Rubberwood, also called parawood or plantation hardwood, is a product of the rubber tree which is grown as a source of natural rubber in countries such as Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand and Brazil. Rubberwood is one of the most environmentally friendly wood species in the world because most of these trees are grown in renewable rubber plantations. When the trees stop producing latex sap which is the raw material for the world’s rubber, they are cut down for workable hard wood lumber, and new rubber trees are then planted to replace them. This qualifies plantation grown rubberwood as a sustainable forest product. The result is a durable, attractive, exotic hardwood for making all kinds of furniture, including kid’s furniture.
Rubberwood is a distant cousin to our domestic maple from which much of our finest hardwood kid’s toys and furniture are made. While rubberwood is technically a hard wood, it should be considered a moderately hard wood that is softer than maple, oak, and birch, and more comparable in hardness to black cherry, ash and teak. Like all other hardwood, rubberwood has greater density and durability than softwood like pine and fir.
The first piece of rubberwood furniture my wife and I purchased was a dinning room table and chairs made in Malaysia that we bought when our children were quite young, about 20 years ago. This rubberwood product has served us well all the years our kids were growing up in our home and still looks as lovely today as the day we first brought it home from the store. We fully anticipate using this same furniture set in retirement and eventually passing it on to one of our children. The only problem with our rubberwood furniture will be deciding which one of the kids will be the lucky one to receive it. Kid’s furniture made from rubberwood is of quality material that allows a keepsake item to be passed down for generations.
Cleaning and caring for rubberwood furniture is not any different for furniture made of other hardwood material. Here are a few tips for helping your furniture look good for many years. Keep rubberwood furniture dry and wipe up spills immediately. Avoid leaving your furniture in the path of humidifiers, cooling and heating vents, and direct sunlight for long periods. Use coasters, hot pads and pot holders instead of placing wet or hot items directly on your furniture. These steps will help preserve the integrity of your furniture finish which in turn protects the beauty of your rubberwood product.