Commonly asked questions about Meranti Wood
Is Meranti a hardwood or a softwood? Meranti is a hardwood. It is the same for; is Meranti hardwood or softwood? - Meranti is a hardwood.
Most groups/families of species share the same characteristics but this normally relates to their life as plants. Individual species do not always share the same characteristics as their relatives, in terms of the wood. Many factors influence how we use the wood and what we use it for, including where it grows, how it is forested, how it seasons/dries, etc. The answers to the following common questions, therefore relate to this particular species/wood and not the Meranti family as a whole. Even more specific – our answers relate to the wood (as we know it) in its form as a useable resource.
What colour is Meranti? Meranti can be described as brown, pink/pale red, red
Is Meranti good for outdoor use? or is Meranti good for exterior use? Meranti is most suited for exterior/external use. Meranti can be used as an exterior/external timber (without treatment).
Whether the wood is naturally durable or not we would still recommend that it is decorated and/or coated with a suitable product to provide protection and/or maintain its appearance. This even applies when using the wood internally as, even subtle, changes in temperature or humidity will affect the wood. This will depend on the application/purpose of the wood and the user’s desired appearance.
We also recommend that a recoating, care and maintenance programme is adhered to, for the life of an exterior wood. Wood cannot rot if it is kept dry – coatings and decoration can provide this protection. All of that said there are many durable timbers that are often left to weather naturally and will last for many years untreated/coated – movement and visual changes will occur but this is sometimes the desired effect.
All wood is hygroscopic (it 'wants' to be in tune with its environment) it will therefore take on water from moisture in the air (or when directly exposed to or submerged in water) and ‘release it’ when dry or exposed to heat. This, inevitably, results in movement and dimensional change.
Read more about Dark Red Meranti