Last updated on June 10, 2021
Similarities of Acacia and Teak
Unprocessed timber from Acacia vs Teak looks very similar. Both are hardwood species and both are durable lumber making for some long-lasting furniture. As such, especially to the untrained eye, distinguishing between the two can be hard.
The scores of Acacia wood vs Teak on the Janka Hardness Scale are also rather close and Teak’s sapwood is sometimes confused with one of Acacia’s color variations, specifically those in the shade of amber.
What is Acacia wood?
The Acacia is a bulky hardwood that thrives in most temperate regions. The bushy tree grows all across the Indian subcontinent and African regions that have exceptionally arid climates. While Acacia has over a thousand species worldwide, the bulk of commercially processed Acacia wood comes from either Australian blackwood or Hawaiian koa.
Timber from Acacia is very dense, with either straight or wavy grain patterns that make it easy to tell the difference from other woods. Raw Acacia wood has an interesting smell similar to urine.
What is Teak wood?
The Teak is a deciduous hardwood that originated from Burma (now Myanmar) and predominantly grows in southeast Asia. Slow to grow, it takes Teak around 80 years to fully mature and the indigent and regulated population of the tree makes it rare and hard to acquire.
Teak wood is close-grained and is high in minerals and natural oil, making it extremely durable, aesthetic, and practically impervious to all weather conditions like rotting, and pest infestation. Considered as luxury hardwood, Teak can feel and smell more like leather than other woods.
Which is more aesthetically pleasing?
Acacia wood is naturally smooth and has distinctive grain patterns that make it easily distinguishable from other wood. The grain can either be straight, curved, or wavy and has many variations.
Acacia sapwood is light and takes on a more amber hue, while its heartwood is mainly reddish-brown whose tint does not fade with time. Acacia, since it accepts stains well, requires at least a top-coat finish for maximum visual appeal.
Teak has a slightly uneven texture and a low to moderate natural luster. Raw teak has a slightly oily feel due to the high amount of natural oils present in Teak. The consistency of Teak wood makes it feel almost like leather.
Teak has mostly single, straight grain patterns which can be interlocked with a few variations. The more subtle shades and hues of Teak give it a very regal appearance, sporting colors closer to a honey brown and tawny gold.
Acacia timber is aesthetically superior. While both are visually appealing in their own right, Acacia, though looks dull and dry without finish, has outstanding color and grain pattern variation.
Which one is stronger?
Let’s compare teak vs acacia in terms of strength. Both are hardwood with exceptional levels of strength and hardness. Acacia and Teak are neck-and-neck when it comes to manufacturing durable furniture since timber processed from both trees is extremely dense and heavy.
Here’s what you should know more about the durability of acacia wood vs teak wood:
On the Janka Scale (measures wood density), Acacia’s have a rating that ranges from 1,120 to 4,270. This is due to the number of variations of Acacia. Teak, on the other hand, measures a consistent 2,230 for all planks, translating to an excellent rating based on the Janka Scale.
Acacia easily handles heavy loads, while Teak is very compact, making it extremely rigid. Not to mention, Teak’s natural oils make it water-resistant and grant it added tolerance to all weather conditions, as well as ward off pests.
Teak is generally stronger. The natural minerals and oils present in Teak wood make it more durable and tolerant to a variety of conditions that would otherwise compromise wood. Teak outlives Acacia and can reach up to 100 years – the older the tree, the denser it’s wood.
Which one is better for indoor and outdoor use?
Acacia is more suited for indoor use. Besides being easier to source, making it a viable material for numerous home-interior improvement projects, Acacia’s vulnerability to water doesn’t really make it a candidate for a lawn chair or garden table.
Furthermore, having to stain or paint Acacia is more in line with keeping it inside where its color better accentuates or contrasts the colors of other interior elements.
Teak doesn’t require a finish and its and other weather conditions make it perfect for outdoor use. You won’t have to worry about applying a protective coating since the natural oils already give it shielding from the elements.
