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  1. #1
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    Sustainable timber in Thailand?

    Does anyone have suggestions for reasonably priced sustainable timber, particularly flooring? I don't know much about timber, but the ideas I've come up with are below.
    - Rubber trees (Mai Yung)
    - Mai Prado
    - Coconut

    Anyone know about prices and suitability?

  2. #2
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    As far as I'm aware, there are no sustainable forests in Thailand.

    I've always thought the best thing to do is re-use old timber (new timber hss usually not been dried properly either).

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    Is this for your own house, if so anything will do as you will be "moved on" in a year or two.

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    theres a guy on here who deals in stolen timber.... dont-do..ps good luck with your project..

  5. #5
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    Marmite, it doesn't need to be forest grown. Coconuts, rubber and possibly mai prado are plantation grown.

    It's true about the 2nd hand stuff, but it's bloody expensive.

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    Quote Originally Posted by spikebs4 View Post
    theres a guy on here who deals in stolen timber.... dont-do..ps good luck with your project..
    Stolen from who?

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    Rubber wood

    Quote Originally Posted by Smithson View Post
    Does anyone have suggestions for reasonably priced sustainable timber, particularly flooring? I don't know much about timber, but the ideas I've come up with are below.
    - Rubber trees (Mai Yung)
    - Mai Prado
    - Coconut

    Anyone know about prices and suitability?
    I am using rubber-tree wood (with FCS-label) for my furniture. It is trated with a natural oil from LIVOS. The picture shows the kitchen.



    My experience after just 3 years so far:

    • Looks very good.
    • The wood is quite soft and not recommended for horizontal surfaces where you put things on. It cratches quite easy. I would suggest to apply varnish instread of oil.
    • I had some problems with mildew. LIVOS suggested that the carpenters applied too thick layers which kept moisture. LIVOS suggest to apply for the Thai climate a natural varnish for all surfaces.


    So Rubber wood is not recommended for floors. I would tend to Bamboo but not find a good source, yet.

    I also recommend not installing wooden floors, even for bedrooms. They are not easy to maintain and often are not installed correctly. We are very happy with the cold feeling of our tiles. And there are now tiles out, which really looks very similar to wood...

    The only good flooring wood would be Teak. But unfortunately the are no sustainable sources (FSC label) in Thailand. You can try to get reclaimed Teak wood from old houses.

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    any idea how much the rubber wood was? The floor is for a bamboo bunglow actaully. So it doesn't have to be the perfect surface.

    Besides the price, I'm reluctant to use bamboo as I'm not satisfied it's 'sustainable'. A lot has been written about as 'green washing'. The glues in particular tend to be nasty.

    We can make our own bamboo flooring, but it's slow and a bit uneven.

  9. #9
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    You can buy bamboo panels here. My friend used them in his apartment and they're really nice. They're imported from China and I think he bought them from/through Home Pro.

    If you have no luck with Home-Pro, he may have still have contact details of the importer, which I will try to get for you if you wish.






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    Marmite, thanks for the pics. That stuff is nice and doesn't require as much glues as other types. We've been able to do something similar by splitting poles hilltribe style, it's works, but is labour intensive and a bit uneven. We'll try and improve on it later this year.

    The idea was to use timber joists and timber flooring to get a nice flat surface quickly. Using bamboo poles for the joists, then adding the split bamboo on top has a bit of a trampoline affect.

  11. #11
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    Reclaimed Timber is not expensive, that is, compared to new wood. When we went to get a quote it was roughly 4 x more expensive and this was comparing Teak 50 years old and new redwood. You need to find the right timber yard, you need to talk to them and ask for a discount. If they arent willing, move on. Baan Thi in Chiangmai is very cheap, im not sure on your local area?
    Its a case of get out and ask and you wlll get cheap wood. We are about to get into selling some rice barns because we have found so many driving around.

    Anyway house is amazing, there is really no subsitute for redwood or teak wood joists.

    regards
    im hot its so hot today.......milk was a bad choice!

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    Rubber wood - some thoughts

    There's a company in southern Thailand called BNS Wood Industry Co Ltd that may be worth a look. It produces Hevea Rubberwood, Acacia and Coconut primarily for export, which is possibly why it is not so well known locally as might otherwise be the case.
    The helpful managing director, Mr Akarin Vongapirat, told me that local interest is however growing and that his domestic customers are evenly divided between farangs and Thais, the latter showing a growing interest in sustainable wood and the lighter colours available, to say nothing of the highly competitive cost.
    He suggests that his Rubberwood is in fact a medium hardwood, tougher/denser than pine, spruce, fir and so on, and roughly equivalent to oak and teak. Yes, of course, it can be scratched and dented, but so can most if not all wooden floors unless it's looked after properly (by placing something soft such as felt pads under furniture, for example). And all wood changes colour as it ages and is exposed to light.
    Termites pose a threat to all wood, not just Rubberwood and provided the proper treatment is applied at the ouset of construction along with monthly maintenance, there shouldn't be a problem, he adds.
    He kindly sent me samples of his Hevea Rubberwood - the Japanese spec. 'A' grade and the European spec 'ABC' mixed grade. Both looked very good to me (personally, I prefer the natural rather than the stained versions), despite my prospective builder's silly grumbles.
    The cost? If I remember correctly, the former is 830 baht per metre, the latter 550. This includes delivery in Bangkok, but not the extras such as underlay, damp proof membrane or labour/installation.
    Oh, one more thing. Minimum orders are usually 300 square metres, but if the firm have stuff left in their Bangkok depot, they'll let domestic customers like me have it.
    I hope this is of interest.



