Hardwoods are often preferred over softwood and other wood alternatives for practically all kinds of projects because of their beautiful dark appearance and outstanding physical properties.
However, hardwood can be of many types, and choosing the right type of wood is crucial for the success of your project.
In this article, we will talk about two of the most popular hardwoods – Eucalyptus and Teak – including their differences in terms of physical properties and uses.
While teak is a strong and stable hardwood with high durability and resistance to rot and insects, Eucalyptus is more affordable but less durable than teak.
What is Eucalyptus Wood?
Eucalyptus wood comes from a hardwood tree called Eucalyptus globulus that grows mainly in Australia and surrounding places.
There are many species of Eucalyptus trees – one called Lyptus (Eucalyptus urograndis) is found in Brazil. Only a few types of Eucalyptus wood are considered suitable for woodworking.
Eucalyptus wood is strong and very hard and can last a long time. It is harder than some other types of hardwood like oak.
The wood is also prized for its appearance with its light reddish-brown colour and lustrous surface.
Plus, Eucalyptus wood comes with natural oils that make it somewhat resistant to rot, insects, and weathering.
However, it is only moderately durable compared to woods like teak. Eucalyptus is also easy to work with, but it’s difficult to dry and not very stable.
Cost & Availability
Eucalyptus wood is generally affordable and easily available. It is often used as an alternative to expensive hardwoods.
The cost of the wood can vary depending on your location and the type of Eucalyptus wood you want to buy.
Different Eucalyptus wood species are found in different places around the world, including Australia and Brazil.
It’s considered a sustainable and eco-friendly wood because of its ample production and fast growth.
Uses of Eucalyptus Wood
Eucalyptus is a versatile hardwood that can be used for many applications. It is commonly used for making furniture, including both indoor and outdoor furniture. It is also used for flooring.
Because of its extreme hardness, it is suitable for areas with high foot traffic and doesn’t catch dents easily. Eucalyptus is also used in the construction of beams and posts.
Other common uses of the Eucalyptus hardwood include plywood, veneer, paper (pulpwood), firewood, fences, decks, etc. Eucalyptus oils are used for aromatherapy and medicine
What is Teak Wood?
Teak wood, also called Burmese teak or genuine teak, comes from a hardwood tree called Tectona grandis that is native to Southeast Asia.
It is a tropical wood that is also grown in plantations across Africa, Asia, and Latin America. Teak is extremely popular because of its natural beauty and outstanding physical qualities, including super strength and durability.
The wood has natural oils which make it resistant to damage from decay, insects, and even harsh weather.
Properties of Teak Wood
Teak wood is not only extremely strong, hard and durable but also it’s very heavy and dense, which makes it suitable for heavy-duty woodworking applications.
The freshly sawn wood has a beautiful golden-brown colour that turns into a silvery-grey hue with age.
Even though teak wood is strong and dense, it’s relatively easy to work with because of its straight grain.
The presence of natural oils makes it very durable and provides resistance against moisture, insects, and weathering.
Teak wood can be moderately to very expensive because of its high demand and limited availability. Most of the teak available in the market today comes from plantations.
Uses of Teak Wood
Teak wood has so many uses. It’s a versatile wood that can be used for both indoor and outdoor applications, including outdoor furniture, cabinets, decking, and more.
As a durable wood, it can handle all kinds of weather without getting damaged easily, which makes it a top choice for boat building and other marine applications.
The wood is also resistant to insects and can be used for flooring and decks. In homes, teak is used for everything from making doors and window frames to flooring, tool handles, carvings, and decorative items.
Eucalyptus vs Teak
Let’s now learn about the various differences between Teak and Eucalyptus wood in terms of properties, uses, life expectancy, maintenance needs, cost, and sustainability.
|Tree Size||100-180 ft (30-55 m) tall||100-130 ft (30-40 m) tall|
|Trunk diameter||3-5 ft (1-1.5 m)||3-5 ft (1-1.5 m)|
|Average Dried Weight||51 lbs/ft3 (820 kg/m3)||40.9 lbs/ft3 (655 kg/m3)|
|Specific Gravity (Basic, 12% MC)||0.68, 0.82||0.55, 0.66|
|Janka Hardness||2,370 lbf (10,550 N)||1,070 lbf (4,740 N)|
|Modulus of Rupture||19,530 lbf/in2 (134.7 MPa)||14,080 lbf/in2 (97.1 MPa)|
|Elastic Modulus||2,720,000 lbf/in2 (18.76 GPa)||1,781,000 lbf/in2 (12.28 GPa)|
|Crushing Strength||11,160 lbf/in2 (76.9 MPa)||7,940 lbf/in2 (54.8 MPa)|
|Shrinkage||Radial: 6.8%, Tangential: 12.8%, Volumetric: 19.7%, T/R Ratio: 1.9||Radial: 2.6%, Tangential: 5.3%, Volumetric: 7.2%, T/R Ratio: 2|
Teak vs Eucalyptus : Origin
Teak wood is sourced from the Tectona grandis tree which primarily grows in Southeast Asian countries like India, Indonesia, Myanmar, and Thailand.
