Insia Bijuga, most commonly known as Merbau, is grown largely in areas of South East Asia, Papua New Guinea, the Pacific Islands, and the northern regions of Queensland. The large flowering tree also has a few regional names including: Moluccan Ironwood, Kwila, Johnston River Teak, Borneo teak, and Vesi.
The Merbau species is known to grow up to 50 metres tall with a 60cm wide highly buttressed trunk. The tree itself is bushy and will more often than not form a spreading canopy.
When cut, the heartwood ages from a yellow-orange, brown hue to a deep reddish-brown. The sapwood is a white, pale yellow or buff tone.
As with any timber, it is important to only purchase from suppliers that offer Merbau from sustainable forests. The Merbau tree is considered a vulnerable species. At Back to Timber, our Merbau flooring is grown sustainably.
While the grain in Merbau timber can vary, it is commonly interlocked or wavy with a coarse and even texture. It is known for its attractive orange-golden-brown colour which can be lightened or darkened with oils should you wish. It holds colour well, and its appearance is thought to improve with age.
This hardwood can last upwards of 50 years once installed. The main reason why Merbau timber is chosen is for its unique beauty and resilience compared with other timber options, as well as its high resistance to termites and weathering. Being such a solid material, it is one of only seven timbers that are regarded as suitable to use in bushfire-prone areas around Australia.
Merbau wood has many applications and is used externally in engineering, construction, and marine applications as well as in backyards as decking and outdoor furniture. Internally it is most commonly used for joinery, stairs, rails and balustrades, windows, and flooring. When used for outdoor applications such as decking, Merbau has a relatively low expansion and shrinkage rate. Another advantage of using Merbau timber internally and externally is that due to its natural oils, it is quite resistant to shrinking, cracking, and splitting which is one of the reasons it is so durable.
Merbau in Flooring
Merbau flooring offers a durable and versatile property to any home. This hard-wearing flooring option not only offers resistance but an unmatchable texture, that will complete any home. Merbau flooring is available in several stains, lengths, widths, and thicknesses, making it readily available for any flooring design. Merbau easily takes on oils and stains with no bleeding, providing that it is properly applied, sealed, and maintained.
Merbau flooring is popular for its rich tones and durable nature. It is easy to maintain and care for. It is recommended to clean Merbau flooring with a dust mop, soft-bristled broom, vacuum cleaner, or a wood floor mop kit. Never use a wet mop or a steam mop as excess water can seep between the boards and cause damage. It is not recommended to use wax, oil, soap, or any abrasive cleaners on Merbau flooring to maintain optimum quality.
At Back To Timber, we offer a variety of merbau timber flooring options. Check out some of our favourites below.
If you have questions about these products or any other flooring products, please contact our friendly team. We’d love to hear from you!