How Does South American Mahogany Compare to Teak?


How does South American mahogany compare to teak? There are quite a few similarities between both woods. Both of them make great furniture choices and can make a signature piece in any home. So whether you decide to choose mahogany or teak is purely a personal choice. Here are a few of the differences between the two.

Location: Teak is indigenous to Indonesia, India, and Asia. South American Mahogany is found (funny enough) in South America, it is also found in Central America and parts of Africa.

One problem with both of these woods is that they are being unlawfully logged. This has a huge adverse impact on the environment. If shopping for mahogany or teak be sure to look for a certificate stating that the wood is harvested using sustainable means.

Color: This is the largest difference between the two woods. Teak is typically a honeyed brown color. Mahogany on the other hand has a much richer deeper brown color.

Hardness: Teak and mahogany both make great choices for furniture. They are resistant to insect attacks. This means that the expense of the wood is offset by the fact that a custom cabinet can be an heirloom piece that will last for generations. Teak is a great choice for outdoor furniture. It too will last for decades. It may be the last piece of outdoor furniture you'll have to buy.

Grain: While both teak and mahogany are great wood choices their uses are a bit different. Teak has a much more pronounced grain structure. It's an oily heavy wood. Mahogany on the other hand does not have as well defined a grain. This means that there are fewer areas for the wood to show differences. The wood is better suited for signature furniture.

Usage: As mentioned before teak and mahogany have different characteristics. Teak, being much oilier is better suited for high quality outdoor furniture. Teak is even used for building ships and decorative yacht work. Mahogany with its smooth grain structure is much better suited for indoor furniture.

The care of teak and mahogany is a bit different as well. With mahogany you'll use your typical furniture polishes and dusters to keep it clean. Take care of it just like you would any other piece of indoor furniture. Just give it a light dusting and polish every few days and it will keep it's look for year.

Teak is a bit more durable a wood. The stuff sits outside. It can just be rinsed off with water. If you do not want the teak to weather to a silver color though you can apply teak oil 3 or 4 times a year and it will keep the same rich golden honey color for years to come.

So how does South American mahogany compare to teak? Only in the general fact that both are wood. Teak is a lighter color, oilier, and better suited for the outdoors. Mahogany has a defect brown color. The grain is much finer and smoother. Mahogany works better for your indoor furniture. So hopefully these few tidbits have helped narrow down what type of wood you're looking for.