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Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Interior Wood Species Selection

Haven't said much on this for a while, cause not much has happened. This is part of the interior design process that we have been putting off for as long as we can, simply because... we are not interior designers. It is the classic "We don't know what we want, but we know what we don't want" conundrum. But now there is no escape. Decisions need to be made soon (by this summer).

Since we are familiar with teak (lots of it on the small boat) and we know we do not want teak (too dark, too expensive, see below) we figure a good start is choosing an alternate wood specie. We visited our local hardwood supplier to pick some candidate samples. The first group of candidates are (with approximate prices)...

  • Teak (for comparison) - $35 per board-foot
  • Sapele (pronounced sah-pee-lee) - $7 per board-foot
  • Khaya (pronounced kai-yah) - $6 per board-foot
  • Cherry - $5 per board-foot
  • Beech, Steamed - $5 per board foot
  • Alder - $4 per board foot
  • Western Maple - $3 per board foot

L-to-R, Dark-to-light: Teak, Sapele, Khaya, Cherry, Beech, Alder, Maple
Next step: apply a couple of our favorite varnishes to the samples.

Stay tuned...


She:Kon said...

Cherry is my persona favorite but it also darkens with age.

Standing by.....

Matt Swift said...

Just found this blog - thanks for posting, it's really interesting.

I've been on quite a few boats that have Cherry - that gets my vote too. It's light so it doesn't close in. And it's cheap but doesn't look cheap.

Jesse said...

We just redid our whole interior with teak and bamboo. We used the teak because it came with the boat, and bamboo because it was light and accented it well. There's a wood called plyboo that is good for doors/panels, and we used a dark bamboo veneer for the floor. And it's environmentally friendly!

Robert Sutton said...

Thanks Jesse, yes we are considering bamboo as well. Particularly for the flooring. Have any pictures of your remodel to share?

Dan Thompson said...

Rob, looks like you have been to Edensaw. That is a good start. Did you talk to anyone about what veneers are available "off the shelf" already laid up on 1/4" and 3/4" plywood. The Cherry is easy and so is the Sapele. Last time I checked they also had a limited supply of European Steamed Beach ply. The Western Maple and Alder are not generally available pre laid up. I'm not sure about Khaya.
If you want to go with a more traditional look Cherry and Sapele are both really nice woods and would look great.

If you want a lighter, more contemporary look and feel, the Steamed Beach would be nice . The Amber Flat Grain Plyboo looks really nice against the Beach.

I have the Plyboo sample book, if you would like to see it , I can drop it by one day.


Robert Sutton said...

Dan. Yes, Ted and I talked a bit about ply-woods while I was at the warehouse. For me, cherry is looking the best. Janet, however, is indecisive thus far. We are trying a couple varnishes. Hopefully that will give more clarity. BTW, I will be in touch via email soon.