Balau Wood Pros and Cons

Choosing the perfect species of wood for the project is challenging. Because no wood is perfect, every species has some flaws. It is essential to know the cons of wood before using it. Here we will talk about some pros and cons of Balau.

What is Balau wood? 

Balau wood is hard, dense, and strong, mainly used for plywood, flooring, and heavy construction. It is native to the Philippines, Malaysia, Thailand, and Indonesia. 

Balau wood has a distinctive grain pattern and ranges from dark brown to light brown with darker stripes. Wood has large open pores with interlocked grains.

The Balau tree grows in the tropical rainforest. It can live up to 400 years and grow up to 50 meters tall.

Balau wood Pros 

Affordable and Widely Available

Balau is a cheap and widely available hardwood. It is a medium-growing wood, but the tree’s growth rate depends on the species of Balau.


Balau is a Sustainable wood. It is not listed in the CITES Appendices. Due to the heavy harvesting of some Shorea species, few species are listed in the IUCN Red List.

Dents and scratch proof

Balau Wood is extremely hard. Therefore, it is less prone to scratches and dents. Hence it is suitable for flooring and decking. Its Janka hardness value is 1,600 bf (7,120 N).

Balau wood Cros

Hard to work 

Balau wood is not easy to work with because it is hard and heavy. The interlocking and irregular grain create blunting effect on tools. Due to the presence of silica, it is harmful to cutting tools.


Common problems like eye, throat, and skin irritation can occur while working with Bala wood. So be careful while working.

Not Durable 

Balau wood is not highly double and also susceptible to insect attack. That’s why Balau required more care and maintenance for outdoor use.

Prone to Crack or Warp 

Balau wood is preferred for decking but is highly prone to cracks and wrap if not properly dried before use. It is necessary to dry it properly to make wood durable and crack-proof. Kiln drying or air drying is an essential process. 

Required Regular Maintenance

Balau Wood needs regular maintenance, especially when you are using it for decking. Due to continuous exposure to sunlight, it is more prone to cracks and discoloration.