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Another commonly asked question is; what is Malaysian Oak? Or rather, is there a difference between Malaysian and American Oak? Since they carry the same wood type, they must be the same, right? To answer this question, we need to investigate the 2 in detail. A quick check on wikipedia reveals the following;
An oak is a tree or shrub in the genus Quercus (/ˈkwɜːrkəs/; Latin “oak tree”) of the beech family, Fagaceae. There are approximately 600 extant species of oaks. The common name “oak” may also appear in the names ofspecies in related genera, notably Lithocarpus. The genus is native to the Northern Hemisphere, and includes deciduous and evergreen species extending from cool temperate to tropical latitudes in the Americas, Asia, Europe, and North Africa. (reference: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oak)
Rubberwood is also known as plantation hardwood, parawood, or “Hevea” for the genus that the tree belongs to. In 2002, the Malaysian Ministry of Primary Industries marketed it under the name “Malaysian Oak“. (reference: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rubberwood)
There you have it, Malaysian Oak is, in fact Rubberwood. The same rubber wood from the latex bearing tree; rubber tree. Because it is widely marketed as oak wood especially in Southeast Asia, consumers must be wary of the terms they use. For instance, if the store claims to be carrying oak wood furniture, just go a step deeper and ask whether it’s oak from Malaysia or anywhere else to be sure you’re paying for the real deal.
But what is the actual difference in quality between the 2? I’ve posted the following excerpt from the wood database, a widely acclaimed authority on wood types. I hope this passage explains and helps clarify the difference in value and quality between the 2 wood types.