Difference Between Teak and Mahogany

Edited by Diffzy | Updated on: July 12, 2023


Difference Between Teak and Mahogany

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Trees are undoubtedly an important part of human life. Trees provide hard and durable wood and timber and which are used for a variety of purposes. Woods are extremely important and used for various commercial purposes. When it comes to timber Mahogany and Teak are the most important trees which provide hard and durable timber. Both are intensively cultivated within the Indian subcontinent and abroad and are also imported and exported. Mahogany and teak are the most important timber-giving trees used for making furniture, boats, and also other range of wooden products. Many people consider both trees the same because of their uses and purposes they serve, but they have their differences and are so much different from each other by various parameters such as texture, colour, smell, price, and also the maintenance they need. Timber from both trees is different from each other in terms of durability and resistance towards water and insects, and other factors too.

Teak vs. Mahogany

Though Mahogany and Teak both provide timber and are used for making furniture and other wooden products, both of them are different from each other based on their texture, durability, and resistance to water and insects. Both trees have their uniqueness. The main difference between the two lies in their texture. Mahogany is a tropical wood with a dark red-brown colour, whereas Teak is a close-grained hardwood that ranges in colour from yellow to dark brown. Mahogany is native to South America, Africa, and Central America, whereas Indonesia, India, and Central America are home to Teak species. Teak and Mahogany both come in the Hardwoods category, but colour differences are visible.
The grain structure of both kinds of wood is straight, but Teak has little waviness, and Mahogany has a linear pattern. Teak is much more expensive than Mahogany as it is not readily available and more durable and is mostly preferred over Mahogany due to its characteristics. In the woodworking field, Teak and Mahogany are two of the best quality wood available. Any home or office that has teak and mahogany furniture looks great. Both types of goods are quite similar but are different from each other.
Both trees are from different plant species and also vary in texture and also in areas of cultivation. The green pattern in both the woods are similar up to an extent, but teak wood comes with straight grain with a touch of waviness, whereas Mahogany has a straight-grained linear pattern and Mahogany differentiates it from others as it has circular rings in the wood. When it comes to durability, Teak is always one step ahead compared to Mahogany. It is the durability of the Teak that makes it a much-preferred choice for building boats and ships and also as a flooring material. The natural oil that Teak contains makes it suitable for outdoor use as well. Though Mahogany, as compared to Teak, is not much durable it is also used to make furniture. It is mostly preferred to make indoor furniture,
shelf, and cabinets. Both the woods have their degree of maintenance. Despite the good looks that wood offers, maintenance is involved in keeping the good long-lasting. If the wood is left exposed, both the wood becomes brown, but Teak is easy to regain its original color as compared to Mahogany. Both the woods are expensive up to an extent, but still Teak is more expensive. Just like that, both the wood is hardwood in nature, but Teak is mostly preferred, and it has characteristics too accordingly. Teak lasts longer compared to Mahogany, good quality teak lasts up to 80 years, whereas Mahogany has a life expectancy of nearly half of it. Thus the teak price is worth of.
Though both the woods are extremely important, there is continuous exploitation by unscrupulous logos, and both of these woods are heading toward extinction, but still, the government is trying its best to conserve both the woods as they are commercially extremely important.

Difference Between Teak And Mahogany In Tabular Form

Parameters of comparisonTeakMahogany
Botanical nameIt is called Tectona grandisIt is called Swietenia macrophylla.
Color and shadeIt is color and shade range from golden to dark brown..It's color and shade range from reddish-brown to bloody red.
DurabilityTeak is extremely durable and thus extensively used for making furniture and boatsIt is fairly durable and used to make a musical instrument.
StrengthTeak is very strong as compared to other woods.It has medium strength. 
MaintenanceTeak is easy to maintain and needs less maintenance..It is not easy to maintain and high maintenance.  
PriceIt is a bit expensive due to its quality and long-lasting nature.It is expensive still comparatively cheaper .
SmellIt has a leathery pungent smell.It has a woody, dry and clean smell.
WorkabilityIt is not easy to work with teak wood.It is comparatively easy to work with mahogany wood.

What Is Teak?

Teak is a tropical hardwood found in the plant species in the family of laimeche. It is a large deciduous tree that is found in the mixed hardwood forest. It is up to 40 meters tall with great grain brown branches and extremely known for its high-quality wood. It is found in a variety of habitats and climatic conditions, found in the arid region as well as in
regions with up to 5000 mm of rain per year. Though the annual rainfall in areas Teak grows, the average rainfall is 1250 to 1650 mm with, usually, 3 to 5 months of the dry season, and thus it belongs to both moist as well as dry deciduous forest. Teak wood has a leather-like smell when it's new and is known for its durability and water resistance. The teak wood is used for a variety of purposes, such as boat building, exterior construction, furniture, and various other things. Teak is a beautiful tree with small pregnant white flowers arranged in dense bunches at the end of branches. The leaves of teak trees are hairy on the lower surface. Its leaves are 15 to 45 centimetres long and 82 to 23 centimetres wide. The Teak has been used in India for more than 2000 years.
It is native to South and Southeast Asian countries, mainly Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Thailand, and Sri Lanka, and cultivated in many African and Caribbean countries. Teak has a variety of uses. It is used in the manufacture of outdoor furniture and boat decks. Moreover, it is also used for cutting boards and indoor flooring counterparts. It is used to make doors, window frames, furniture and columns, and beans in a home. It is very useful as it is resistant to termite attacks and damage caused by other insects. It is grown on a large scale by the forest department of different states in forest areas.

