Advantages and Disadvantages of Using Acacia Wood

The latest reports by the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) indicate that there are approximately 60,000 species of trees in the world currently. Each of these species has a different texture, color, shrinkage, gloss, and density. One of these species is acacia wood. In this article, I will talk about the advantages and disadvantages of acacia wood. But first, let’s understand what is acacia.

What Is Acacia Wood?

Acacia is the hardest wood in the class of hardwoods, and it’s characterized by high pliability and density. Its wood structure is multidirectional, meaning that its fibers are facing each other. The core of this tree comes in a gallant reddish-brown color with dark veins, while the sapwood can be either yellowish or light brown.

Acacia

Image source: Pinterest

Acacia wood is also known for its enhanced resistance against friction and different climatic conditions. Its strong resistance against harsh elements and natural toughness make it the ideal wood for exterior works. Furthermore, it is considered to be the perfect alternative to exotic woods. However, this wood requires special care, including a moderate drying routine, because it cracks easily.

Characteristics of Acacia Wood

1. Tough and Water Resistant

Acacia wood is highly water-resistant and tough. That’s why it is normally used for heavy-use pieces that are constantly in contact with water. Studies have shown that acacia wood can last up to 40 years without any kind of treatment or protection. Also, it doesn’t get scratched easily.

2. Attractive Natural Grain

This wood comes in a deep brown color that has a naturally attractive grain. Also, acacia is naturally smooth and well-polished. Whether you polish it or not, this wood will look stunning. Therefore, it will give a warm, rich touch to your home or office.

3. Antibacterial

Unlike other types of wood, acacia is naturally antibacterial. This means that it can safely be used for preparing and serving food. So, if you are looking for the best piece of wood to use as your chopping board, acacia is the right choice.

5 Different Kinds of Acacia Wood

Acacia wood is a group of trees comprising more than 1,200 species of trees and shrubs, most of which are natives to Africa and Australia. However, some acacia trees can be found in some parts of Asia, Pacific Island, and North America. Here are some of the most popular types of acacia wood.

1. Acacia Koa

Also referred to as Hawaii Koa, this tree can grow up to 100ft tall. It is one of the most sought-after and expensive woods globally. This wood is also one of the toughest woods with a Janka hardness of about 1,790. Therefore, it’s even harder than maple.

Koa Acacia

Image source: Pinterest

Acacia koa features a coarse, wide-grained pattern that appears wavy. Sometimes this pattern turns at 90 degrees. Furthermore, this wood has beautiful reddish-brown, medium gold, and amber tones that resemble mahogany.

2. Acacia Melanoxylon

Acuminata

Image source: Pinterest

Also known as Australian Blackwood, the Acacia melanoxylon tree is native to southeastern Australia and Tasmania. It can grow up to 100ft tall. However, this wood is a less expensive alternative to acacia koa. Its color varies greatly with koa because it ranges from medium gold to reddish-brown.

Its growth ring is marked by contrasting rings of colors and wood panels made from it have ribbon-like streaks of color. This wood’s Janka hardness is about 1,160. Its grain can be either straight or curvy and forms several interlocking patterns. While this type of acacia tree can resist decay, it is susceptible to insect attack. Additionally, it should not be used outside without a sealant.

3. Acacia Acuminata

Acacia Acuminata

Image source: Pinterest

Acacia acuminata is largely found in Western Australia and it can grow up to 23ft tall. This type of acacia wood is also commonly referred to as the raspberry jam because it produces a strong raspberry jam fragrance when it’s freshly cut. Its core wood is reddish-brown while its sapwood is yellowish.

This wood has a Janka hardness of about 3,100, which makes it very hard. Its grain is fine and even. Its natural hardness and resistance against harsh elements make it perfect for producing fence posts, shades, and shelterbelts.

4. Acacia Auriculiformis

Acacia Auriculiformis

Image source: Pinterest

Also referred to as earpod wattle, acacia auriculiformis is commonly found in Australia, Indonesia, and Papua New Guinea. The tree can grow up to 95ft tall. Its core’s color ranges from light brown to dark red and is relatively durable.

