Teak Outdoor Furniture Buying Guide

Teak is one of the most trusted materials for outdoor furniture. Here’s everything you should know before buying.


What is teak?

Teak is a tropical hardwood tree native to southeast Asia. Teak trees can grow up to 150 feet tall and live for over 100 years. Teak wood has been highly valued for centuries and is used for a variety of purposes, from building ships and bridges to making herbal medicines.


Why is teak used for outdoor furniture?

Durability. Teak is considered one of the most durable hardwoods in the world. Its high natural oil content protects it from sun, rain, snow and even pests. This means teak furniture is resistant to rot and mildew, and will not crack or warp overtime. 

Strength. Due to its tight grain and high oil content, teak is well known for its remarkable tensile strength. For centuries teak has been used to build bridges and ships, mainly because it does not break or weaken under tension. This makes teak wood the ideal material to use in the construction of high end outdoor furniture.  

Beauty. The same natural oils and dense grain that give teak its strength, also make it one of the most attractive natural woods. Teak wood is smooth and has a long, sleek grain.


Types of teak

Grade A. Grade A teak is the best quality and comes from the center or “heart” of a mature teak tree. This section of the tree has the highest oil content, which gives it a rich golden color and makes it extremely durable. It also tends to have the straightest grain and less imperfections compared to other grades. These qualities make grade A teak a great investment if you are looking for high end, long lasting outdoor furniture.

Grade B. Grade B comes from the perimeter of the log. It’s lighter in color and contains more knots. Structurally this wood is considered to be softer and more prone to damage than Grade A. However, it is cheaper and is still a solid outdoor wood.

Grade C. Grade C often comes from trees that are not fully mature. This results in a lack of natural oils and strength. We do not recommend purchasing Grade C teak outdoor furniture as it will not hold up to the elements. 



Color

Freshly cut teak is best described as a warm, golden color. Over time the wood will slowly mature into a silvery gray patina, which most people find just as elegant. If you’d prefer to keep the golden color you can choose to add a sealer. 

See our step-by-step guide on how to seal teak


Care

Teak is easier to care for than you might think. The best way to maintain teak is to occasionally brush it off and scrub away any dirt or stains with a simple soap and water solution. This will keep your teak furniture looking great and performing how it should. Keep in mind that while teak is rot resistant, mold can attach to food/debris left behind and eventually move to the wood itself. 

To get the most out of your teak furniture, we do recommend applying a sealer. This does not need to be done immediately but will ultimately prolong the life of your furniture. 



Sustainability 

With teak wood being so desirable, there have been issues with unethical harvesting. When purchasing teak furniture it’s important to make sure it’s FSC-certified. This is the gold standard for environmentally conscious lumber production and ensures that the wood came from a responsibly managed forest. 


In Summary

Teak checks all of the boxes if you are looking for high quality outdoor furniture that is built to last. It’s naturally weather resistant, it looks great, and it’s easy to maintain compared to other types of wood. 

If you have any questions or want to chat about your specific furniture needs just let us know and we’d be happy to help!

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