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Meranti Wood in Furniture and Cabinetry: A Stylish and Durable Choice

Timber Knowledge
18 July 2023 min read

Meranti Wood in Furniture and Cabinetry: A Stylish and Durable Choice

We all know the frustration of investing in something that looks good but fails to stand the test of time. Whether it's visible scratches, wear and tear from constant use, or the all-too-common warping from humidity, the result is always the same—disappointment.

Enter: high-quality Meranti wood

Known for its durability and resistance to warping and scratching, Meranti is the answer you've been looking for. Ideal for furniture and cabinetry, this type of wood not only enhances the aesthetic appeal of your spaces but also offers exceptional longevity.

In this article, we will explore the unique characteristics of Meranti wood and its benefits for furniture and cabinetry.


What is Meranti Wood?

Meranti wood is derived from trees in the Shorea genus, which includes approximately 196 species of tropical rainforest trees. The wood, also known as Lauan or Philippine Mahogany, is commonly found in Southeast Asian countries such as Malaysia, Indonesia, and the Philippines.  In essence, Meranti is known for its reddish-brown colour, which tends to darken over time. 

Furthermore, the wood is distinguished by its interlocking grain, which gives it good resistance to warping and cracking. It’s important to note that Meranti wood isn’t a true mahogany but rather a type of hardwood often used as a lower-cost alternative to mahogany.


Types of Meranti Wood

Several different types of Meranti wood are commonly used for furniture and cabinetry. These include:

  1. Dark Red Meranti: This type of Meranti wood is known for its deep reddish-brown colour and durability. It’s often used for outdoor furniture, boat building, and other applications requiring water and termite resistance.

  2. Yellow Meranti: This type of wood is lighter in colour than dark red Meranti and has a more uniform texture. It’s often used for interior furniture and decorative panels.

  3. White Meranti: This type of Meranti is very light in colour and has a fine, even texture. It is often used for interior trim, mouldings, and decorative panels.


Benefits of Meranti Wood for Furniture and Cabinetry

  1. Durability: Meranti wood is known for its durability and resistance to warping, rotting, and termite damage. This makes it an ideal choice for furniture and cabinetry exposed to moisture and humidity.

  2. Stylish appearance: Meranti has a rich, reddish-brown colour that can add warmth and elegance to any room. It also has a distinctive interlocking grain pattern, creating a unique look for each piece.

  3. Versatility: The wood can be used for various furniture and cabinetry applications, from outdoor tables and chairs to kitchen cabinets and interior panelling.

  4. Cost-effective: Meranti wood is an affordable alternative to expensive hardwoods like teak and mahogany. It offers similar durability and aesthetic appeal at a fraction of the cost.


How to Choose the Right Meranti Wood for Your Project

When selecting Meranti wood for furniture or cabinetry, there are several factors to consider:

  1. Grade: Meranti wood is available in several grades, ranging from A to D. Grade A is the highest quality and has the fewest knots, while Grade D is the lowest quality and may have more defects. Grades B and C are intermediary grades that balance quality and affordability.

  2. Colour: As mentioned earlier, Meranti comes in three different colour variations. Consider the overall aesthetic of your project and choose the colour that best complements your design.

  3. Grain pattern: The wood has a distinctive interlocking grain pattern that creates a unique look for each piece. Consider the grain pattern when selecting wood and match it to the design of your project.


Meranti Wood Maintenance and Care

Meranti wood's longevity and aesthetic appeal in furniture and cabinetry significantly depend on the care and maintenance applied. Like any other wood, Meranti needs regular attention to retain its charm and durability.

Cleaning: Regular cleaning with a soft cloth is vital to maintain the surface of Meranti wood furniture and cabinetry. When cleaning, avoid using harsh chemicals as they might strip off the natural oils present in the wood, causing it to dry and crack over time.

Polishing: To retain the wood's radiant reddish-brown hue, occasional polishing is recommended. A high-quality wood polish helps enhance the wood's natural shine and colour while providing extra protection against scratches and stains.

Humidity control: Meranti has good resistance to warping and performs well in different humidity levels. However, extreme changes in humidity can still cause minor damage to the wood over time. Therefore, maintaining a stable indoor environment is crucial in prolonging the lifespan of Meranti wood furniture and cabinetry.

Sealing: An extra step of protection for outdoor Meranti furniture could be sealing the wood. A quality wood sealant helps to guard the wood against the damaging effects of moisture, UV rays, and termite infestation. 


Versatility in Finishes

Meranti wood's versatility extends beyond its applications in furniture and cabinetry. It takes well to various finishes, from clear sealants that highlight its natural beauty to paint and stain that can transform the wood’s appearance to match a wider range of interior styles.

So, whether you're seeking a traditional rustic vibe or a sleek, modern aesthetic, Meranti can be finished to your liking. All things considered, its adaptability makes it an even more attractive choice for homeowners and designers looking to create various looks.


Meranti vs Other Hardwoods

Regarding durability, other hardwoods, such as teak or oak, might outperform Meranti. Teak, for example, is highly resilient and often used for high-quality outdoor furniture and boat decks. Whereas oak is highly resistant to wear, making it excellent for flooring. 

In terms of cost-effectiveness, Meranti is generally less expensive than many other hardwoods while offering good durability and workability. It's a popular choice when cost is a significant factor. Ultimately, it depends on what you want to use the wood for.


High-quality Wood From Woodshop Direct

Meranti wood is a stylish and durable choice for furniture and cabinetry. Its rich, reddish-brown colour and interlocking grain make it a unique and attractive option for any project. 

Whether building outdoor furniture or indoor trim, Meranti offers the versatility and affordability you need. To sum up, choosing Meranti wood for your furniture and cabinetry means choosing quality, durability, style, and cost-effectiveness.

Woodshop Direct offers a wide selection of quality Meranti wood in various grades and colours. Browse our website to learn how Meranti can enhance your next project.