Why is Teak Wood Furniture Highly Regarded?

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When it comes to furniture, especially outdoor furniture, teak wood is highly sought after due to its durability and natural resistance to weather conditions.
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Before purchasing new furniture, particularly patio furniture, many individuals may come across advertisements for teak wood. It is immediately noticeable that furniture crafted from teak wood is often among the most expensive options available. This is because teak wood is both elegant and durable, with unique natural properties that other types of wood lack.

Teak wood has always been highly regarded. The Tectona grandis tree, which produces teak wood, is native to tropical regions. Since the 7th century, teak has been used to adorn and furnish the homes of the wealthy and powerful [source: AmegaWood]. The Dutch were responsible for introducing this wood to the rest of the world when they colonized Indonesia. They utilized teak wood for shipbuilding, as it is an excellent material for this purpose due to its ability to resist dry rot.

Teak wood can be found in countries such as Thailand, Burma, and Malaysia, but Indonesia takes the conservation of its teak wood seriously. The Indonesian government has had a corporation in place since the mid-20th century called PT Perhutani, which manages one of the country’s most valuable natural resources. This corporation maintains the official teak plantations on the Indonesian island of Java, where only a specific number of trees can be harvested each year. For each tree that is cut down, a new one is planted in its place.

Since the best teak wood furniture is crafted from mature trees, it can take up to 80 years for a teak tree planted today to be harvested for its wood. As a result, old teak wood is often reclaimed and repurposed as furniture, salvaged from old structures that are scheduled for destruction.

So, what makes teak wood so highly regarded and valuable? This is explored further on the following page.

Benefits and Value of Teak Wood Furniture


Teak wood develops a beautiful silver-gray patina over time, and its durability makes it an ideal material for outdoor furniture, like this yacht’s deck.
Jivko Kazakov/iStockphoto

It is evident that teak wood is viewed as superior to other types of wood, such as pine or oak. But why is that? The answer lies in the natural oils and rubber found within teak wood.

Teak wood is abundant in natural oils and rubber that are locked into the tight grain of the wood. Unlike other woods, teak can retain these oils and rubber even after being cut down and processed, making it highly resistant against weather and dry rot. This also protects the heart of the wood from fungi and parasites that can destroy other woods. Teak wood is a perfect material for outdoor furniture as it weathers over time and can last for many years. Although teak is expensive, it offsets the initial costs by eliminating the need for annual waterproofing and furniture replacement costs. However, not all teak wood is the same. Teak heart wood contains more natural oils and is more valuable than sapwood, which is the outer layer of the tree. Lastly, if you decide to buy teak heart wood furniture, make sure it has been sustainably harvested from a forestry reserve.

FAQ

1. What makes teak wood furniture so durable?

Teak wood furniture is known for its incredible durability because of the natural oils and rubber present in the wood. These oils and rubber make the wood resistant to water, insects, and rotting. Additionally, teak wood has a tight grain structure that makes it less likely to crack or warp over time. With proper care and maintenance, teak wood furniture can last for generations.

2. How does teak wood furniture withstand harsh weather conditions?

Teak wood furniture is naturally resistant to sun, rain, and other harsh weather conditions. This is because of the high oil content in the wood, which helps to protect it from drying out and cracking. Additionally, the tight grain structure of teak wood makes it less likely to absorb water, which can cause warping or rotting. With proper care, teak wood furniture can withstand even the most extreme weather conditions.

3. Is teak wood furniture eco-friendly?

Teak wood furniture can be eco-friendly if it is sourced responsibly. Look for furniture made from teak wood that is certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), which ensures that the wood is harvested in a sustainable and responsible manner. Additionally, many manufacturers use recycled teak wood to create new furniture pieces, which is another way to reduce the environmental impact of teak wood furniture.

4. How should I care for my teak wood furniture?

To keep your teak wood furniture looking great, it’s important to clean and oil it regularly. Use a mild soap and water to clean the surface of the furniture, and then apply a teak oil or sealer to protect the wood from the elements. Avoid using harsh chemicals or power washers, as these can damage the wood and remove its natural oils. With proper care, your teak wood furniture can last for many years.

5. What are the benefits of teak wood furniture?

Teak wood furniture has many benefits, including its durability, natural resistance to weather and insects, and beautiful appearance. Additionally, teak wood furniture is versatile and can be used indoors or outdoors. It can be left in its natural state or stained to match your home’s decor. Teak wood furniture is also a sustainable and eco-friendly choice if sourced responsibly.

6. Is teak wood furniture expensive?

Teak wood furniture can be more expensive than other types of furniture, but it is also known for its quality and durability. The high cost is due to the scarcity of the wood, as well as the time and effort required to craft each piece. However, many people consider teak wood furniture to be a worthwhile investment because of its longevity and timeless style.

7. Can teak wood furniture be left outside all year round?

Yes, teak wood furniture can be left outside all year round. However, it’s important to protect the furniture from extreme weather conditions, such as heavy rain or snow. Covering the furniture with a waterproof cover or storing it indoors during harsh weather can help to prolong its lifespan. Additionally, regular cleaning and oiling can help to maintain the wood’s natural oils and protect it from the elements.

8. What types of teak wood furniture are available?

Teak wood furniture is available in a variety of styles and designs, including outdoor furniture, indoor furniture, and even decorative accessories. Outdoor furniture options include dining sets, lounge chairs, and benches, while indoor furniture options include tables, chairs, and dressers. Teak wood is also used to create decorative items such as picture frames, mirrors, and sculptures.

9. How can I tell if my teak wood furniture is high quality?

High quality teak wood furniture will have a tight grain structure, be free from knots and cracks, and have a uniform color. The wood should feel heavy and solid, and the joints should be well-constructed and sturdy. Additionally, the furniture should be made from solid teak wood, not a veneer or composite material. Look for furniture that is certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), which ensures that the wood is sourced responsibly and meets strict quality standards.

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