AKA African Teak
Iroko is a West African hardwood often also called African Teak due to the similar yellow brown color of the two species. Iroko wood comes from Africa, whereas old growth Teak comes from Southeast Asia. Like Teak, Iroko wood is a water resistant species (not water proof) and ideal for exterior applications. In some ways Iroko is a superior species compared with Teak due the extremely large size of the Iroko tree, which produces wide and long boards that are easier to use for millwork applications.
While a bit lighter than Teak, Iroko wood has many of the same properties such as hardness and grain structure. It is even rot and water resistant, making it a great species for exterior and even marine applications.
Iroko Wood Characteristics
The grain of Iroko is interlocked like most African wood species, and you will find a ribbon striped effect with quartersawn species. African Teak has a very uniform striped look similar to Sapele, however, and the hardness between the grain stripes is quite consistent, making it much easier to mill than many other interlocked grain species. African Teak is an open pored wood that, while diffuse porous, features pores which are larger in size, making for a rougher texture than Teak or Sapele when freshly milled.
|Bending Strength MOR||12,700||lbf/in2|
Iroko Lumber Applications
Iroko is an enormous tree yielding great thickness, width and length for its boards. On average the tree will grow 100-130 feet tall with a trunk diameter of 5 feet. What this means is it is fantastic for millwork where long runs of siding or moulding are needed. The likeness to Teak and water resistance makes it a great option for yacht cover boards where wide and long boards are a must.
More important is that the size of the tree makes for a wide range of grades from the same tree. In other words, as the long & wide boards are taken for millwork or boat building, what is left represents a great deal of narrower and shorter boards which are perfectly sized for decking, interior flooring, cabinetry, T&G ceiling, or whatever you can dream up. In other words, this huge tree isn’t wasted one bit, making for a wide range of product applications all from the same trunk.
We have even specifically bought log flitches for some of our customers and used every bit of the enormous slabs to make different aspects of a home like flooring, doors, windows, and cabinetry. This creates a harmony not usually possible, since with Iroko so much of the wood may be able to come from the same tree for a beautiful grain and color match.