You also have to do less maintenance on Teak furniture since the wood is invulnerable to wood rot and termites.
Which one is easire to work with for carpenters and woodworkers?
Acacia is affordable and relatively easy to acquire. It also has a higher variety in terms of grain, color, and lumber density, making it a good choice for those who are after material versatility.
Acacia wood is surprisingly workable and is ideal for making all kinds of indoor wood projects.
Teak has very limited stock now and is vastly more expensive as a result. It has fewer variations when it comes to grain pattern and color selection, but does not require a top coat and is naturally resistant to weather.
Teak is less likely to shear, warp, and crack, but its superior strength also means that it’s a harder wood to work with.
If you don’t mind the smell emitted by Acacia when cut, it’s definitely the easier one to work with. The higher variety of Acacia also means that you also have more options to consider. It’s also pretty common, making acquisition convenient and cheap.
Which one is better for carving and sculpting?
White Acacia is exceptionally workable and is a choice material for woodturning and shaping.
Generally, it is easier to work with, Acacia wood is perfect for handicrafts and miniatures and holds carving detail well.
Teak is very hard and while it can take on very fine detail if carved or sculpted, the silica content in the wood quickly dulls even the sharpest of chisel edges.
Though workable, carving or sculpting on Teak requires special edges, mostly those made of carbide, and carvers with above-average woodworking skills.
After comparing acacia hardwood vs teak, acacia is generally the better choice for carving and more friendly to different woodworking chisel blades. It’s easy to get and equally so to work on, cutting back on both effort and expense.
The sheer variety and flexibility of Acacia also allow you to layout and produce several unique designs and pieces.
Which is better in terms of sustainability and availability?
Acacia is generally the better choice. It’s easy to get and equally so to work on, cutting back on both effort and expense.
The sheer variety and flexibility of Acacia also allow you to layout and produce several unique designs and pieces.
The Teak, Tectona Grandis, is a very dense tropical hardwood that’s native to southeast Asia. These trees take around 80 – 120 years to fully mature and can live up to a century thanks to the innate characteristics that give them natural all-weather resistance.
Nearly half of the world’s naturally occurring teak can be found in Myanmar’s Teak forests and harvesting is heavily regulated to avoid over-logging.
The only places outside Asia where Teak is naturalized and cultivated are in Africa and the Caribbean. Many species of Teak are now considered endangered and illegal to export.
Acacia is roughly two times more available than Teak and around 3 to 4 times more affordable. While both are durable, Acacia is simply the more practical choice given how fast it grows and how much easier it is to the source.
How much do they cost?
Acacia, due to its availability, is one of the most popular and recognized hardwood lumbers in the world.
It has varying prices given how many kinds of Acacia there are, but on average, a cubic meter of Acacia is around $100 – $120.
Teak is natively grown in southeast Asia, , with a few naturalized variants in Africa and the Caribbean. The limited availability, transport requirements, and innate properties of Teak make it more expensive than even other premium hardwoods.
A cubic meter of standard 10-year old Teak averages around $200 and the price only goes up with the wood’s age.
Strictly on affordability, Acacia is the clear winner, but given what both of these hardwoods offer, we’d say that they’re worth their respective prices. Acacia is cost-efficient given how long it can last with proper care, while Teak is what you would expect from premium-quality materials.
But if you’re still looking for quality and affordable wood material, here are your options.
Which is better for flooring?
Acacia wood flooring is sturdy, beautiful, and easy to maintain. With its innate nature, Acacia wood hardness vs teak is meant to last and is less susceptible to dents and scratches, making it safe for busy homes with pets and children.
The variety of Acacia also gives you more freedom in terms of design choice – enhance any room by selecting from a range of grain patterns and colors!
Teak makes for a really durable and stunning floor. Even as planks, it maintains its natural resistances to water-damage and pests and has lasting shine even without treatment.
