Iroko Wood

Iroko Wood Uses In Varied Areas

Also called African Teak, Iroko is not related at all to Teak trees.

Indeed its tree belongs to the Milicia genus with Milicia Excelsa or Milicia Regia as the scientific name.

This hardwood is native to the west coast of Africa, but nowadays, its wood is imported and sold to many parts of the world.

Other names are African Teak, Intule, Kambala, Moreira, mvule, Odum, Lusanga, Rokko, and tule.

There is a particular demand for this wood because of its uses like follow.

Interior and exterior furniture

Iroko wood  Having high durability and is suitable for many types of furniture.

Iroko wood furniture is a real investment with its soft to dark brown look because of its appearance and durability.

Iroko Hardwood is a unique and durable wood, similar to teak.

It does not need varnishing, It can naturally leave outside, and its color will be weathered gracefully into a lovely silver grey.

Despite its strength and resistance to rot and is suitable for outdoor furniture, if you have a project for outdoor furniture, try to rest frames on stainless steel tips set into slots in the wood.

It will eliminate direct contact between wood and outdoor surface to protect against damage due to humidity.

Maintenance on your Iroko wood furniture to extend its lifespan.

As a protective measure, you can use teak oil seasonally and light sanding it once a year will keep the wood in good shape.

It depends on the environmental condition, and If you treated the iroko wood well, it’s gonna last more than 25 years.

The furniture made from Iroko wood includes:


From old to modern cabinets, Iroko wood could fit the style. Many manufacturers choose this wood as the substitute for the teak.  

Desks, tables, and chairs

Other most frequent Iroko wood uses in furniture are the material for desks and tables.

The products could be heavy since this wood is dense.

A famous place that already uses the wood is the Our Lady of Peace Basilica.

Its pews are made of Iroko wood.


For outdoor furniture like benches, Iroko also suits them well.

It rots slower than any other tree, and it resists fungi as well as insects.


Iroko Wood Countertops are frequently utilized as a replacement for teak wood.

It’s resilient as teak wood; however, it does not have the exact very same stability.

Iroko is incredibly light in color when first produced, and It rapidly dims to a darker brownish honey color.

Staining iroko wood

Iroko can also be stained, even though the finish can’t be precisely matched to other woods like teak.

But the grain is possible to approximate the color of aged teak, mahogany, or danish rosewood to vintage mid-century furniture.

Fences from Iroko wood

Iroko wooden fences are strong and look impressive too. An additional coating is not necessarily needed.  

It should be oiled for a long life span when exposed, and I recommend using tung oil for any outdoor wood project.

The fence made with iroko wood provides a contemporary feel to your garden and provides a high level of privacy with clean, crisp lines slatted fencing.

A fence that not only is very durable but also looks very modern.

Iroko wood flooring

One of the popular Iroko wood uses flooring.

For houses, in ship making, or other construction, the wood is often used for the footing part.

Besides having a great look, it also does not store much dust like other woods.

The treatment only requires the basics.

Houses construction

In building a house or other construction, Iroko is also used for specific parts like cladding, framing, doors, windows, and more.

The color is varied from soft to dark color, and the grain is straight.

Especially for framing, the wood lasts longer and could bear the load for years.

Iroko wood veneer

Iroko wood veneer could darken as it ages.

The grains in crown cut veneers are usually crossed on vessel lines, while the spaced striped figure is mainly found in quarter cut veneers.

Veneers, as one of Iroko wood, use quite reasonable prices.


Though it is not as durable as Greenheart and other woods in water, Iroko is quite water-resistant.

In ships, the wood is mainly used for decking and planking.

Other uses that involve water are not recommended.

Iroko wood uses for musical instruments

Tracking back to the place where it primarily grows, the wood is mainly used as the material for their traditional instruments in Africa.

Nowadays, wood is also often chosen as the material for other instruments such as:


The wood is very resonant, so many guitar makers choose lighter pieces of Iroko wood.

As the wood is naturally heavy, smaller pieces would ease the guitarist.

Snare drum

Without any painting needed, the shiny brown Ikoro wood finishes the look of this instrument.

The sound of the drum is loud and clear as the wood resonates well. Many drum brands prefer this wood.


This Basque musical instrument is classified as percussion.

This wooden instrument could be made of several varieties of wood, including Iroko.

The use of Iroko wood in this instrument could produce lively sound.


The West African instrument is a goblet drum.

Several African kinds of wood can be turned into this instrument, such as Djalla, Gueni, Dugura, and Iroko.

It is a loud drum, so only particular wood is suitable to be transformed in Djembe.

Iroko wood facts

Besides the Iroko wood uses above, this wood also has other surprising facts to know. They are:

Iroko wood comes from a sacred tree

Local people believe that some spirits inhabit each Iroko wood.

Even to cut down the tree, some rituals need to be done to avoid any misfortunate events to the lumberjacks.

It is on the red list

Despite the demand, there is a 20% reduction in population in past decades.

The reduction is caused by many aspects, including exploitation and natural causes.

It could cause some sensitivity

In some cases, people who work on this wood get low to severe sensitive reactions.

The reaction includes asthma-like symptoms, red eyes, and rashes on the skin.