Life Hacks

African Sapele - The Dining Table You Need

African Sapele - The Dining Table You Need

In our past few articles, we had deep dived and analysed the best wood slabs that would make great dining tables. We had also highlighted a few wood types that would be a good fit for any home such as the historic Olive wood, the sturdy Leadwood and more recently, the exotic Purple Heart. Today we will be looking at another majestic wood species - African Sapele.

This timber is famously known for its copper iridescent hues and its large stature. However, there is more to African Sapele than its size and look. It also has all the characteristics to be made into a quality solid wood dining table. Let’s see why!


Sapele Tree

African Sapele trees also known as Sapelli trees are commonly found in Central Africa. These trees are one of the largest tree species on the continent growing up to 60 metres in length. They also tend to grow quite close to one another which had lead the species to become very starved of sunlight. As a result, Sapele trees were forced to evolve in terms of their width, now having girth sizes of up to 1.5 metres! With its large stature, African Sapele wood slabs would be great dining table options for homeowners with big families!


One of the most common indicators of durability in the industry is the Janka scale which ranges from 0 to 4,000. A ranking of 0 means the lumber is very soft and not suitable for dining table usage. A ranking of 4,000 means that the lumber is extremely hard and difficult to mill. African Sapele wood has a hardness rating of 1,410, placing it in the acceptable range for a dining table with other common wood types such as American Walnut, Olive, and Oak.

African Sapele wood has good resistance against fungal infestations that may lead to rot decay. The wood contains properties that give it decent protection against insect attacks too. Furthermore, African Sapele is also well known for having moderate shock resistance against indentations. As such, these qualities make this timber a great choice for dining tables as it provides the strength and durability to combat against wear and tear issues as well as potential infestations that may come about from the humid conditions in Singapore.

Colour & Appearance

Sapele Grains

African Sapele wood slabs have a golden-reddish brown colour tone. The texture of the wood along with its colour tone creates a copper-red iridescent hue. This bores close similarity to the much sought-after African Mahogany wood. As a result, this timber is very popular in the woodworking community for it comes off as an affordable alternative to the costly Mahogany. With its reddish-brown tone, African Sapele wood would appeal to homeowners who have a warm colour palette for their homes.

Unlike other wood slabs, African Sapele has straight vertical wood grains. This is because African Sapele trees have very few tree branches on their barks. These branches are instead found closer to the canopy of the tree itself. As such, what remains is a very clean and neat tree bark leading to consistently straight wood grains on the African Sapele wood slabs.


Rubio Monocoat

Like all of our wood slabs, African Sapele is coated with a Rubio Monocoat finish. The Rubio Monocoat oil is engineered in such a way that it protects both the surface and core of the wood, giving it good protection against water and making it highly scratch-resistant.  Simply clean the surface with a slightly damp lint-free cloth regularly for dusting. As wood is a natural material, it can be sensitive to temperature. As such, using coasters and placemats when serving food or drinks is strongly encouraged. For detailed care instructions with the Rubio Monocoat, click here.

In Conclusion…

African Sapele is a majestic species that personifies rustic elegance. With its larger-than-life stature and royal colour tone, this wood slab will anchor down any living space. Furthermore, its shock resistance and overall durability ensure that an African Sapele dining table will be one that lasts for decades to come.

If you’re interested in checking out this wood slab, we have some good news for you! We have several African Sapele wood slabs available for purchase in our showrooms. Do drop by and have a chat with us. We’d love to share our knowledge on wood slabs with you.