Reclaimed parquet flooring

Iroko (Milicia excelsa)

Iroko is an African hardwood often sold as a substitute for the true Asian or Burmese Teak. The trade names are Nigerian or African Teak.

Found throughout Africa, from the West all the way across to the East coast, it is now classified as ‘Vulnerable’ in Cameroon, Ivory Coast, Kenya, and Zimbabwe. As well as being classified as ‘Endangered’ in Benin and Congo.

As a commercial timber Iroko demand is wide. It has many uses: construction work, shipbuilding and marine carpentry, sleepers, sluice gates, draining boards, outdoor and indoor joinery, garden furniture and flooring. Also used for carving, domestic utensils, musical instruments and toys. Iroko has an inherent resistance to acids and bases. This has made it suitable for multiple uses. For example, tanks and barrels for food, as well as chemical products and laboratory benches.

Iroko Characteristics

A golden brown colour when first sanded, which darkens over time to a medium brown. At times it has an unusual grain showing some whitish mineral deposits, which adds to the interest. It has a relatively coarse grain, is of medium weight and has similar strength properties to Beech, making a very good robust floor. Schools often used Iroko as a flooring material consequently this is usually where the block is from.

The tree bark is still used in traditional African medicine. The bark of young trees used to be made into loin-cloths, and bark of mature trees were used for dyeing leather and cloth. And also used for a good strong roofing material.

You can purchase this species from our Buy page.

Iroko close-up

Iroko close-up