In interior design and architecture, several factors are to be considered during the development of an infrastructure, its interior, as well as the buying or assembling of the furniture that goes it.
Apart from the design, the most vital aspect of architecture and even in interior design is the material used for the building or the furniture. Several types of wood are used to build furniture and houses, and one of the least known is parawood. For any woodworking enthusiast, amateur or professional, it is important to know the answer to this question – what is parawood. Read on!
WHAT IS PARAWOOD?
Parawood, also known as rubberwood with a scientific name Hevea, can be found mostly in Malaysia, Indonesia, and Central America and is the product of the rubber tree. Its other names include plantation wood, Malaysian oak, and white teak.
The main purpose of rubber trees is to produce latex, which is the main chemical component of rubber. However, at an average of thirty years, rubber trees can no longer produce the same amount of latex required for commercial purposes. At that point, rubber trees are then used for their wood for making home furniture and floor tiles.
Due to its name and parent plant, parawood is less patronized in some countries like Europe. Because of rubber trees being flexible, some people get the misconception of parawood being soft, less durable, of low quality, and unsafe. However, the physical composition of parawood tells that its density is like ash and birch wood. Between softwood and hardwood, parawood is classified on the latter type.
On a commercial mindset, parawood is more profitable compared to other types of wood for furniture making and interior design. Unlike other woods, parawood does not shrink as much during kiln drying, leaving more material for production. It is also for commercial purposes that parawood is the term used to replace rubberwood to shun the misconceptions on the material once out in the market.
OTHER ADVANTAGES OF PARAWOOD
Apart from the quality, parawood has other advantages. This material is suitable for floorings and furniture at home for children and the aged.
SOFT ON THE FOOT
Although belonging to the hardwood type, parawood is soft on the foot when used as a floor tile. This creates a relaxing sensation at home especially after a long day and needs to get a rest.
Because of its softness, parawood is shock absorbent as well. Due to this trait, parawood is best in children and people with disabilities room. It is also recommended in sports venues to lessen the impact on the body should a person fall and avoid injuries.
Another of parawood’s most recognizable traits is its proof from burns and fire. Cigarette burns don’t leave marks, and in the case of fire, parawood does not release toxic gases.
Being said, this material is of low maintenance. It is also being sold at a low price in the market despite its high quality. If you are an architect, an interior designer, someone who is planning to renovate or redecorate their homes on a budget or simply a DIY woodworker, using parawood is a great option.
Parawood has a smooth finish which lessens the job of lumber sellers to furnish the wood. This can be slippery when used as a floor tile even without a floor polish in use. Wipe off any spill right away to avoid accidents.
Others would comment that parawood has a dull impression, but with proper design, furniture assembled using parawood can still be used in elegant settings. The proper painting of furniture made of parawood is as follows:
- Smoothen the furniture first with 180-grit sandpaper.
- Apply and properly dry wood fillers if necessary and smoothen it again with the sandpaper
- . Paint the furniture. Top it off with clear coat paint three times for a smoother and brighter finish.
Apart from parawood’s quality and low maintenance, this wood is considered as the eco-friendliest among other woods used for making furniture. Unlike other trees, rubber trees grow faster and can faster replace the ones that have been cut down.
Other trees used for furniture-making take a longer time to grow, and it has a negative impact on the environment as well as the profit-making scheme of lumber sellers.
DISADVANTAGES OF PARAWOOD
Although parawood can be profitable for lumber sellers and budget-friendly for designers and homeowners alike, the material still has its own share of cons. Parawood does not blend well with chemicals. Chemicals such as cleaning detergents can leave stains on the wood. It is also not advisable to spill water or mop on parawood floors as it is prone to mosses and insects when not properly dried.
One of the characteristics of parawood is that it is a low-maintenance material. If you have floor tiles made of this wood, you only need to clean your floors with soap just once a year. This is also to avoid too much moisture in the wood and keep insects and fungus at bay.
You can still use furniture wax should you wish to clean and keep the brightness of the material. Avoid exposing parawood to direct heat to avoid discoloration and stains such as direct sunlight and hot pans. It is advisable to use mats to avoid direct contact of hot pans into the wood. Spills should be wiped off immediately as well.
CONCLUSION – A GREAT OPTION FOR WOODWORKING
So, what is parawood? You know it in detail now. It is one of the least popular materials used for making furniture and infrastructures. Most likely because of the misconception brought about by the name of its parent tree, but this material is both beneficial to both lumber sellers and consumers.
It is denser, of high quality, low maintenance, and user-friendly. This is perfect for floor tiles in different settings such as homes and sports venues. Although the material still has its own share of disadvantages, there are solutions open to prevent the discoloration and maintain parawood’s quality.
In choosing the kind of wood you would use in making furniture or designing your home, what else should you consider? Always keep in mind that your quality, budget, comfort, and eco-friendliness can come all together, and using parawood for your home and interior designing can fulfill the considerations above.