Is Rubberwood Considered a Good Wood to use for Furniture?
Rubberwood is not rubbery. It is about the same density as ash or maple but is easier to work with.
The lumber has a dense, coarse grain which makes it unsuitable for use in “fine furniture,” but it is strong and cheap which makes it ideal for lower priced imported products.
Rubberwood is more often found in smaller furniture items than in large case goods.
China is the largest source of rubberwood furniture. The wood itself is grown primarily in Malaysia, Thailand and other tropical Southeast Asian regions
Rubberwood actually does come from rubber trees. After latex production declines (about 30 years) the trees are harvested and the plantations are replanted.
Since the old rubber trees used to be burned, but are now recycled as furniture, rubberwood lumber is sometimes promoted as being eco-friendly.
On the other hand, rubberwood is highly susceptible to fungus and insect infestations.
Soon after sawing it is immersed in caustic anti-fungal insecticides (which are definitely not eco-friendly.) This is followed by kiln-drying which diffuses the chemicals and controls moisture content.