Merbau

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Merbau – (Intsia palembanica) reclaimed parquet flooring

Merbau is a lowland rainforest tree which produces one of the most valuable timbers of South East Asia. It can be found throughout the area: Australia, Burma, Fiji, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Thailand. Merbau is also known as Borneo Teak, Ipi, Mirabow and Kajubesi.

Merbau has a wide creamy white sapwood and the heartwood is an orange-brown colour when freshly sanded, which ages to a darker reddish-brown although the tone can be  variable. There are also small yellow mineral deposits found throughout the wood which can be conspicuous on the surface. It finishes to a glossy brown colour with beautiful graining, quarter-sawn surfaces can have an attractive figure.

This is a dense and heavy hardwood, durable and highly resistant to preservative treatment. It will require pre-drilling before nailing and has a tendency to blunt saws. It can be polished to a fine, high gloss giving a very classy finish to a parquet floor.

This species is on the IUCN Red List, listed as vulnerable caused by a decline in its natural range, and by exploitation. The species has been exploited so intensively for Merbau timber that few sizeable natural stands remain. Few plantations are established to counter this.

Merbau close-up

Merbau close-up