Merbau Flooring - know your species.

November 11, 2013

Merbau (botanical name: Intsja bijuga) is a native tree species from  the Malaysian Peninsula, Sumatra, Borneo and part of West Java and therefore grows under influence of three natural zones – Asian, Australian and Polynesian. In this favourable climate, the trees grow to up to 40m high, with a trunk diameter of 100cm.

It is one of the most common exotic species (in addition to Asian teak) in Europe and America imported form Suth-Eastern Asia. Due to its hardness (it is 30 % harder than an oak) is also known as Moluccan iron-wood (from Maluccan Islands).

Merbau wood is used in manufacture of stairs, musical instruments, packaging and port construction: decks and other items that come into contact with water. In addition, its bark and leaves are used in medicine .

One of the advantages of Merbau over the European wood species, in addition to the extraordinary strength, is also its naturally resistance to fungi and insects. For this reason, Merbau wood is commonly  used in the rail, on water  construction  and in chemical industry.


Apart from it’s noble dark brown-red colour, one of the most known characteristic mark of initially finished Merbau wood are golden-yellow bursts of mineral salts on the surface (mineral deposits), which make the timber appear to be finely interspersed with golden threads. These flecks will become more subtle over time. Additionally, Merbau is exceptionally stable adding to its reputation as an ideal species for wood flooring.

Because it is exceptionally stable when it comes to humidity it is perfect spicies for wood flooring used in both indoor public places and  private homes (particularly kitchens and bathrooms). Merbau is also excellent in locations such terraces and gardens .

Merbau is a perfect exotic wood floor species for a number of reasons. It is a great alternative to Brazilian Cherry, which has become harder to acquire nowadays, not to mention somewhat expensive, but it has all of the properties you look for in a wood floor;  hardness, eye catching colour and outstanding stability.

In wooden flooring industry for many years Merbau has been one of the most popular choice considering its noble dark brown colour. UK climate is characterized by periodic variations in humidity and temperature. Merbau wood is very dimensionally stable and despite the passage of years has not get dry as less stable species, so that is increasingly used in interior finishing.

The durability makes Merbau a perfect choice for locations with low and moderate foot traffic. It can be used in commercial settings, but there are other hardwoods that are better suited for heavier use. Merbau can be combined with almost any choice of furnishings, although it may fit more naturally with interior that has a stylish and traditional feel. Merbau, as with most wooden flooring should not be installed in places that will be exposed to standing water or excessive moisture.

When it comes to the maintenance of Merbau floors any areas that are going to receive high foot traffic should be protected with carpets and rugs. This will mitigate potential damage caused by shoes, especially high heels. Protective pads should be placed under all furniture pieces around the property in order to prevent the them from causing dents and scratches in the flooring over time. Also regular cleaning schedule should be established. Regular vacuuming or sweeping can help in removing sand particulars and debris brought  home under the shoes of people entering it. Any spillage on the floor should be quickly wiped up and dried in order not to damage the finish.

ESB Sales Team members will  advise you about wooden floors available in our showroom. You can contact us or visit our North London Showroom if you require more information and advice.

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