Mahogany Wood Cost

How Much Does Mahogany Wood Cost?

Last Updated on February 12, 2024
Written by CPA Alec Pow | Content Reviewed by Certified CFA CFA Alexander Popinker

Mahogany is one of the most desirable and expensive woods used in fine furniture-making and other woodworking projects. But how much does mahogany wood actually cost?

With genuine mahogany becoming more rare and prices varying widely between suppliers, it’s important to understand the factors that affect mahogany lumber pricing when budgeting for your next project.

This article will give you a realistic overview of price ranges for different types of mahogany currently on the market. We’ll also look at the characteristics that impact mahogany wood cost and provide tips for getting the best deal from suppliers. Read on to learn what to expect when investing in this quality hardwood.

How Much Does Mahogany Wood Cost?

For many decades, mahogany has been in high demand for furniture, musical instruments, boatbuilding, and other applications requiring beautiful and durable wood.

This popularity comes at a price – on average, mahogany costs $8 to $15 per board foot. However, prices can range from as low as $4 per board foot up to $22 or more depending on the source, quality, and market factors.

The most inexpensive and commonly available option is Philippine mahogany, which costs approximately $4 to $7 per board foot on average.

While it has ‘mahogany’ in the name, Philippine mahogany is actually a different species scientifically classified as Shorea rather than Swietenia, which includes Honduras and African mahogany.

Genuine African and Honduras mahogany typically costs $8 to $20 per board foot, with variances depending on market fluctuations and the vendor. Rare, high-figure grain mahogany boards sell for over $22 per board foot from specialty suppliers.

When purchasing mahogany for projects, always confirm the wood species and source. Pay close attention to grain patterns and coloring to ensure you are getting the real thing. The cost differences are substantial between genuine mahogany and more affordable look-alike species.

Types of Mahogany and Their Costs

There are several species of trees considered ‘true’ mahogany, with different characteristics and price points:

  • Honduran Mahogany – This classic mahogany species offers a reddish-brown color and distinctive grain patterns. It costs on average $10 to $18 per board foot. Genuine Honduran mahogany has become relatively rare.
  • African Mahogany – With similarities to Honduras mahogany but a slightly darker color, African mahogany costs $12 to $20 per board foot on average. It remains more available than Honduran but still limited in supply.
  • Sapele Mahogany – Sometimes sold as African mahogany, sapele is a separate species with interlocked grain. Pricing averages around $7 to $10 per board foot. Well-figured boards can top $15 per foot.
  • Philippine Mahogany – One of the most affordable ‘mahogany’ species starts around $4 per board foot. This fast-growing wood has mild grain patterns and light reddish color.

Always inspect boards carefully, as some vendors may pass off less expensive look-alike woods as genuine mahogany. Understanding the cost range for each species allows budgeting accurately for upcoming projects.

Factors That Influence Mahogany Wood Pricing

Several key factors impact the retail cost per board foot when buying mahogany lumber:

  • Wood Quality – Higher grades of lumber with attractive, prominent grain patterns or intense coloration command premium pricing. Knots, imperfections or bland sections cost less.
  • Source Region – Mahogany from heavily harvested regions costs less than sustainably managed forests. African and Honduran mahogany with verifiable origins often costs more.
  • Board Dimensions – Larger, wider boards are exponentially more expensive than smaller stock. Special cuts also add cost.
  • Rarity – Extensive harvesting means genuine Honduran and African mahogany are increasingly at risk. Tighter supply with steady demand leads to higher prices.
  • Market Conditions – From the forestry industry to international trade, many global factors cause mahogany pricing fluctuations over time.

While every woodworker seeks the finest mahogany for projects, be sure to balance your budget and needs. Sometimes slightly lower grades or smaller boards offer the best overall value.

Tips for Buying Mahogany Wood

Follow these suggestions when purchasing mahogany lumber to get the right wood for your plans at a fair price:

  • Confirm the species and source to avoid look-alike substitutes. Compare grain and color samples if unsure.
  • Examine boards thoroughly before purchase – verify quality, dimensions and pricing on each piece.
  • Ask about sustainably managed sourcing and evidence of legal trade, such as FSC certification.
  • Understand current market rates for the type you want and know your budget range.
  • Build relationships with hardwood suppliers focused on premium materials and service.
  • Consider ordering in larger quantities to qualify for bulk pricing discounts from vendors.
  • Be flexible – if wider boards are outside your budget, joining multiple smaller pieces may work.

