Photo of a Merbau wood Deck | Featured image for Merbau Wood Spotlight.

Merbau Wood Spotlight

Merbau wood a popular hardwood that grows in wide distribution as far as East Africa, Southeast Asia and Northern Queensland. Also known as Kwila it has become synonymous in Australian homes as outdoor furniture, decks and patios. If you’re looking for a durable hardwood for your woodworking, decking, or construction projects, Merbau or Kwila could be perfectly suited to you.

Merbau Wood Characteristics

Common Name/s

Merbau, Kwila, Ipil, Vesi

Scientific Name

Intsia spp. (I. bijuga, I. palembanica)

Species Type:



Native to the Indo-Pacific region but grows as far east as East Africa, to South East Asia, to Northern Queensland.


Orangish-brown when freshly cut, which will age to a dark reddish-brown. There are also small yellow mineral deposits that are water-soluble and prone to bleeding.


Merbau has a straight grain that is interlocked with a coarse texture.

Rot Resistance:

Rot and termite resistant.


670-800kg/m3 @ 12 percent moisture content.

Stress Grade:

F11, F14, F17, F22 unseasoned, F14, F17, F22, F27 seasoned.


Class 1 Hardwood above-ground (life expectancy more than 40 years), Class 3 hardwood when in-ground (life expectancy of up to 15 years).


Will season well in both a kiln or air-dried with minimal shrinkage.

Workability :

Good workability and finishing properties. Will produce a high finish, however, blades may gum up after prolonged sawing and can quickly become blunt.

Joinery Notes:

Typically requires pre boring when nailing and screwing. Glues well when seasoned at 12% or below moisture content.


Merbau wood can potentially cause mild allergic reactions including skin irritation and a runny nose.


Not permeable but does not require treatment for dry wood borer attacks or when exposured to temporary humidification.

Common Uses

Engineering – bridge building, piles, sleepers, posts, and more.

Construction – framing, decking, stair treads, general construction, and more.

Joinery – Indoor and outdoor furniture, musical instruments, woodturning and more. 

Photo of Merbau wood pillar and deck | Featured image for Merbau Wood Spotlight.
Photo of wood decking around bricks | Featured image for Merbau Wood Spotlight.

Merbau Wood at Versace Timbers

At Versace Timbers, we are proud to source all of our Merbau wood from FSC Certified Suppliers We carry a wide range of Merbau in assorted lengths, widths, thicknesses, and dressings perfect for your next woodworking, fencing, or decking project.

For the perfect outdoor deck

When you want to add a touch of elegance that is long-lasting and perfectly engineered to weather the Australian elements, you can’t go wrong of Merbau decking. Available in assorted lengths in 90×19, 140×19, and 190×19 in both smooth and reeded dressings, laying the Merbau deck of your dreams has never been easier.

For the bespoke furniture project

Designing the perfect piece of furniture to complement your home décor and need a trusted hardwood that’s reliable and offers an attractive yellow-orange brown hue? We stock a wide range of Merbau timber boards that come in all shapes and sizes, visit our timber yard today to find exactly what you need.

For the stunning staircase

Ever dreamt of building a dream spiral staircase with perfectly turned balusters, stair treads made to take the beatings of daily wear and tear, and the superfine finish of a Merbau handrail? Find everything you need for your Merbau staircase at Versace Timbers, request a quote or visit us to get your staircase project started today.   

Want to Learn More

Interested to learn more about Merbau wood or need some Merbau or Kwila for your next project? Get in touch with the friendly Versace Timbers’ team for a quote for all of your Merbau requirements, tips, tricks, or just to talk all things wood.

Finished a project using some of our Merbau? Send us through a few quick snaps on [email protected], we love to see all the amazing and creative ways our valued customers turn quality hardwoods into stunning completed projects.


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