Eucalyptus wood is obtained from Eucalyptus tree species, which are native to Australia.
Teak vs Eucalyptus : Hardness
Teak wood is less hard than Eucalyptus wood. Teak has a Janka hardness rating ranging from 1,000 to 1,200, making it very hard.
Eucalyptus wood (Eucalyptus globulus or Blue gum) has a higher Janka hardness rating of around 2,370 lbf, making it extremely hard.
Both wood types can resist wear and are suitable for high-traffic areas and outdoor use.
Teak vs Eucalyptus : Strength & Durability
As one of the strongest hardwoods available, teak wood has top strength and durability.
It is very resistant to decay, rot, and termites. Eucalyptus wood is also durable but it’s not as strong or insect resistant as teak.
Teak is more stable than Eucalyptus, which can exhibit high movement during use and is also difficult to dry.
Teak vs Eucalyptus : Appearance
Freshly cut teak wood has a warm golden-brown colour, which becomes a beautiful silvery-grey as it ages.
It is an attractive wood and a popular choice for furniture and outdoor structures.
Eucalyptus wood has many species with a range of colours. It can be pale pink to reddish-brown.
Teak vs Eucalyptus : Workability
Teak, despite being very dense and hard, is relatively easy to work with due to its straight grain and natural oils. It can be cut, shaped, glued, and finished with ease.
Eucalyptus is generally easy to work with both hand and machine tools. It has an interlocked grain pattern, which can sometimes cause tear-outs during machining operations. It is also less stable than teak.
Teak vs Eucalyptus : Maintenance & Care
Teak wood products require low maintenance and care. The wood’s natural oils protect it from decay and insects.
To maintain its appearance, occasional cleaning, polishing or oiling will help preserve its golden-brown colour.
Eucalyptus wood is easy to maintain as it requires limited care. Regular cleaning and polishing can help enhance its lifespan and maintain its appearance. Wear or damage must be addressed promptly.
Teak is a better choice in terms of maintenance needs.
Teak vs Eucalyptus : Lifespan
Teak wood generally lasts longer than Eucalyptus wood. This is because of the teak’s outstanding durability, natural oils, and resistance to decay, weathering, and pests. Teak products can last for decades, even in outdoor environments.
Eucalyptus wood usually has a slightly shorter lifespan than teak, as it is only moderately durable and can be prone to damage by insects.
Teak vs Eucalyptus : Cost
Teak wood is more expensive than Eucalyptus wood because of its high demand, low availability, and exceptional properties. As one of the most sought-after hardwoods, it is a very expensive woodworking option.
Eucalyptus wood is more budget-friendly because it is easily available and has a faster growth rate.
Teak vs Eucalyptus : Uses
Both Teak and Eucalyptus wood have diverse uses in various applications.
Teak is commonly used for making high-quality outdoor furniture, boat building, cabinetry, decking, plywood, flooring, and making doors, window frames, and carvings.
Eucalyptus wood is primarily used in indoor furniture-making. Other uses include the construction of beams, posts, and plywood, papermaking, landscaping, etc.
Teak vs Eucalyptus : Sustainability
Teak trees grow slowly and the wood often comes from natural forests, leading to sustainability concerns. Eucalyptus trees, on the other hand, can grow quickly and the wood is considered relatively more sustainable.
Both teak and Eucalyptus are amazing hardwood species with their own set of unique properties and diverse range of uses. While teak is stronger and more durable than Eucalyptus, it is also more expensive and has low availability.
Eucalyptus, on the other hand, is a more economical and sustainable wood with good physical properties and an attractive appearance.
Do your own research and carefully choose the right wood for your project.
If you need expert help making the right wood selection, contact us at White Knight Consulting Ltd to book an expert timber consulting service.
When you’re ready to buy your timber, visit our official website to explore our wide range of hardwood and softwood timber available at wholesale prices with worldwide delivery.