Teak Wood vs Shorea Wood Comparison
Teak vs Shorea
When you are buying premium outdoor wood furniture, teak
furniture seems to dominate the market.
But Shorea (Balau species) has been making inroads into the market. Both of the woods are considered an Asian
hardwood. So, what makes them different? They both have a high density ratio; Teak weighs
43 pounds per square foot cubed and Shorea at 46 pounds per square foot cubed
compared to a wood like cedar at 22.5 pounds per foot cubed. This makes them both very strong, which
enables them to resist wear and tear that a lot of outdoor furniture
receives. They also have a high
concentration of oil in them. This along
with the density allows both woods to be more impermeable to water compared to
other woods like cedar or pine with lower oil content. One advantage that Teak has over Shorea is
that is a little more elastic, which makes it better for carving and a little
less susceptible to checking. Teak and
Shorea woods have both been used in ship building for centuries because of
The other property you hear about when discussing teak is
how it is rot and insect resistant. This
is true for the same reasons that make the wood water resistant (the density
and oils in the wood) and as we discussed earlier Shorea has the same properties. How would you like to be a termite trying
bite into a wood as dense as these. They
used Shorea wood in buildings in Holland at the turn of the century because of
the resistance to rot. They have dug up
logs that have been in the ground since the early 1900’s that show very little
rot or insect damage. Although you will
not be burying your furniture, it nice to know that it can handle adverse
The first question that many people ask after learning about
Shorea is it priced more competitively than Teak? There a few reasons that may affect the
pricing. One, Shorea wood is more
plentiful. It grows in many of the rain
forest of South East Asia (although it is plantation grown also). Teak is less plentiful and is mainly
plantation grown these days in Indonesia.
Second is the name recognition.
Teak is known and can demand a premium in the market and has also been
the choice material for the top quality manufactures of outdoor furniture which
also demand a higher price. Shorea wood
is a relatively new wood into the North American market and until recently top
manufactures have not chosen to use it.
You can now find high quality manufactures (such as Oxford Garden)
making Shorea furniture.
Shorea and Teak both have the same qualities when it comes
to weathering. While Shorea may have
more of a red brown tint verses the Teaks golden brown color, they both will
bleach in the sun to a grey color. Teak
oil can be used on both of the woods to bring back the color of the wood. They both have a 20 year plus life if they
are not abused and taken care of by applying oil regularly.
Our point of writing this is not to talk you out of buying
teak furniture but to inform you that there are other options if you want to
get a premium outdoor hardwood furniture set.
of Wood (Lb/sqf Cubed)
and Insect Resistance
Places to learn more about Shorea:
Places to learn more about Teak:
Go Back to our Learning Center Main Page