Acacia wood is a popular choice for furniture because of its color, visual appeal, and hardiness. Proper acacia wood outdoor furniture can be a great investment, but it’s worth knowing more about it to understand whether it’s right for you.
In this article, we’ll cover everything you should know about acacia wood outdoor furniture for your balcony or outdoor space.
What is Acacia Wood?
Unsurprisingly, acacia wood comes from the acacia tree. Acacia is a hardwood, making it good for outdoor furniture, and is originally native to Australia. Now, though, it can be found all over the world.
Acacia is popular for outdoor (and indoor) furniture because it’s dense, hardy, and is quite beautiful to look at. In fact, some species of acacia are nearly as dense as marble! The variety Acacia Nilotica (Babul) is a good option because it’s (comparatively) inexpensive, durable and sustainable.
Acacia Wood Outdoor Furniture
Despite being very dense, acacia is surprisingly easy to work with. Its durability often comes from kiln firing, but before this happens, it can be bent into all manner of shapes.
Its uses are almost limitless, but some of the most common items of acacia wood outdoor furniture include:
- Chairs (including sofas)
- Storage units
- Railings and other decorative items
In short, you’ll find acacia wood anywhere you’d find other types of hardwood. There aren’t many situations in which acacia wood is unsuitable, but we’ll cover these in more detail below.
Pros and Cons of Acacia Wood
Although acacia wood might sound like the dream wood for outdoor furniture, it does have some drawbacks. The skill of any interior (or exterior) designer is knowing a material’s failings and finding an alternative.
To help you out, here are some of the pros and cons of acacia wood.
There are more than 1,300 varieties of acacia, meaning there’s an amazing variety of color. You’ll find acacia wood in anything from light amber to dark mahogany depending on the species and specific tree.
Combine this with the smooth and often straight grain, and you’ve got an interesting wood that’ll look great almost anywhere.
Acacia is very durable, making it suitable for heavy-use items like tables and chairs. It’s also why acacia wood flooring is popular – it can withstand a lot of use, even outdoors.
The fact that people use it to make everything from nails and boats to cabinets and musical instruments should highlight its flexibility.
Acacia trees can grow taller than 80ft., making it a great wood to work with. Also, before drying, it can be worked into interesting shapes using carving or steam. Once kiln dried, though, it becomes durable enough to last decades.
1. Sensitive to Temperature
Although it’s generally a hardy wood, acacia doesn’t do well when exposed to extreme heat. Doing so could result in it cracking or bowing, which would render the outdoor furniture unusable.
2. Requires Maintenance
This con isn’t specific to acacia wood, but is worth mentioning nonetheless. You’ll need to maintain acacia wood outdoor furniture to keep it looking its best and to prevent cracking.
At the very least you’ll need to oil it annually. But, if it’s exposed to rain and direct sun, you might need to oil it twice or more a year. The product you use will depend on the finish and color, but the company you buy your acacia wood outdoor furniture from should offer you advice.
3. It’s Heavy
As with other hardwoods, acacia wood is heavy. The fact that its density isn’t far off marble should tell you this. Whether this is actually a problem will depend on several factors.
First is if you plan to move it regularly, such as storing it indoors over winter. It’s a good idea if your acacia wood outdoor furniture is somewhere uncovered, as it’ll cut down on maintenance.
Also, its weight could be an issue on balconies, as they often have a weight allowance. Other hardwoods, such as oak or maple, are slightly lighter than acacia.
Considerations Before Buying Acacia Wood Outdoor Furniture
Generally, the main considerations you’ll want to weigh up relate to the cons listed above. However, we’ll go over these in a bit more detail so you’re armed with the facts before you go out buying acacia wood outdoor furniture.
Does your budget cover it?
Compared to other exotic hardwoods (such as mahogany), acacia wood is inexpensive. But, compared to domestic hardwoods, it’s pretty expensive.
Expect to pay a few hundred dollars for something like a table or a set of chairs. If this is too much, opt for oak furniture or a softwood like pine, providing you paint or seal it.
What’s the weather like?
Even direct sun exposure is enough to warp acacia wood. While you could move furniture around, it’ll be an issue for acacia wood flooring. If your balcony or patio gets more than 4 hours of direct sun in the middle of the day, consider something like oak, maple or birch.
Also, acacia wood flooring is prone to cracks if it stays wet for too long or dries too quickly. As such, it’s not a good option for exposed outdoor areas. If you love the look, consider buying some resin acacia-style tiles.
Is it too heavy?
Acacia wood outdoor furniture would be fine on a ground-floor patio or porch but might be too heavy for an upper-floor balcony. That said, a side table or shelving unit would be fine, just avoid sofas and dining tables.
If weight is a concern, softwoods are lighter but require treatment for use outside. Failing that, redwood and cedar are lightweight hardwoods. Finally, if budget is a concern, laminated MDF furniture is cost-effective and lightweight.
Final Thoughts on Acacia Wood Outdoor Furniture
Acacia wood can be a great choice for outdoor furniture thanks to its natural properties. However, there are better options if you’re on a budget or live somewhere really hot (or cold).
Hopefully, this article has given you some useful tips on choosing acacia wood outdoor furniture. Now it’s just down to you to find some amazing pieces!