What Is Acacia Wood? The Complete Guide You Need

Acacia wood slab

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Of all the commonly used woods, acacia is always the most familiar type to consumers and builders alike. Products and pieces with this material are popular because they’re highly durable, cost-savvy, and sustainable to grow. But what is acacia wood and what makes it unique?

Here, our experts will give you insight into what acacia wood is used for and why it’s a crowd favorite. 

Overview of Acacia Wood

Acacia wood products have a naturally fine texture, making them one of the most visually appealing types of wood available on the market. 

There are a lot of species of acacia worldwide which is why you can find an acacia tree almost anywhere, mainly in the Pacific Islands, Australia, Africa, and the Pacific Rim.

Acacia lumber

Acacia is a very hard wood with a density of 770 kg, like the Acacia Nilotica, commonly used for furniture. Hence, some species grow fat thorns which are then turned into souvenirs and materials for jewelry.  

History

Native to Australia, the acacia tree grew to become more popular globally. This beautiful wood has become valuable for various products like ship posts, cogs, furniture, and tree nails. 

Back in the 18th century, writers acclaimed it, and one English writer named Ebeneezer Jjessup proposed planting more acacia trees to serve as supply in building ships for the British Royal Navy.

Its water-resistant property made it an apt material for the Royal Navy’s legendary Ships. Eventually, these acacia made-ships have inked their mark in history, helping Great Britain become the leading power during the 18th century. 

Color and Appearance of Acacia Wood

There are a lot of colors of acacia wood you can find, and it’s brought about by the array of species it has all over the world. Acacia woods have a heartwood color, from light brown to dark red. 

Acacia lumber

What differentiates the wood is the yellowish-white sapwood. It is also distinct for its figured grain patterns and attractive natural grain, making it a desirable material for rustic-styled houses. 

Is Acacia Wood Considered Real Wood?

Of all the types of Acacia, two types of solid wood stand out. This is the Black Acacia common in Oceania, and the other is called False Acacia.

The latter, also called Robinia, is the most common and can be found in North America and areas with temperate climates. 

How Durable is it?

One of the most fazed characteristics of a Robinia wood is its durable and fungi-resistant nature, which isn’t most common to other common wood types. Some durable hardwood often has other chemicals rubbed to prevent insect attacks.

The Acacia Tree and The Reason Behind Its Popularity

Most wood products nowadays are made from acacia trees, making it the most popular wood commodity on the market. Apart from its deep brown grains making it more visually aesthetic for a display, it’s also adaptive to various climatic conditions, easier to grow, and can thrive in almost all kinds of environments. 

cutting down an Acacia tree

Sustainable

What makes acacia wood sustainable is its ability to thrive in all kinds of climates. Hence woodworkers still create extra steps to ensure that this hard wood can be grown in the long run. 

The acacia industry creates a relationship with growers, and they give additional income to make acacia farming more sustainable. Most often, lumber is harvested from these trees after they have produced the sap gums. 

Hardness

Based on the Janka scale [1], acacia wood is 55% harder than European white oak and 90% harder than carbonized bamboo. It’s also 23% harder than hickory woods, which makes it one of the best options for flooring. Thus, acacia is an extremely durable wood.

Unique Grain Pattern

Expertly crafted woods have a more distinct look which people find more appealing. Its stunning appearance and unique grain patterns make Acacia wood a preferable choice for consumers. 

Acacia grain pattern

We recommend using a dry cloth to rub mineral or essential oils on your acacia kitchenware to protect the wood stains and make an attractive appearance. 

Uses of Acacia Wood

Flooring

Acacia wood is prominent for creating an alluring hardwood flooring. It’s one of the most commonly used flooring materials due to its distinctive grain patterns. 

Acacia flooring also easily matches different aesthetics, and this wood has many types and options. It is also waterproof and can sit well even in wet areas, making it the easiest and most ideal wood flooring material. It is also mold-resistant since the wood does not absorb moisture. 

Furniture

Acacia wood makes good support beams for stair rails, outdoor furniture, dining tables, and dining benches and is always the choice for building furniture because of its wood strength. 

Acacia center table

It can withstand heavy weight without bending out of shape and can risk without buckling. Builders can make delightful furniture even from a single wood.

Home Decor and Kitchen Items

Acacia is a diverse material used to make bowls and cutting boards. It is naturally antibacterial and is safe to use for serving food. Add to it its wavy grain patterns, which adds a luxurious look when used for food serving. 

There are also multiple patterns, from natural wood to teak wood, which builders can choose to make acacia wood expensive and more naturally smooth. 

wooden furniture applied with beeswax

People also opt for home decors made from acacia timber, too, simply because it’s diverse enough to suit any home style. It is multifaceted and can be mixed and matched in the dining room and in every room in the house.

Characteristics and Properties of Acacia Wood

Wood FibersStraight
GrainAcacia wood has a straight to wavy grain pattern.
Durability ClassResistant to humidity
Dimensional StabilityModerately stable
Mechanical PropertiesStrength – 713 kg/ cm
Flexural Strength – 1,284 kg/cm 2
WorkabilityEasy sawn
Brushed easily
Can be glued right away
Easy finish
Slow drying

Key Advantages of Acacia

Why We Like Using Acacia Wood for Furniture

Durability

Manufacturers always aim to create durable furniture types and know that the acacia wood characteristics tick the checklist makes it the most typed wood material. 

Acacia wooden board

Cost

A solid acacia wood costs a little more than the price of oak, but since there are different varieties and prices, builders still prefer using Acacia wood. 

Good for Outdoors

Its waterproof nature makes an Acacia wood product a favorite amongst woodworkers. It’s also flexible for humid temperatures.

Disadvantages of Acacia

Care and Maintenance of Acacia Wood Furniture

1. Do not leave your acacia furniture in direct sunlight.

Acacia wood slab

2. Wipe your acacia wood products with a moistened soft cloth.

3. Keep your acacia furniture in a cool and dry location or in areas with good ventilation.

4. Treat acacia wood with the right preservative like mineral oils. 

FAQ

Which is better, teak or acacia?

Teak wood is costly, which is why builders often recommend acacia wood as a substitute. Also, in the Janka score, acacia is harder than teak wood

This makes the former an even more durable choice than teak. 

Does acacia wood have heat-resistant properties?

Since acacias are originally from Australia, the wood has adapted heat-resistant properties brought about by the frequent bush fires.

Conclusion

Like all other exotic woods, such as teak wood and mahogany, any product made from acacia wood can still deteriorate. 

But now that we explained all the vital information about what acacia wood is and how to take care of it, we recommend you take proper care and maintenance to keep your furniture pieces or displays long-lasting.

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 and women. 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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