Dark Red Meranti (Shorea spp.)

Dark Red Meranti (Shorea spp.)

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Common Name(s): Dark Red Meranti, Lauan, Philippine Mahogany

Scientific Name: Shorea spp.

Distribution: Southeast Asia

Tree Size: 65-130 ft (20-40 m) tall, 3-6 ft (1-2 m) trunk diameter

Average Dried Weight: 42 lbs/ft3 (675 kg/m3)

Specific Gravity (Basic, 12% MC): .55, .68

Janka Hardness: 800 lbf (3,570 N)

Modulus of Rupture: 12,710 lbf/in2 (87.7 MPa)

Elastic Modulus: 1,743,000 lbf/in2 (12.02 GPa)

Crushing Strength: 7,070 lbf/in2 (48.8 MPa)

Shrinkage: Radial: 3.9%, Tangential: 7.8%, Volumetric: 12.5%, T/R Ratio: 2.0

Color/Appearance: Typically a dark reddish or purplish brown; commonly with white resin streaks present.

Grain/Texture: Grain can be straight or interlocked. With a coarse texture and low natural luster. 

Endgrain: Diffuse-porous; large to very large pores in no specific arrangement, few to very few; solitary and radial multiples of 2-3; tyloses occasionally present; parenchyma vasicentric, winged, and banded with embedded resin canals; narrow to medium rays, spacing normal.

Rot Resistance: Reported as moderately-durable to non-durable in regard to decay resistance, but is susceptible to insect attack.

Workability: Typically easy to work, though any interlocked grain can present problems during planing, and Dark Red Meranti is reported to have very poor steam-bending properties. Some species may have a slight blunting effect on tools due to small levels of silica present in the wood. Glues, stains, and finishes well.

Odor: No characteristic odor.

Allergies/Toxicity: Although severe reactions are quite uncommon, Meranti in the Shorea genus has been reported to cause eye, throat, and skin irritation. See the articles Wood Allergies and Toxicity and Wood Dust Safety for more information.

Pricing/Availability: Meranti is widely harvested and available worldwide. It should be moderately priced despite the fact that it is imported.

Sustainability: Meranti is not listed in the CITES Appendices, but many species in the Shorea genus are on the IUCN Red List. The majority of Shorea species are listed as being critically endangered due to a population reduction of over 80% in the past three generations, caused by a decline in its natural range, and exploitation. Sustainable/certified sources of Meranti are also available.

Common Uses: Plywood, interior furniture, general construction, concrete forms, veneer, and boatbuilding.

Comments: Dark Red Meranti is sometimes referred to as Red Lauan, wood in the Shorea genus is very commonly used in southeast Asia, and there is an abundance of variety between the difference species: each with different working properties, appearances, and mechanical strength values.

Main groupings for Shorea spp. are: Light Red Meranti, Dark Red Meranti, White Meranti, Yellow Meranti, and Balau. The strength and mechanical values listed at the top of this page represent the average of a handful of species within the corresponding group.

Also called Philippine Mahogany, Meranti bears no relation to what is considered to be “true” mahogany in the Swietenia and Khaya genera.

Related Species:

Related Articles:


Dark Red Meranti (Shorea spp.)

Dark Red Meranti (sanded)

Dark Red Meranti (sealed)

Dark Red Meranti (sealed)

Dark Red Meranti (endgrain)

Dark Red Meranti (endgrain)

Dark Red Meranti (endgrain 10x)

Dark Red Meranti (endgrain 10x)


  1. Julie amos November 1, 2018 at 4:40 pm - Reply

    I have a load of this wood planks on my garden I bought for a donation of £25 from a charity . I recently decided rather than buying a new worktop in my campervan sand some of these planks and danish oil them . Didn’t know what wood it was buy a local building unit said it is meranti . Long and short of it my campervan looks lovely new worktop . Cost next to nothing apart from lots of sanding . Very very please

  2. David W. Brown August 26, 2018 at 10:32 am - Reply

    I appreciate this publication’s information on how much red meranti weighs (in kg/m3) when it is dry. However, does anyone know how much it weighs per m3 when it is green (ie, freshly cut). Disclaimer: I was required to provide a URL. So I provided the URL of TNC. Until the end of the the 2018 calendar year, I am on a consulting contract to TNC. But I am not an employee, and I am not 100 percent certain that I have authorization to use the organization’s URL (below).

  3. Paul McCuish June 19, 2018 at 10:14 am - Reply

    What are your thoughts on using dark red meranti for oars? Anyone ever done this? They’re for a rowboat that’s stored inside, so the oars won’t get much weather.

  4. Jim June 15, 2018 at 7:56 pm - Reply

    Cort is using this to build guitars…do you know anything about it’s tone qualities as relates to guitars or musical instruments in general…?