What Is Mahogany?

Apart from Teak, the other tree that has importance when it comes to timber and wood and provides durability and strong timber for making wooden products, the tree is Mahogany. It is a straight green-reddish-brown timber of three tropical hardwood species. It is used commercially for a variety of goods due to its colouring and durable nature. Its colouring provided a unique place as it looks extremely beautiful and elite. This tree is native to America and also has been imported to Asia in other countries. In certain countries, Mahogany is considered an invasive species. The species is famous for its rich red timber. Apart from all this, it carries technical qualities that make it useful for making a range of musical instruments that have no match with any other wooden musical instruments. Apart from providing wooden timber, mahogany trees have their uses and uniqueness. Even studies have proven that Mahogany or sky fruit seeds contribute greatly to lowering cholesterol and helping prevent heart problems.
It belongs to the family Meliaceae. In today's era, mahoganies are comparatively rare, as by the mid-1800s, Good lumber was becoming rare. The species had been logged into genetic impoverishment and commercial extension. Today there are still a few species of Mahogany available the wooden timber. Mahogany is an incredibly strong food with relatively higher compressive strength and bending strength than most woods. It is highly durable and extremely strong and is a popular choice in making furniture, yacht, and boat making because of its various technical quality it is used for making musical instruments. A musical instrument made of mahogany wood is extremely intensively used and is very much famous as it has its different charm.

Main Differences Between Teak And Mahogany in Points

  • Mahogany is a tropical wood with a dark red-brown colour wood, and Teak has a golden-brown lustre.
  •  Teak is more durable as compared to Mahogany and also has greater resistance to water and insects.
  •  Teak is more costly as compared to Mahogany because of its preferences as it is preferred more than any other wood.
  •  Teak regains its originality after being exposed to the outer environment, but it's not the case in Mahogany.
  •  Teak has a life expectancy of up to 80 years, whereas Mahogany has a life expectancy half that of Teak.
  •  Teak is found in Indonesia, India, and Central America, whereas Mahogany is found in South America, Africa, and Central America.
  •  Teak wood comes with a straight grain pattern with a touch of waviness, whereas Mahogany has circular rings in it.
  •  Teak is used for outdoor furniture because of the natural oil that protects it from the outer environment, and Mahogany is mostly used for interior furniture and musical instruments.


Even though both trees are used for the same purpose of making furniture and other wooden products, still both of them carry their uniqueness and differences. Both trees are grown on a wide scale in India and abroad, and their timber is imported and exported for a variety of purposes. Even smuggling of such timber is being done on a large scale because of their preferences. Mahogany and Teak both provide timber for making wooden products, but Teak is preferred when it comes to making furniture and all just like that, Mahogany is preferred for making musical instruments. Mahogany is a tropical tree with dark red-brown colour native to America. It is a red-hued hard, and durable timber with a strong structure. It is used for a variety of products. The colour of Mahogany darkens overtime. When the polish is applied to eat it takes on a ready Sheen. It is usually preferred for furniture and possesses medium durability at strength. Just like that Teak is a highly valuable hardwood with a beautiful golden brown lustre. It is extremely long-lasting due to its natural oil, which protects it from wet and cold weather. Teak is much easy to cut in any shape and easy to cut joint in an efficient manner as it is a close grand hardwood. Though both the trees have their texture and their uniqueness and are different from each other when it comes to colour, shine, texture, as well as durability and resistance to insects and water. Though both trees are used for the same purposes, Teak is much better when it comes to beauty and resistance. Teak costs more than Mahogany as it is a bit expensive and its hardness is higher than that of Mahogany.

Both kinds of wood have respective differences when it comes to texture, durability, resistance to water and insects and price, etc. Teak and Mahogany are trees of commercial value. Their Woods have been utilized for a variety of purposes and are imported and exported from time to time. Even their woods are also being illegally sold as they are of high value. The woods have been used for a variety of purposes, such as furniture making, boat making as well for flooring, and other purposes. Both the woods are durable enough and carry unique colour and shades, bifurcating them from others.


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"Difference Between Teak and Mahogany." Diffzy.com, 2024. Mon. 10 Jun. 2024. <https://www.diffzy.com/article/difference-between-teak-and-mahogany-1175>.

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