Meranti, the versatile hardwood from Malaysia

Malaysia offers a myriad selection of hardwoods which have been utilised in various structural and interior applications. They are processed into a range of export grade sawn timber, as well as laminated scantlings, mouldings, builders’ joinery and carpentry products, veneers, plywood and other panel products, and fine furniture.

The design of the villas at Viceroy is an interpretation of the hull of an inverted Maldivian ‘dhoni’, a traditional fishing boat. An interesting mix of Malaysian timbers, including Meranti, was used for the resort’s roof trusses, ceilings, flooring, doors and windows.

Among the internationally traded timber species are those of Malaysian Meranti (Shoreaspp), the most popular of which are dark red Meranti and red Meranti. The major species of dark red Meranti that are widely available include Meranti Bukit, MerantiNemesu and MerantiSeraya.

Meranti is a very versatile and durable timber for indoor and outdoor applications. It can be painted and stained to match the colour and designs of your project.

It has an average overall strength and hardness, good nailing and gluing properties, easy to apply finishing to, and easy to work with hand tools and machines. It is reported as relatively durable with regard to decay resistance and insect attacks.

Treatments will be required for specific applications and usages, such as being in contact with the ground or in exposed conditions.

Malaysian Meranti is famously used in veneer and plywood, joinery, doors, flooring, window frames and sills, furniture and cabinet work, mouldings, decking, paneling, partitioning and skirting, and even naval construction.

Why Malaysia?

Malaysia has been very active and successful in implementing the principles and standards of Sustainable Forest Management and in certifying its forests and timber products. Sustainably produced tropical hardwoods like the Malaysian Meranti will be the preferred material not only for technical and aesthetic reasons, but for ecological reasons too.

The Malaysian Timber Certification Scheme (MTCS) has been developed specifically to ensure that Malaysia is able to supply products that are sourced from sustainably managed forests.  The MTCS became the first tropical timber certification scheme in the Asia-Pacific region to be endorsed by the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC).

Tested under temperate conditions, MerantiSeraya is rated as very durable. No additional chemicals are needed for protection against fungal infestation after the proper kiln drying (KD) process. It is available in grades under Malaysian Grading Rules.

Sound choice

Malaysian Meranti species have established a reputation for quality, making them much sought-after by discerning buyers. They are the recommended hardwoods for outdoor and indoor applications due to their durability, strength and attractive grains.

Timber species from the Meranti group have been among the most important timber types exported into Europe for windows and doors construction for about 40 years. These wood types dominate the market, mainly due to their wide availability and good technical properties.

Since the introduction of the European Timber Regulation (EUTR), Meranti is being used increasingly and is set to remain a key timber export to Europe.  Malaysian Meranti timber’s technical qualities as a building material could result in breathtaking functional structures that become icons in themselves.

For more information on Malaysian Meranti and other timber species, use the Malaysian Timber Council’s Wood Wizard software at




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