  5. Rajesh December 28, 2016 at 1:45 am - Reply


    Whats the fire rating for the red meranti wood. the thickness is @140mm

    • Raphael January 18, 2017 at 11:19 pm - Reply

      For Fire rating solid wood need minimum density.640 kg/M3

  6. Bob Cresswell August 18, 2016 at 4:16 am - Reply

    I have some wood that I am using for the body of a bass guitar project. It looks to me like one of the meranti types but it exudes a very sticky resin when it gets warm either through use of power tools or simply left in the moderate sun of an English “summer”. It is a dense, heavy wood. The long grain finishes well and it looks good when oiled. I wonder if it could be keruing (Dipterocarpus) species?

    Any views on the best way to seal the end grain to prevent the resin damaging the clear laquer finish would be appreciated. I have used cellulose sanding sealer but the resin just goes straight through that.

  7. Unmuted April 20, 2015 at 12:25 am - Reply

    I made a nice cabinet door out of the common (and cheap) 3/16 inch thick lauan panels that you can get at any hardware store in the USA. It stained well, and it is holding up well. That type of Lauan has two different plies I guess of the stuff… one looks like this dark red meranti (and is characteristic of lauan), while the other panel looks more like a veneer plywood you might think resembles American oak or birch… the main difference is that the veneer side has poorly typed knotholes and unfinished checks that are unsightly. To use this type of lauan for cabinet work like I did, you need to be very selective, especially on the veneer side and reject the worst areas. I should also mention that the veneer side has a lighter color and light grain, and is not very red compared to the Meranti shown on this page.

    My reason for using lauan where it normally wouldn’t be an option was the fact that large panels of cabinet-grade 3/4″ plywood is very expensive, not to mention heavy and thick. The thin lauan was an advantage here, because the door is thin and lightweight, even with an edge of oak case trim.

    • Joe Chao August 22, 2015 at 11:21 pm - Reply

      we are looking for Malaysian ROUND LOG :
      dark red Meranti, Merbau, Mersawa, Kapur, Keruing,Selangam tabu and teak if you can supply please contact joechao945 at g mail dot com

  8. safeer August 31, 2014 at 6:53 am - Reply

    can we use this meranti for pergolas and exterior wood design purposes?

  9. Carnivorous June 11, 2014 at 6:18 am - Reply

    I recently salvaged several hundred feet of dark red meranti from a 60 year old hospital building in Guam. It is 2 inches thick and about 6 inches wide, and beautiful straight grained. We’ve made some very nice projects from the wood, which has a rich dark finish after being rubbed with a Danish oil finish.

  10. Garveet September 16, 2013 at 6:51 pm - Reply

    I am based in Gandhidham, Gujrat, India.
    i have seen so many wood but
    in gandhidham there is five type of meranti which is represent different
    type of weight, grain and all.
    That is Plotter Meranti, Small, Super Small, Regular and commercial meranti as well.

  11. Royce de Hoedt August 22, 2013 at 8:50 pm - Reply

    I am a picture framer in Australia and in most cases when building stretchers for canvas I have used farmed pine. I have become aware that Meranti is now available. It is a lot tougher than farm pine but the questions I wanted to ask you are:

    If this is available then should I be investigating how it is being sourced? e.g. Is it being farmed, or inappropriately cut down?

    Are you able to give me some sort of brief in terms of it quality, relevant to what I do, if it is ethical to use?


    • Richard Low August 28, 2013 at 7:46 am - Reply

      Hi, do source for owners of PEFC certified Meranti.

    • mikels colmar March 25, 2016 at 8:25 am - Reply

      Ho Royce ,I’m Mikels from Mauritius.here we use red meranti for different purposes entrance doors,furniture,construction sites,windows,table,outdoor furniture etc….I think on our page we have same furniture made of….fbk entretien maison express

  12. Garveet March 21, 2013 at 11:09 pm - Reply

    Dear sir,

    I am based in Gandhidham,Gujrat,India.
    i have seen so many wood but in gandhidham there is five type of meranti which is represent different type of weight,grain and all.
    That is Plotter Meranti,Small,Super Small,Regular and commercial meranti as well.

  13. johnteh August 20, 2011 at 3:34 am - Reply

    is drk red mrnti suitable for swimming pool deckings after its has been kiln dried?

  14. Eric March 1, 2010 at 10:51 am - Reply

    I’ve never heard of any type of Meranti growing anywhere in Africa—it seems to be a mostly Asian wood. I could be wrong, but perhaps you are referring to a different wood species?

  15. george February 27, 2010 at 9:54 am - Reply

    dear sir i wish to know if merantis are in cameroon’s forest and what are its common name called in cameoon and its scientific name.
    Where could we fine them in cameroon .

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