Looking to buy new outdoor furniture? If you do a little research, you’ll almost definitely come across a few ads for outdoor teak table and chairs. One of the first things that may catch your attention is that furniture made from teak wood is consistently among the most expensive. Want to know why? Teak is renowned both for its durability and elegance. Beyond its beauty, teak wood possesses some natural properties that other woods don’t have. Let’a take a look at some important and interesting facts about teak wood and what to look for before purchasing your outdoor furniture.
What Is Teak Wood?
Teak is a hardwood tree species that can grow up to 30 -40 m. It produces small, fragrant white flowers and large papery leaves that are hairy on the lower surface. Native to South and Southeast Asia, teak is now also cultivated in other countries like Africa and South America.
There is a wrong belief that the purchase of teak furniture contributes to global deforestation and destruction of the environment. But that isn’t the case. In the past, extensive logging has threatened old teak forests. However, teak furniture is now an ecological practice, and to maintain sustainability, teak farming is now regulated. The teak used in furniture comes from tree farms or it can be reclaimed from old items.
Strength and Durability
The strength and durability of teak wood are unmatched. The hardwood has been used to construct ships for many centuries due to its ability to stand up to elements such as rain for many years. Furthermore, it’s capable to withstand both heat and cold, which makes it an excellent material for outdoor furniture. So, when you buy a quality teak outdoor table, you won’t have to worry about placing an ice-cold glass or a hot bowl directly on top of it.
Teak has a high natural oil content which helps repel water and keep the wood from warping or becoming brittle. This quality makes teak perfect for outdoor furniture regardless if it’s treated with varnish or not. The oil also makes the wood extremely resistant to rot and it contains resins that naturally repel termites. With proper care, it’s possible that a teak outdoor table will be the very last piece of furniture you will ever need to replace. Yes, the quality is that good!
The colour and grain of teak wood make it one of the most attractive options for furniture makers and buyers. Although outdoor teak furniture can be left exposed to the elements to become an elegant silver-grey colour, for indoor purposes teak is often oiled to retain its warm golden colours. Its strength is a great advantage for furniture makers, who can produce a variety of pieces that may not be viable using other softer woods. For the buyer, this means a wider range of choice in teak furniture than in many other kinds of wood.
What to Look for When Purchasing Your Outdoor Furniture?
One of the main considerations for buyers of patio furniture is the price. Many people cannot just go and purchase the biggest and best outdoor furniture without serious financial consequences. Although pricing is always a big factor in any patio furniture decision, it should never be the only thing to consider. The value that you get for your money is also just as important as the amount you spend. If you calculate the true value of any furniture purchase, then the initial price might be totally worth it.
So, how do you assess the value of high-quality outdoor teak furniture? One critical factor of any valuation of furniture is durability. After all, if outdoor furniture only last one season, then it certainly has little value and is most likely not worth the time and effort it takes to go out and buy the furniture. High-quality outdoor furniture isn’t made to be used for a season or two and then discarded. It’s made to last literally a lifetime.
However, if you buy outdoor furniture that is “teak oil”, there is no guarantee how it will handle the weather. “Teak oiled wood furniture” means that the wood has been treated with teak oil and is not real teak wood. You will come across the term “teak-like” furniture. You have to think twice before buying this kind of furniture. Original teak wood contains a high content of silica, will weather the elements, and last approximately 75 to 100 years when left outdoor in the elements. Only real teakwood can stay up to these claims.
So, how do you know you are purchasing “real teakwood furniture”? When shopping for teak furniture make sure you read the descriptions listed on any website or in-store that sells this kind of furniture. If you see pieces listed as “great deals”, “must-have”, or “unbelievable prices”, these may not be made from teak but a wood called Nyatoh. Nyathoh is a nondurable wood that has low resistance to termite attack and is prone to experiencing powder-post beetle attacks.
If you are on a budget and cannot afford teakwood, Nyatoh may be an option. But you have to understand that this wood doesn’t have the same qualities as the real thing and you’ll have to maintain it in order to ensure that it will handle the elements.