The heartwood of this timber is naturally durable, but the sapwood is liable to fungal infestation. Under graveyard testing, untreated specimens (50 mm x 50 mm x 600 mm) of Balau. gave a life-span of 15.8 years, which made it one of the most durable timber tested in Peninsular Malaysia (Jackson, 1965). Balau is thus placed in the durable class with some species classified as extremely durable. Treated specimens of balau laut (50 mm x 50 mm x 600 mm) gave an average service life of 11 years. Untreated railway sleepers (125 mm x 237 mm x 1,950 mm) of balau kumus and balau laut lasted a minimum of 15 years and 11 years respectively.
Over the past ten years a new tropical hardwood has appeared on the scene and is growing in popularity. Balau, which is grown in the same Pacific-Asia region is rated by the Timber Council as stronger and more durable than Teak. Balau is a slow growth tree that offers the rich tropical oils that Teak used to possess. The real beauty of Balau…it looks like Teak and costs a fraction of what Teak costs. So, it’s stronger, more durable, looks like Teak and costs less. So what’s the drawback? Not many manufacturers are using Balau yet because it’s harder to machine, wears out their saw blades faster, requires more time in the kiln drying process and it isn’t “Teak”,
Prefinished Hardwood Flooring:
This is applied directly to the material by the manufacturer before it ships. It consists of aluminum oxide crystals embedded in a UV cured urethane coat, for an extremely durable surface seal.
Oil Based Hardwood Finish: The most common hardwood flooring finish, this is made from an oil-modified acrylic urethane, which is relatively easy to apply, and which dries in approximately 8-12 hours.