The wood name Lauan is a loose term that applies to a number of wood species coming from southeast Asia. Another common name for this wood is Meranti: while the name Lauan is commonly used when referring to plywood made of this type of wood. (It’s also frequently called Philippine Mahogany, though Meranti/Lauan bears no relation to what is considered to be “true” mahogany in the Swietenia and Khaya genera.) Scientifically, the name Lauan has been used to encompass most commercial lumber found in the Shorea genus, where it is very commonly used in it’s native southeast Asia. There is an abundance of variety between the difference species: each with different working properties, appearances, and mechanical strength values.

The five main groupings for Meranti (Lauan) are: Light Red Meranti, Dark Red Meranti, White Meranti, Yellow Meranti, and Balau.


Light Red Meranti (Shorea spp.)

Light Red Meranti


Dark Red Meranti (Shorea spp.)

Dark Red Meranti


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Yellow Meranti


White Meranti (Shorea spp.)

White Meranti


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Balau