Acacia wood is derived from the Australian-native Acacia trees and shrubs, which are now also found in Asia, the Pacific Islands, Africa and parts of the Americas.
There are over a thousand different varieties of the tree and they come in all shapes and sizes depending on the environment they grow in.
Among all of them, two types of wood stand out. The first one is known as black acacia (Acacia Melanoxylon) and native to Oceania, although it really is not entirely black.
The second one is known as the “false acacia” ( Robinia Pseudoacacia ), whose origin is mainly in North America, although it is normal to find it in temperate climates.
The hardwood that is derived from the tree is suitable for building long-lasting items of furniture and homewares.
The ones in Australia, for example, have thorns and are often referred to as “thorntree,” “whistling thorn,” or “wattle.”
1. Is acacia wood a good quality wood?
Acacia wood is an extremely sought after hardwood, used not only for making furniture items but also for a variety of kitchenware such as trays, serving platters, chopping boards etc.
The deep rich hues and lovely patterns make this wood look gorgeous, but it also has some incredible qualities making acacia one of the best woods in the present market.
Acacia has a naturally fine texture (also considered a smooth finish). It’s also highly scratch resistant in comparison to other hardwoods.
The grain can vary between straight and wavy patterns, and the color can range from a light amber to a dark mahogany. No two acacia slabs are alike.
Those characteristics rank it among the best woods you can use for your indoor or outdoor projects.
2. What is so special about acacia wood?
The majority of acacia wood used to build furniture is cultivated in India where they’ve been using it for hundreds of years to build houses, tools and furniture.
The wood is very hard, durable and it’s considered one of the fastest growing trees in the world, making it a more sustainable source of wood for building furniture.
Acacia wood is naturally smooth, and even more so when polished. Typically warm in tone, it usually displays quite a distinctive and beautiful natural wood grain.
Acacia looks simply stunning whether polished, varnished or natural. and it is both highly durable and water-resistant – ideal for heavy-use items that are in frequent contact with liquids.
Even if acacia wood isn’t treated or protected, it can last up to 40 years. It is deep brown in color with an attractive natural grain, giving a warm touch.
Acacia’s durability means it isn’t scratched easily, too, while its water-resistant properties means it won’t warp readily and is highly resistant to fungus.
Like many types of wood, acacia is naturally antibacterial, and is therefore safe to use for preparing or serving food.
Acacia wood has an unusual property known as chatoyancy – it appears to change color and luster in different lighting conditions.
In biblical times Acacia wood was used for bows and boats because of its impermeable strength. The Acacia tree is commonly referred to as “The Rain Tree”. That’s because when it rains, or night comes, the leaves of the tree fold up and allow the rain to fall through the tree, keeping the grass below green.
3. Is acacia wood durable?
Acacia wood is naturally rot-resistant and insect resistant. If you are searching wood for durable furniture and flooring then acacia can be a better choice.
The Janka Hardness rating for Acacia is 2300 pounds of force. It is 55% harder than European White Oak, 23% harder than hickory, and 90% harder than carbonized bamboo.
Its density is measured to be 62lbs/cubic foot. In comparison, natural marble is 80lbs/cubic foot. Its durability is clearly out of discussion.
4. Does acacia wood last outdoors?
Acacia is an extremely dense and durable wood that’s hard to damage. It’s also weather resistant and doesn’t absorb much moisture which makes it a great wood for outdoor furniture.
It has a really nice natural coloring and grain that doesn’t need stain or paint to dress up. Acacia wood is also rich in natural oils that help prevent rot.
As it ages, acacia turns a beautiful gray, looking similar to Ipe. Acacia wood is heavy which makes sturdy furniture that doesn’t need additional reinforcement. It’s very resistant to termites.
Acacia wood is so durable that you rarely need to worry about your outdoor patio furniture scratching when you come into contact with the items.
Even if there is a severe issue, a little wood filler and a new lacquer finish will usually create a stunning new surface to use.
Acacia is not only easy to work with, but it also hardens well after it is dried. You can easily shape it into different items.
This property allows us to craft them into beautiful acacia wood benches, dining tables and side tables without having to compromise the high quality of our furniture.
These qualities also make it possible to use acacia wood for flooring. Its workability prior to drying is commendable and allows us to craft some beautiful life edge pieces.
Uses For Acacia Wood
Acacia is the best alternative to the more expensive teak wood. There are several uses for the acacia wood, as a result demand tends to be very strong.
The high demand of acacia wood allows the suppliers to keep the price low, so you will always be able to buy acacia products in an affordable range.
