Is Rubberwood Good for Furniture? — Advantages & Disadvantages

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Yoy may have heard that rubberwood is a sustainable choice, but is it durable enough for furniture making? You may be also wondering if it has unique properties that set it apart from other types of wood.

So, our wood specialists will dive deeper into the topic and explore whether rubberwood is good furniture and for you to know the facts before investing in it.

What Is Rubberwood?

Rubberwood is a type of wood that comes from the Pará rubber tree, also known as Hevea brasiliensis, which is mostly grown in South America, Africa, and Asia.

These trees are grown for their latex, which is used to make rubber. However, when the trees can no longer produce latex, they are cut down and made into rubberwood, known as a very durable type of wood.

How is Rubberwood Used for Furniture?

Rubberwood is a type of wood that is good for making furniture because of its flexibility and medium density, similar to ash and maple.


It’s commonly used to make trays, carvings, and cabinetry because it’s cheaper than other types of wood.

Rubberwood is light in color, but it gets darker as time passes by, so it’s important to stain and maintain it regularly. Though it is environmentally friendly and easy to work with, it’s vulnerable to insects and can warp easily.

Is it Good for Indoor Furniture?

Rubberwood is a suitable option for indoor furniture due to its attractive appearance, resistance to fire, ability to withstand scratches, and it is also easy to carry.

Rubberwood indoor furniture can last a period of time when taken care of correctly through staining and maintaining its good condition.

It is used to make various indoor furniture pieces such as flooring, window frames, drawers, carvings, chairs, tables, and cabinets.

rubberwood furniture

However, rubberwood absorbs moisture easily and can rot, so we do not recommend it in very damp environments such as bathrooms, despite being sealed properly.

How About Outdoor Furniture?

As per our wood experts, rubberwood is not an ideal type of wood for outdoors since it can absorb moisture rapidly, similar to a sponge, causing it to deteriorate easily.

Also, as it gets older, it becomes darker due to ultraviolet (UV) light exposure and direct sunlight.

However, rubberwood can still be used as outdoor furniture, such as patios and balcony chairs. In order to maintain their good condition, we suggest that regular maintenance is necessary.

Is It Ideal for Dining Tables?

Rubberwood is great for dining tables because it is durable and resistant to scratches. Properly sealed or stained rubberwood dining tables can help keep them in great shape for a long period of time without any problems.

rubberwood dining table

How to Properly Maintain Rubberwood-Made Furniture

Tip #1: Apply the Proper Sealer

Rubberwood is good for staining but requires a considerable time when drying. To utilize rubberwood furniture for outdoor and indoor purposes, it must be properly sealed and stained.

To ensure its maintenance, it is vital to perform proper sealing at least once a year. The following steps are essential for achieving an excellent finish when sealing rubberwood:

  1. Get rid of old coatings and completely scrub the surface.
  2. Smooth the surface with sandpaper (150-grit) and wipe away any sawdust.
  3. Use a pre-stain conditioner for wood and allow it to cure and dry.
  4. Apply a coat of sealant or stainer using a brush, foam roller, or sprayer, ensuring that you cover the surface evenly.
  5. Then, wait for the sealant or stain to dry completely.

If necessary, repeat the process by sanding and applying more coats of sealant until you achieve the desired finish.

Tip #2: Make Sure to Clean it Regularly

It is crucial to clean the rubberwood surface regularly to eliminate dirt and other debris.

rubberwood cleaning of surface

However, we highly suggest that it is best to use only water and soap while cleaning furniture made of rubberwood.

Using chemical cleaners on furniture like rubberwood can lead to the wood’s quick deterioration, as the wood is highly sensitive to chemicals.

Tip #3: Oiling Rubberwood Furniture Periodically

To keep rubberwood furniture shiny and avoid damage like scratches and cracks, apply tung oil or Danish oil, which also helps in protecting the wood from moisture.