Teak’s consistent shades of light brown and straight-grain patterns make it blend well in any room and its beauty is only surpassed by its ability to combat wear even from super-heavy use.
For general use and if you need to cover a larger area, Acacia wins out due to its lower cost and efficiency as all-purpose flooring.
The difference between acacia wood and teak wood is that it’s also more eco-friendly since Acacia grows rather quickly. Teak is better for specific rooms such as kitchens and bathrooms where it’ll happily deal with possible spills on the floor.
Which is better for making cutting boards?
Acacia is a high-quality wood with an affordable price tag, making it among the top choice for cutting boards. The rich, dark-grained wood is both aesthetic and durable, allowing you to use the board as both a cutting basin and as a serving platter.
Acacia cutting boards need to be oiled every so often to prevent them from splitting. With proper care, it’ll last longer than most of your other kitchen items.
As a cutting board, Teak is gorgeous and no less durable than if it were used as furniture material.
It requires minimal maintenance and has no problems getting wet – no need to regularly oil or varnish, just rinse and wipe, and it’s guaranteed to last.
Our verdict for teak vs acacia cutting board is that if you don’t mind the higher price, it’s better to invest in the long run on a Teak cutting board. You get very little restriction due to its natural resistance, along with the bonus of easy maintenance.
The only real catch is to be fully aware of how it was sourced to avoid legal concerns and misleading or counterfeit materials.
Which is better for making patio furniture?
Acacia makes for durable furniture material. Affordable and sustainable, using Acacia wood allows you to work on multiple projects, each with a higher sense of individual style given the hardwood’s high level of variety.
It doesn’t take too well with getting wet, however, so consider treating first if you plan on leaving it outside indefinitely.
Teak is all about durability. Teak’s mineral and oil-rich wood give off a strong and premium vibe. Its natural resistance to weathering and wear and innate beauty make it a perfect choice for making outdoor furniture – rain or shine.
When it comes to acacia vs teak outdoor furniture, you’d want to go with Teak, especially if you plan on keeping furniture outside for a long time. While it may cost more, it’s an acceptable trade-off for easier maintenance and guaranteed longevity.
Here are more wood choices for making furniture.
Which is better for making bed frames?
By now, we know that Acacia is pretty durable. As one of the top materials for wooden furniture, it definitely stands out for bed framing.
The intrinsic and aesthetic properties of Acacia allow it to be both highly functional and stylish. You also get more design options given its higher level of workability.
Teak is definitely one of the best wood materials, bar none. However, its limited availability, pricing, and lower workability make it only a preferential choice for something as large as a bed frame.
While it definitely gives a classy and elegant look, shaping the wood for complex bed designs will be difficult.
If your choosing between teak wood and acacia wood beds, acacia is the better choice in this scenario. Though it’ll not last as long as Teak, its workability, price, and availability make it a more practical and sustainable option.
Which is better for making cabinets?
Acacia wood is definitely up to the task of meeting a cabinet’s load-bearing requirements. It’s strong and readily available, which are two important factors to consider when it comes to design.
The variety of Acacia lets you pick from numerous hues and grain patterns, allowing for some sleek and stylish cabinets.
Teak as a furniture material really looks elegant. It has a vintage appeal which is only further bolstered by its remarkable durability.
Teak’s hardness can handle very heavy loads and its nutrient-fed wood can last for decades even without treatment. Kitchen cabinets, which see regular use, benefit from Teak as they can better resist wear and damage.
For making cabinets with teak wood vs acacia, teak is an obvious winner here. Though you can go with Acacia for more aesthetic versatility, Teak is simply more durable and better suited for the functions of a cabinet.
Both Acacia and Teak have crowns in their respective areas. Acacia is generally more affordable and has high-quality properties. Teak is more expensive but is guaranteed to last. If you work on a lot of different projects for commercial purposes, then Acacia’s availability and variety will serve you well.
On the other hand, working on specific projects, especially those that involve workpieces meant for outside use, benefit more from the Teak’s sturdiness and natural properties.
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