Acacia wood has several uses:
Outdoor and indoor furniture
Apart from being naturally attractive, acacia wood is also 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 due to the formation of fungus, acacia furniture handles regular moisture very well, even when it’s not treated.
Furthermore, acacia furniture is very smooth and attractive thanks to its unique grain and warm colors
You don’t become the preferred building material of the British Royal Navy without possessing some serious durability.
Compared to other types of wood that are commonly used in furniture, acacia beats out popular choices like oak, hickory, and bamboo, with a density that measures closer to marble.
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
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.
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.
Read also: Can You Paint Over Stained Wood
Caring For Acacia Wood
Acacia wood can be used for virtually any kind of indoor and outdoor elements. That’s why there are different way to take care of your acacia wood.
Avoid exposing the wood to alcohol, deodorants, perfumes, nail varnishes and similar liquids. If spillage occurs, wipe immediately with a dry cloth.
These liquids will pull moisture from wood when left, causing cracking. Alcohol such as red wine would also stain the wood.
How To Care For Acacia Wood Tableware
Hand wash in warm soapy water immediately after use. Rinse with warm running water. Then dry with a soft cloth or dish rack to air-dry.
To enhance the natural beauty of the wood, condition with mineral oil after each cleaning. Store your tableware in a cool, dry location when it’s not in use.
Do not leave soaking in water or exposed to heat and it’s not suitable for use in the microwave or dishwasher.
How To Care For Acacia Wood Furniture
Avoid placing your acacia wood furniture in direct sunlight. If using outside, keep your furniture under an umbrella or in a shaded area.
Clean spills with a soft cloth and warm, soapy water. Dry with a second cloth or air-dry. Condition your furniture with wax or wood preservative immediately after cleaning.
Keep your furniture alive and periodically apply additional wood preservatives in order to protect it.
Due to Acacia’s natural scratch resistance, you don’t need to worry too much about scratching. If a scratch does appear, use a touch-up marker to conceal the scratch.
Be sure to test the marker on an unseen part of the table, such as the underside, to ensure that the marker matches the finish.
How to Clean Acacia Wood Flooring
Regularly sweep your hardwood floor with a soft-bristle or swivel-headed broom with a microfiber cloth, such as a Swiffer.
Avoid using a vacuum to reduce the risk of scratching the surface of the hardwood. Use only hardwood flooring cleaners, and follow the manufacturer’s directions.
Some cleaners can be applied directly to the floor, while others should not. Do not use any wax-based or ammonia-based cleaning products.
Do not wet-mop your acacia wood flooring. Even though it is water-resistant, frequent water contact will damage the floor over time.
Instead of an old fashioned wet mop, use a spray mop that is specifically made for hardwood floors.
Read also: Is it ok to use Polyurethane on Acacia Wood?
Advantages Of Acacia Wood
Acacia wood has several pros that makes it a great choice for indoor and outdoor use.
Acacia wood is the hardest hardwood in the world. Therefore, it is naturally durable and resistant to harsh elements
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 and flooring.
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.
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, thus preventing the rarest species from extinction.
Read also: Best Wood for Knife Handles
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.
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.
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.
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.
Acacia wood has several cons that you must consider in order to have a better vision of the whole.
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.
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.
Defects And Variations
Acacia trees have numerous defects 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.
Buckle And Crumble
Acacia wood requires special drying conditions because it can easily buckle or break if it’s not dried properly.
Acacia wood tends to crack when exposed to hot conditions. The main reason is that heat breaks down the otherwise very strong acacia fibers, causing the wood to become brittle.
Brittle wood cracks very easily under heat. However, you can minimize the risk of cracks by keeping your acacia wood products away from direct sunlight and other heat sources.
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.
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.
How Long-Lasting is Acacia Wood
Acacia wood is reasonably strong and hard so it can withstand normal daily wear commonly associated with outdoor furniture.
This includes bumps, gouges, scratches, exposure to moisture, and the likes. The wood also happens to be very dense which makes it an ideal choice for constructing heavy-use furniture.
If well maintained, the furniture can last for decades, sometimes even up to 40 years without any problems whatsoever.
The pros and cons of Acacia wood outdoor patio furniture give you an affordable option that allows you to take advantage of the beauty of this product.
It is a sustainable, eco-friendly way to add value to your backyard, deck, or entertainment area without requiring changes to your routine.
You’ll need to care for the items daily to achieve the best results, but it is an investment of time and money that is definitely worth considering.