in a cherry tone, which contrasts with the dark-oak stained chairs. All of the products are made of rubber wood.|
|Mannsville Rustic Wood 5-Piece Dining Set, Otter Kit||$$$$$||Made out of solid wood, birch wood, veneer, and more, this set is stained in a rustic coat.|
|Set of 2 Barstools, Walnut Rubber Wood Legs With Dark Grey Seat||$||Made from rubber wood, these affordable bar stools are a comfy seat for you and another at the bar.|
|Fine Mod Imports Wooden Bar Chair 30″, Walnut||$$$||A set of one, not two, but a beautiful Walnut wood bar stool with backing.|
The table above just gives a sense of idea that generally, rubber wood comes at a much cheaper price than solid wood. Houzz is not the only company that demonstrates this as it’s easily seen on a lot of home improvement sites like Home Depot, Lowe’s, and many more.
Mentioned above, sustainability and eco-friendly are a huge part of today’s society. Because of the process in which the trees go through in order to made rubber wood furniture it’s end up as a win for everyone including the environment
- Early life: First, the tree is planted from seed and grown until it’s considered mature. This is usually until they are 10 years of age, so it’s a long time before anyone even touches the tree.
- Latex: Once they are considered to be mature, they can start the extraction of latex stage. The reason they have to be mature is because if they are weak, the trees will die early during this stage from duress. Typically, a tree is good for another 20-30 years to extract latex and rubber material.
- Recycled Furniture: Finally, the last stage of its life is when the tree is no longer usable for latex producing needs and is made into some sort of furniture or flooring needs.
Easy to Stain and Finish
Another great feature of this wood is that it can be stained or finished in many different colors. Because it takes color so well, it can last for a long time as long as the stain or finish is suitable for your indoor or outdoor needs.
Drawbacks to Rubber Wood
Despite rubber wood seeming like a no brainer (and in most cases it is), there are some things to consider when making the purchase. Things like allergies and pliability can play a role that is less favorable.
Below is a list of the downsides to rubber wood.
- Allergy issues
- Pliability and Warping
Keep in mind that if you are allergic to latex, then this is definitely not the option for you. The first point being that these trees are latex producing machines, and that is their primary function for their first 20-30 years of their life.
But some people might think no worries after it’s been finished and set.
Wrong! Rubber wood also has an interesting relationship with insects and fungus. For some reason, this wood attracts the two and needs to be doused in chemicals that have repellent to fungus and insect invasion.
These chemicals are usually strong and can cause reactions anyways. Most people stay clear of these types of sprays, and this can be a downside to buying rubber wood.
While we talked about its pliability in a positive light, it’s also possible that this rubber wood is too flexible and can lead to an undesired result when working with the wood itself. If you are someone who likes to do their own projects, then consider this.
Rubber wood, when it is drying, tends to have the ability to warp some and distort itself by twisting while drying and finishing. Once dry, the wood itself is dense and durable. This is why you must make sure it does not take n its own shape throughout the process because that is definitely the way it will be stuck.
While America is coming around to rubber wood, you might just find better warranties with solid wood companies because they are probably made right here in America, and that’s been the expectation for centuries. You get what you pay for. The companies who have been around forever have no problem throwing out a good warranty because they believe in their product.
Rubber wood is made in and imported from mostly from Asia and sometimes South America, where the climates are much more tropical. Also, with you get what you pay for, the warranties might be a little less frequent. Time and time again, rubberwood has proven to be more than satisfactory.
In the end
When it comes down to it, rubber wood proves to be a long-lasting and durable option that is suited for those who want to save some money. And because of the ability to finish it and stain it any way you like, it doesn’t feel like it’s not solid wood.
As many have reported, the term rubber wood is the only fault or negative aspect because it allows people to think that it isn’t stable or capable of replacing solid wood. When, in fact, it is real wood made from trees. In the end, it is a great option for everyone.