Seeing as everyone from your old aunt Gertrude to your nuisance of a nephew Denis now owns an android phone or a tablet, it’s no surprise that the market is filled with informed buyers- buyers that do their homework before they spend their hard earned cash.
Just like you’re doing right now!
So, you’re in the market for outdoor furniture and instead of going out to just any furniture store and buying whatever the store manager suggested. You asked around and found a kind of wood repeated again and again, “Teak Wood”. Intrigued by the repetition, you took out your very own gadget and Googled “What is Teak” which brought you here thirsty for some valuable information about Teak Wood Furniture.
You’ve come to the right place, by the time you’ll reach the end of this article you yourself will be well versed on everything that’s teak and your outdoor furniture problems will vanish into thin air.
What Exactly Is Teak Wood?
Teak is the popular name for the tree species Tectona Grandis, a member of the mint family, the tree reaches heights of around 150 feet. This particular tree species is characterized by having small, fragrant white flowers along with papery leaves.
Teak timber is mostly known for its high durability and water resistance making it the best type of wood used in outdoor furniture, exterior construction and furniture carvings.
The teak tree is native to India, Thailand, Indonesia and Myanmar- but it can grow in other tropical habitats as long as the soil is fertile, well drained and the plant gets access to plenty of sunshine.
Tectona Grandis depends on pollination by insects. Because of its high resistance qualities (to both decay, wood rot and shipworm) the demand of teak is surpassing the supply which is why various teak plantations have been set up in a lot of tropical areas.
Uses of Teak Wood Through Time
Being native to Southeast Asia, in 7th century Thailand (then Siam) the wood was used to construct and decorate the royal residences, trade ships and religious buildings. In the Middle Ages, other cultures also made use of the wood to build ships owing to the fact that teak timber is highly durable, water resistant and buoyant.
If you are looking for proof of just how long teak wood lasts, just look at the image below
This is a teak wood plank from the 17th Century!
Teak timber is yellowish brown in color and has good grain and texture. The presence of high oil content, high tensile strength and the tight grain makes it a highly favorable material for outdoor furniture applications. With time teak wood can turn into a silver-grey finish.
In India teak wood is used extensively to make doors and window frames, furniture, beams and columns.
In places like the UK, outdoor teak wood furniture is a very good idea. Why? Because teak is the only wood that can withstand the unpredictable UK climate. Yes, many people go with other types of woods for their patio and outdoor furniture, however, when they have to spend boatloads on the maintenance and repair of the furniture that’s when they realize that they in fact made a huge error.
Because unlike other wood types, teak wood is the only wood that withstands all sorts of temperatures.
Teak Wood Weigh In; The Pros and Cons
Eventhough, it seems that you just can’t go wrong with teak- that’s not really the case. We don’t live in a perfect world, which is why teak wood is not without its faults. So, for a final weigh in it is necessary that the pros and cons of teak are discussed side by side to see whether ot not you should go forward with teak.
Teak wood is highly durable and can easily endure heat, rain, hail and various other weather conditions. No need to bring your furniture into the house if it’s raining, teak will take care of everything.
The natural oils and rubber found in teak enable it to resist parasites, fungi and wood rot. Teak wood is famously known to last at least more than a 100 years.
- Natural Color and Finish
Teak wood has a beautiful natural color that ranges from a warm honey brown to a light ash color (the color changes as the wood ages). Even if you leave the wood untreated, its natural oils give it an attractive finish, this of course is a cost effective step. The wood doesn’t splinter so you don’t have to fret over the fact that you skipped the finishing process.
Teak is water resistant, making it ideal for use in bathrooms, kitchens even in saunas. Because the wood doesn’t absorb water one doesn’t have to worry about the wood rotting from water exposure.
The oils in the wood along with giving the wood a glossy look also act as a natural insect repellant, if you own outdoor teak furniture you don’t have to concern yourself over termites and other insects destroying your furniture by burrowing into it.
- Easy Maintenance
Teak wood furniture is very easy to maintain and clean, all you need to do is wipe the furniture with a damp piece of cloth. You don’t need to paint, varnish or oil your teak wood furniture each and every season.
Teak wood isn’t actually cheap, and because the demand is actually higher than the supply- most suppliers of teak wood do sell it at a higher rate. If you’re on a tight budget, maybe teak wood isn’t the choice for you.
- Excessive Weight
Teak wood furniture is extremely heavy. So, if you’re in the habit of changing your furniture arrangement from time to time, then teak may not be the wood choice for you.
It’s clear that the pros do outweigh the cons- and with this your introductory lesson on teak wood is now over; you are now a teak wood expert too.
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