By doing your homework about specs and pricing, you can make sure every dollar spent on your mahogany purchase is money well spent.

You might also like our articles about the cost of luan plywood, marine grade plywood, or wooden furniture restoration.

Mahogany Wood Cost vs Other Hardwoods

Mahogany WoodMahogany sits at the upper end of the spectrum for decorative hardwood pricing. Here’s how it compares to other popular species:

  • Oak – At $3 to $6 per board foot on average, oak is one of the most affordable and available domestic hardwoods.
  • Cherry – This fine furniture wood costs a moderate $5 to $9 per board foot, on par with walnut.
  • Maple – Hard maple boards range from approximately $5 to $12 per board foot.
  • Walnut – American black walnut averages $7 to $13 per board foot for better stock.
  • Teak – As a premier boatbuilding wood, teak runs $15 per board foot and up.
  • Mahogany – Starting around $10 per board foot, mahogany is more costly than domestic woods.

While pricier than many options, mahogany offers outstanding beauty and workability to justify the premium expense for many applications.

Why Sustainable Sourcing for Mahogany Matters

With mahogany supplies limited and threatened in natural habitats, responsible sourcing practices are crucial. Supporting vendors who legally harvest mahogany using sustainable forestry techniques helps fund conservation efforts.

Although sustainably sourced mahogany often costs 10% to 30% more than wood of uncertified origins, many consider this a wise long-term investment.

Seeking out FSC-certified mahogany sources helps:

  • Ensure survival of mahogany groves for future generations
  • Maintain biodiversity in tropical forest ecosystems
  • Provide fair wages for legal harvesting practices
  • Validate vendors committed to sustainability

While looking purely at the bottom line, lower priced mahogany may be tempting. However, responsible harvesting and fair trade across the supply chain has intangible value for many buyers. Always inquire about eco-friendly sourcing when buying mahogany.


For crafters and woodworkers seeking luxurious hardwood for special projects, mahogany remains a top choice that commands premium pricing. Depending on the species, source, dimensions, and quality, mahogany lumber ranges from $4 up to $22 per board foot or more from leading suppliers.

While higher than average, mahogany offers outstanding workability, rich coloration, and pleasing grain patterns. By understanding the characteristics, comparing types, finding reputable vendors, and shopping smartly, you can secure the perfect mahogany for your next creation while getting the best value for your budget.

Frequently Asked Questions

What’s more expensive oak or mahogany?

Mahogany is generally more expensive than oak. On average, oak costs between $3 to $6 per board foot while genuine mahogany starts around $10 per board foot and can run $20+ per foot depending on the species and quality.

The primary reasons mahogany commands a higher price is its status as a rare, imported exotic hardwood versus the abundant domestic supply of oak lumber.

For fine furniture builds where cost is less of a concern, mahogany is perceived as a superior material worth the premium price to many woodworkers. However, oak remains a great choice for more budget-friendly projects requiring a strong, attractive hardwood.

Is mahogany high quality?

Yes, mahogany is considered a high quality, luxury wood for furniture and other applications. There are several factors that make mahogany a premier choice among woodworkers:

  • Beautiful grain patterns ranging from straight to interlocked flecks to swirling figures
  • Rich reddish-brown coloring with excellent dimensional stability
  • Smooth texture that is easily worked and takes an exceptional finish
  • Good strength and hardness similar to other domestic hardwoods like maple
  • Relatively light weight yet still durable depending on the species
  • Polished appearance for fine woodworking when stained and finished properly

Is mahogany illegal in US?

Mahogany itself is not illegal in the United States. However, tight restrictions apply to the import and sale of mahogany wood products to prevent trafficking of illegally logged mahogany.

The Lacey Act and 2008 amendments banned the import, sale or purchase of illegally sourced plant products, including mahogany lumber. Under the law, suppliers must provide documentation proving mahogany originates from legal, sustainably managed sources.

This policy aims to curb uncontrolled logging threatening rare mahogany groves. Reputable American vendors only deal in legally verified mahogany. When buying domestically, request to see the vendor’s import declaration paperwork to ensure supporting ethical practices.

Although regulations make sourcing mahogany more complex, the payoff is preserving majestic mahogany forests for future generations.

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