Imbuia Hardwood


Imbuia is a beautiful and versatile timber, renowned for its unique and varied colouring. The heartwood of Imbuia ranges from yellow-olive to chocolate brown, with variegated striped and streaks, and can be burry (burled), quilted, or bubbly in appearance. The grain is commonly straight, but can frequently be curly or wavy, producing a fine ribbon figure, and the wood has a medium to fine texture with a high natural gloss. Imbuia has often been compared to American walnut (Juglans nigra) for its similar appearance and can be used for a variety of applications, such as cabinetmaking, furniture, and panelling. If you are looking for a sustainable and legal source of Imbuia, you may be able to find a supplier through our interactive system.

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Material Type:

Also Called:
Amarela, Canella Imbuia, Brazilian Walnut, Embuia

Durability Notes:
Imbuia wood is a durable timber.

The drying and seasoning of Imbuia is dependant on a number of factors; the speed in which it is processed after felling and logging, the method of drying and the specific kilns or location (if air dried). Generally the care taken by those processing the wood will have an impact on its drying and seasoning. As an overview; Imbuia - dries quickly and tends to warp unless care is taken. Thicker timber sections is inclined to develop honeycomb and collapse. There is medium to small movement in service. Please note that all wood is liable to move when in service plus there can be dimensional change. The extent of this will depend on; the stability of the species itself, the conditions it is exposed to, the coating, decoration and protection. You will find more information about the suitability of this wood, for any proposed application, by using our interactive system and the filters shown.

Imbuia is a hard, heavy and dense wood. It has low to medium strength in all categories and a very low steam-bending rating. Imbuia works well with both hand and machine tools but the grain is liable to lift during planing unless a reduced cutting angle is used. The wood nails, screws and glues well and it can be stained and polished to a very high finish.

Typical Uses:
Furniture, Cabinets, Flooring, Musical Instruments, Carvings, Paneling, Decorative Veneers.

Moisture Content:
Guide - 10-18% for KD (+/- 2%)

Commonly asked questions about Imbuia Wood

Is Imbuia a hardwood or a softwood? Imbuia is a hardwood. It is the same for; is Imbuia hardwood or softwood? - Imbuia is a hardwood.

Most groups/families of species share the same characteristics but this normally relates to their life as plants. Individual species do not always share the same characteristics as their relatives, in terms of the wood. Many factors influence how we use the wood and what we use it for, including where it grows, how it is forested, how it seasons/dries, etc. The answers to the following common questions, therefore relate to this particular species/wood and not the Imbuia family as a whole. Even more specific – our answers relate to the wood (as we know it) in its form as a useable resource.

What colour is Imbuia? Imbuia can be described as black/very dark brown, brown, dark brown

Is Imbuia good for outdoor use? or is Imbuia good for exterior use? Imbuia is most suited for exterior/external use. Imbuia can be used as an exterior/external timber (without treatment).

Whether the wood is naturally durable or not we would still recommend that it is decorated and/or coated with a suitable product to provide protection and/or maintain its appearance. This even applies when using the wood internally as, even subtle, changes in temperature or humidity will affect the wood. This will depend on the application/purpose of the wood and the user’s desired appearance. We also recommend that a recoating, care and maintenance programme is adhered to, for the life of an exterior wood. Wood cannot rot if it is kept dry – coatings and decoration can provide this protection. All of that said there are many durable timbers that are often left to weather naturally and will last for many years untreated/coated – movement and visual changes will occur but this is sometimes the desired effect. All wood is hygroscopic (it 'wants' to be in tune with its environment) it will therefore take on water from moisture in the air (or when directly exposed to or submerged in water) and ‘release it’ when dry or exposed to heat. This, inevitably, results in movement and dimensional change. For more about moisture in wood please click here - Moisture in wood

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