Difference Between Rubber Wood and Hardwood

Main Difference

The main difference between rubberwood and hardwood is that the rubberwood is a type of hardwood that comes from the rubber tree and hardwood is the wood that comes from an angiosperm tree. It is a type of tree that has seeds that are enclosed, be it in pods, a shell, a covering or in fruit.

Rubber Wood vs. Hardwood

Wood is mainly classified into two categories. These two categories are hardwood and softwood. Rubberwood is the wood that comes from the rubber tree, specifically the Pará rubber tree. It is a type of hardwood. Hardwood is the wood which comes from an angiosperm tree. It is a type of tree that has seeds that are enclosed in shells, pods, covering or in fruit. Rubberwood is softer and less dense wood. However, it is not true in all cases. For example, the balsa wood is soft, light, and less dense than most of the other woods, but is classified as a hardwood. The classification of the wood is not done based on weight or density. It is done based on plant reproduction. Rubberwood comes from the Pará rubber tree. Hardwood comes from an angiosperm tree. It is a type of tree that has enclosed seeds in pods, a shell, a covering or in fruit. For example, nuts or apples and seeds like acorns and walnuts. The common applications of the rubberwood include toys, furniture, and kitchen accessories. The common applications of hardwoods are tools, fuel, construction, boat building, musical instruments, cooking, barrels, flooring, manufacture of charcoal, etc. The most used hardwoods for furniture are oak, ash, acacia, mango, and mahogany. Rubberwood is a light, low-cost, tropical hardwood timber. Hardwood trees are slower to grow. It makes the hardwood more expensive.

Comparison Chart

Rubber WoodHardwood
A type of hardwood which comes from the rubber treeA type of wood that comes from an angiosperm tree
Rate
Less expensiveMore expensive
Texture
Light, less denseHard, denser
Applications
Toys, furniture, kitchen accessories, etcConstruction, boat building, musical instruments, etc

What is Rubber Wood?

Rubberwood is that wood that derives from a rubber tree. The rubber tree is getting its name from the milky latex it exudes when cut. This latex is used in making rubber. Initially, rubberwood is whitish lumber that fades to a light brown over time. It is a medium-textured, moderately hard, straight-grained wood which is approximately the same density as ash and maple hardwood. Rubberwood is not resistant to weather. It is not suitable for outdoor furniture. However, it is made into cutting boards, toys, and shelves of home. Rubberwood is a light, low-cost, tropical hardwood timber. It is comparable to teak in many aspects. Rubberwood is best for a wide array of woodworking and timber projects. It is becoming one of the most important export timbers of many Southeast Asian countries. Rubber trees are the plantation-grown trees. Rubber latex is harvested from all trees 5 to 30 years old annually. The latex extraction of rubberwood continues until its production. In most cases, this occurs approximately after the 30 years of tree planting. Rubberwood is an agricultural byproduct because the primary agricultural harvest is latex. The timber of rubberwood is considered environmental friendly than many other hardwoods. Due to its name, one expects the wood of rubber tree to be soft and springy like rubber. But it is essentially a hardwood. It means that the Pará rubber tree is an angiosperm.

Features

  • Dense grain
  • Easily controlled in the kiln drying process
  • Easily manageable in the kitchen
  • Not suitable for outdoor usage
  • Recycled wood
  • Eco-friendly.

What is Hardwood?

Hardwood is a taxonomic tree classification. Hardwoods tend to produce strong wood. However, some softwoods also produce even stronger wood. Hardwood comes from the angiosperm tree. It is a type of tree with enclosed seeds in pods, shell, covering or in fruit. For example, nuts, apples, and seeds like acorns and walnuts. Most hardwood trees are deciduous. A deciduous tree is a tree which loses its leaves annually. In terms of growth, hardwood trees are slower to grow, taking their own time. That is the reason that most hardwood is dense. It is also the reason for hardwood to be expensive. Hardwood not necessarily implies superior hardness, density or quality of wood produced. The individual species of hardwoods vary considerably in terms of their strength, density, color, and texture. The common applications of hardwoods are tools, fuel, construction, boat building, musical instruments, cooking, barrels, flooring, manufacture of charcoal, etc. The most used hardwoods for furniture are oak, ash, acacia, mango, and mahogany. Furniture made with the hardwood is long-lasting and durable. Hence, hardwoods are generally accepted as the highest quality wood. However, most hardwoods have a high density. So they have a high tendency of splitting, and the carpenter has to take extra care while making a piece of furniture. Still, the hardwood is preferred in many ways. The maple and elm are often used for flooring, and balsa is preferred for models and lightweight wood projects. Some famous hardwoods include maple, balsa, oak, elm, mahogany, and sycamore.

Key Differences

  1. Rubberwood comes from the rubber tree, specifically the Pará rubber tree whereas hardwood comes from an angiosperm tree. It is a type of tree that has seeds that are enclosed in shells, pods, covering or in fruit.
  2. The common applications of the rubberwood include toys, furniture, and kitchen accessories while the common applications of hardwoods are tools, fuel, construction, boat building, musical instruments, cooking, barrels, flooring, manufacture of charcoal, etc.
  3. Rubberwood is mostly the softer and less dense wood; on the other hand; hardwood is denser and harder wood.
  4. Rubberwood is a light, low-cost, and tropical hardwood timber on the flip side hardwood is the dense, high quality, and expensive wood.
Aimie Carlson

Aimie Carlson is an English language enthusiast who loves writing and has a master degree in English literature. Follow her on Twitter at @AimieCarlson

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