By Jo-Ann Kaiser
By Jo-Ann Kaiser
COMMON NAMES HEIGHT/WEIGHT PROPERTIES When Restoration Hardware unveiled its line of wood outdoor furniture, it chose a distinctive red-tinged wood that weathers well outdoors. No, not teak: nyatoh.
When Restoration Hardware unveiled its line of wood outdoor furniture, it chose a distinctive red-tinged wood that weathers well outdoors. No, not teak: nyatoh.
Restoration Hardware is not the only company using nyatoh lately. A growing list of products is being made from the reddish tropical hardwood. Traditional uses for the wood include furniture (residential, office and outdoor), cabinetry, interior construction, doors, paneling, moulding, ship and boat decking, pallets, veneers, plywood, high class joinery, shingles, and flooring.
Restoration Hardware's line of outdoor furniture is made from Indonesian nyatoh. Dave Glassman, director of marketing, says the company specifically chose nyatoh rather than teak.
Nyatoh is similar to the distinctive teak coloring, although teak is more golden. Nyatoh weathers to gray, although its original color can be maintained by periodic applications of teak or linseed oil.
While nyatoh weathers well out of doors, is strong and resists wear, denting and marring, it doesn't equal teak in all properties. Teak sets a high standard as far as durability and other properties under all conditions.
Target stores feature a range of items made from nyatoh, including patio furniture, steps for a hot tub, an outdoor shower, and accessories like towel bars and outdoor umbrella poles. Fortunoff and Wal-Mart are also carrying items made from this wood. Among the most unique uses comes from Essence Eyewear, which features nyatoh wood temples in every one of its wood frames. A company brochure says "The wood originates in Indonesia and was chosen for its malleability. The wood is treated with a coating designed to prevent discoloration and further longevity."
It's a confusing situation but in general, the trades names njatuh and padang are used for various species of the Sapotaceae family that produce light- to medium-weight logs and have a similar color and density. The name nyatoh is given to the timber that is up to 55 pounds per cubic foot. Timber weighing more than 55 pounds per cubic foot is given the trade name bitis or nyatoh batu. Bitis usually comes from Palaquium ridleyi, Palaquium stellatum and Madhuca utilis.
Working with Nyatoh
Have something to say? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.