This wood has a fine, straight grain with an attractive pattern. Acacia auriculiformis wood has a perfect finish and is commonly used in making chess pieces, handicrafts, toys, and carom. It can also be used to make furniture, joinery, handles for tools.

5. Acacia Mangium

Acacia Mangium

Image source: Pinterest

Also known as the Forest mangrove or black wattle, acacia mangium is mainly found in Northeastern Queensland, the Western Province of Papua, Papua, and Eastern Maluku islands. The tree can grow up to 98ft tall. Its core features a shimmery brownish-yellow tone and medium texture with a close-grain pattern.

Acacia mangium has a Janka hardness of 1,110, which makes it perfect for different home improvement projects. This wood is tough and highly resistant to warping and cracking.

Therefore, it is normally dried to make flooring materials, doors, windows, and different types of furniture. When polished, this wood becomes super smooth and sleek.

What Is Acacia Used For?

Due to its amazing properties and traits, Acacia wood can be used for many diverse purposes. Here are some of the common uses of acacia wood.

1. Furniture

Furniture

Image source: Pinterest

Apart from being naturally attractive, acacia wood is also highly resistant to water. It is also antimicrobial, which makes it the perfect wood to make furniture.

While other types of wood furniture need protection from moisture and warping due to the formation of fungus, acacia furniture handles regular moisture very well, even when it’s not treated or protected. Furthermore, acacia furniture is very smooth and attractive thanks to its unique grain and warm colors.

2. Flooring

Flooring

Image source: Pinterest

One of the reasons why most homeowners choose acacia wood for their flooring needs is because it is an affordable alternative to other flooring materials. Furthermore, this wood offers you the possibility of having a unique wood floor that will catch the eyes of every visitor. Also, acacia wood is highly durable and resistant to harsh elements, and therefore it will keep your floor looking new for many years.

3. Cutting Board

Cutting Board

Image source: Pinterest

Unlike other types of wood, acacia wood is genuine hardwood with natural oils that make it naturally resistant to water. This makes it perfect for making chopping boards. Moreover, acacia wood is naturally antibacterial and antimicrobial. Therefore, you can safely use it for preparing and serving your food. And because it is very hard, it won’t crack or break easily.

4. Home Decorations

Home Decorations

Image source: Pinterest

Most homeowners prefer décor elements that are made from acacia wood because they are durable, attractive, and do not require regular maintenance. Unlike other wooden pieces, acacia home décor pieces can retain their quality for many years without even being treated or protected.

Some of the common home decoration items that you can make from acacia wood include pinboards, picture frames, side tables, stools, chairs, game boards, among others.

5. Other Uses

Aside from making furniture and other items, acacia wood also produces a special type of gum that contains dietary fiber. This gum can easily dissolve in water and is a great pharmaceutical ingredient in medicines for treating throat and stomach inflammation. It can also be used in peel-off skin masks because of its film-forming properties.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Acacia Wood

wood

Undoubtedly, acacia wood is one of the most sought-after woods in the world today. This acceptance comes from its unique properties and abilities. But like any other type of wood, acacia has its benefits and shortcomings.

Advantages of Acacia Wood

1. Durable

Acacia wood is the hardest hardwood in the world. Therefore, it is naturally durable and resistant to harsh elements. In fact, this wood has been used by navies around the world to make ships because of its density and toughness. So, if you are looking for the best wood to make your outdoor furniture, acacia wood is the best choice.

2. Workable

Most of the varieties of acacia wood are highly pliable when they are freshly cut. This means that you can easily shape your acacia wood into different items. And when the items have been created, they become hard and durable. That’s why acacia wood is the ideal choice for outdoor fittings like benches, chairs, and buffets. It is also good for flooring.

3. Perfect for Long and Short Items

Whether you want to create a long bench or a short table, you are assured of finding the preferred size of acacia wood you need. Because some acacia trees can grow up to 100ft tall, you can get long or short cuts that match your desired items.

4. Sustainable

Since acacia is available in over 1,200 species, it is very easy to access acacia wood in different parts of the world. This also means that different species of acacia trees can grow in different parts of the world, this preventing the rarest species from extinction.

5. Scratch Resistant

Since acacia wood is naturally tough, it doesn’t get scratches easily. Therefore, you don’t have to worry about your expensive furniture getting scratched. And if by any chance the furniture is scratched, you can easily fix it with a simple touch-up.