    Quote Originally Posted by juehoe View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Smithson View Post
    Does anyone have suggestions for reasonably priced sustainable timber, particularly flooring? I don't know much about timber, but the ideas I've come up with are below.
    - Rubber trees (Mai Yung)
    - Mai Prado
    - Coconut

    Anyone know about prices and suitability?
    I am using rubber-tree wood (with FCS-label) for my furniture. It is trated with a natural oil from LIVOS. The picture shows the kitchen.



    My experience after just 3 years so far:
    • Looks very good.
    • The wood is quite soft and not recommended for horizontal surfaces where you put things on. It cratches quite easy. I would suggest to apply varnish instread of oil.
    • I had some problems with mildew. LIVOS suggested that the carpenters applied too thick layers which kept moisture. LIVOS suggest to apply for the Thai climate a natural varnish for all surfaces.
    So Rubber wood is not recommended for floors. I would tend to Bamboo but not find a good source, yet.

    I also recommend not installing wooden floors, even for bedrooms. They are not easy to maintain and often are not installed correctly. We are very happy with the cold feeling of our tiles. And there are now tiles out, which really looks very similar to wood...

    The only good flooring wood would be Teak. But unfortunately the are no sustainable sources (FSC label) in Thailand. You can try to get reclaimed Teak wood from old houses.

  13. #13
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    So we have one guy who was told Rubber wood is not recommended for horizontal surfaces, and a floor is the king of horizontal surfaces, and another who says it's a "medium hardwood" denser than pine and spruce (neither of which you would want a floor made of).

    Which is it? I don't think it is roughly equivalent to teak or oak.

    Wood Densities

  14. #14
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    Bamboo flooring is showing up in the states quite commonly. It's not the thin parquet stuff usually for sale here. This is the big stuff not the usual bamboo one sees everywhere. It might be worth a check; it would be my choice. It's very hard and wear resistant as well.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Necron99
    denser than pine and spruce (neither of which you would want a floor made of).
    Pine floors are probably the most common wooden floors in the UK...

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grower
    Which is it? I don't think it is roughly equivalent to teak or oak.
    Its more like birch or maple. The problem with rubberwood is that the boards are quite narrow and short so they are often finger jointed together to make panels. This result is a rather busy looking panel. But if you know how to work within its limitations its ok.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Humbert
    Its more like birch or maple. The problem with rubberwood is that the boards are quite narrow and short so they are often finger jointed together to make panels. This result is a rather busy looking panel. But if you know how to work within its limitations its ok.
    Uhm, where did you get the quote attributed to me? I didn't say that. This one below;

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Grower
    Which is it? I don't think it is roughly equivalent to teak or oak.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grower
    Uhm, where did you get the quote attributed to me? I didn't say that. This one below;
    Don't blame me I just p-quoted Necron 99 and it came up that way.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marmite the Dog View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Necron99
    denser than pine and spruce (neither of which you would want a floor made of).
    Pine floors are probably the most common wooden floors in the UK...
    That's because it's plantation grown and cheap. Not because it's good. It's good if you want to put carpet on top of it.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Humbert
    Don't blame me I just p-quoted Necron 99 and it came up that way.
    No problem, I was just curious how the quote was attributed that way. Cheers

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grower View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Humbert
    Don't blame me I just p-quoted Necron 99 and it came up that way.
    No problem, I was just curious how the quote was attributed that way. Cheers
    He pressed the wrong q-quote button.

  22. #22
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    Narrow, short boards

    That's a fair point. The samples I've been sent show the boards are indeed narrow, short and finger-jointed. These things are obviously subjective, but the Japanese specification sample in particular looks pretty good to me with the joins hardly visible, even in the natural version (without colour stain).


    Quote Originally Posted by Humbert View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Grower
    Which is it? I don't think it is roughly equivalent to teak or oak.
    Its more like birch or maple. The problem with rubberwood is that the boards are quite narrow and short so they are often finger jointed together to make panels. This result is a rather busy looking panel. But if you know how to work within its limitations its ok.

  23. #23
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    for what it worth. I purchased a pile of Rubber wood Furniture in Malacca 20 yrs ago. All the know the all farangs said it will twist and warp in a western environment. It didn't despite being in a Victorian country site for 1/2 its life

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