Based on our research, Danish oil is non-toxic and safe for food. Thus, it is suitable to use on rubberwood kitchen furniture and toys.

For better maintenance of rubberwood furniture, we recommend applying Danish oil regularly, ideally every year, before its previous coating fades.

tung oil grain

Tip #4: Keep it Away from Too Much Cold and Heat

Frequent temperature changes can harm the shape and durability of rubberwood. To safeguard the rubberwood furniture from warping and twisting due to extreme temperatures, cover it up during inclement weather or store it in a secure location.

Furthermore, direct exposure to sunlight can have adverse effects on the mechanical properties of the rubberwood and cause it to lose its aesthetic appeal by darkening its color.

Rubber Wood Furniture: Advantages & Disadvantages

Rubberwood furniture is a suitable option for those who prioritize affordability and sustainability, but it may not be the best choice for those who need furniture that is highly durable or aesthetically pleasing.

Thus, we have elaborated on the specific advantages and disadvantages of rubberwood furniture below, as it has its own distinct set of pros and cons.

Rubberwood Pros

Not Prone to Scratches

It has a 995 rating for Janka hardness, indicating moderate strength and low susceptibility to scratches. This quality makes it an inexpensive choice for furniture, as well as resistant to scratches.

rubberwood not to prone to scratches

Good Durability

It is a hardwood that is known for its strength and durability. Also, it can withstand everyday wear and tear due to its tightly-packed arrangement of wood fibers or grain.


It is regarded as a secondary product, resulting in it being sold at a lower price compared to other types of wood.

Less Maintenance

To take care of rubberwood furniture, we suggest using a solution of water and mild soap in cleaning it annually, then make sure to use a clean rag to dry the rubberwood furniture. 

If you choose to apply wax to rubberwood furniture for a glossy appearance, it’s important to remove it frequently to prevent the buildup of household dirt and debris.

Rubberwood Cons

Lacks Appeal

It lacks distinct natural character or grain, which makes it less visually appealing than other types of hardwood.

rubberwood lacks of appeal

Susceptible to Damages

It is typically resilient and durable, but it can be at risk of harm from insects, heart rot, or fungal rot. If not maintained and cared for properly, the wood may deteriorate rapidly and become prone to decay.

Heavily Treated Wood

Without adequate seasoning and treatment, rubberwood may not possess enough strength to be used in furniture production.

Although it is eco-friendly, it still requires extensive treatment to become suitable for hardwood use.

Fragile to Chemical Cleaners

Rubberwood can withstand certain stains, but it becomes vulnerable to damage when exposed to chemicals.

In addition, rubberwood can be negatively affected by typical household cleaning agents [1] and polishes, resulting in possible staining and potentially irreversible damage.

rubberwood is fragile to chemical cleaners

Are Rubberwoods Waterproof? Will it Rot Easily?

Rubberwood is not waterproof and shouldn’t be used outdoors, especially during rainy weather. The wood’s protective chemicals can be washed away, making it prone to insect infestations and fungal growth.

Furthermore, too much moisture can cause the wood to become deformed and rot.

Is Rubberwood a Softwood or Hardwood?

Rubberwood is a hardwood. It scores a 995 pounds-force (lbf) rating scale of Janka hardness, making it stronger than many other types of wood.

rubberwood is a hardwood

Thus, its moderate hardness level is regarded as very valuable in the industry of furniture manufacturing.


Rubberwood is good for furniture because it is moderately hard, inexpensive, and widely available. However, it has some disadvantages.

So, while rubberwood can be a suitable option for indoor furniture projects, it’s important to consider these potential downsides and take steps to protect its durability and lifespan.

Robert Johnson is a woodworker who takes joy in sharing his passion for creating to the rest of the world. His brainchild, Sawinery, allowed him to do so as well as connect with other craftsmen. He has since built an enviable workshop for himself and an equally impressive online accomplishment: an extensive resource site serving old timers and novices alike.
Robert Johnson
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