6. Beautiful Grain Pattern

Acacia wood features varying patterns based on its quality, growing location, and cutting style. These patterns will help you to get the kind of décor style you want. Also, you are assured of getting the quality and durability you need.

7. Smooth Finish

Unlike other types of wood, acacia wood features a smooth finish that will give your furniture and doors a unique look. Furthermore, this wood doesn’t need a lot of polishing or treatment. Therefore, you are going to save a great deal of your money.

8. Low Maintenance

Maintaining pieces made from acacia wood is very easy because the wood doesn’t need extensive treatment and protection to retain its original quality. In fact, acacia wood can last up to 40 years without treatment or protection.

Disadvantages of Acacia Wood

1. Susceptible to Excess Heat

Acacia would only perform better in temperate conditions with a steady climate. Therefore, you should not put your acacia furniture near a source of heat because it can warp easily. This means that you can’t use it next to a heat vent, furnace, fireplace, or radiator.

2. Darkening Effect

When acacia wood is exposed to air and light, it loses its light color and begins to darken. To avoid this, you have to rotate your furniture periodically to make sure every corner of the furniture is exposed to the light and air equally. If you are used to placing hot dishes on your acacia furniture, soon you will start to notice the darkening effect beneath the object.

3. Defects and Variations

Acacia trees have numerous defects and variations like knots, which are not very common in other hardwood products. And because acacia trees can grow quite tall, their trunks tend to twist. Therefore, if the wood’s grain has various blemishes, it becomes difficult for you to accomplish what you hope to do with the wood.

4. Buckle and Crumble

Acacia wood requires special drying conditions because it can easily buckle or break if it’s not dried properly. Therefore, if you live in an area with very low humidity, you need to make sure that your acacia furniture doesn’t dry out or become brittle.

5. Scratches Against the Grain Are Difficult to Remove

Although acacia wood is scratch-resistant, sometimes it will get scratches that go against the grain. Unfortunately, these scratches are difficult to remove, even with an extensive touch-up. The only way you can get rid of these scratches is to redraw the grain marks, which is quite challenging.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Is Acacia Wood Real Wood?

Yes, acacia wood is a type of hardwood that mainly grows in Africa, Asia, Australia, America, and the Pacific Island. It is a natural wood that is used to make high-quality products like furniture, door, and floor.

2. How Durable is Acacia Wood?

Acacia wood is the hardest hardwood in the world with a Janka hardness of about 2,300 pounds of force. It’s even harder than the European White Oak and carbonized bamboo. Studies have shown that acacia wood can last up to 40 years without treatment or protection.

3. Is acacia wood good for furniture?

Yes, acacia wood is great for both indoor and outdoor furniture. It is particularly suitable for furniture that requires dense hardwood like dining tables and benches.

4. What’s the cost of acacia wood?

Although Acacia wood is the hardest hardwood, it is not the most expensive wood on the market. But it is not cheap either. Its price depends on its quality, age, species, and grain. Overall, an acacia dining table costs between $300 and $700.

5. How do you treat acacia wood?

Although acacia wood can last for decades without treatment, sometimes it is good to treat your acacia furniture with the right wood preservative. However, make sure to read the instructions on the preservative’s label before using it on your furniture. You should also retouch your acacia furniture once in a while with the right shine, restoring products to restore its gloss.

6. How do you care for your acacia furniture?

Acacia wood doesn’t require complex maintenance; you just need to clean it once in a while with soap and water. But if your acacia furniture is located near a swimming pool, it should be cleaned routinely to minimize the effect of chlorine-rich water from the pool.

7. Where and how do you buy acacia wood?

Although acacia wood is native to Australia, it can be found in Africa, Europe, Asia, and North and South America. If it is not readily available in your local furniture store, you can import it from these countries.

In Summary

If you are planning to invest your money in acacia wood, this information will give you a clear picture of what to expect. By understanding the advantages and disadvantages of acacia wood, you will be in a better position to make an informed decision when making a purchase.


Featured image source: Pinterest

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on pinterest
Share on email
Share on print
Scroll to Top