Furniture made with teak materials can provide a unique and upscale look for your outdoor living space. Today’s retailers covet manufacturers that use materials from the teak tree, a tropical hardwood tree species native to southern and southeastern Asia.
Countries with the highest percentage of teak trees include Burma, India, Malaysia, and Thailand. Teak is a shortened name for the hardwood tree species Tectona Grandis. Since the trees can grow up to an amazing 200 feet, it creates an abundant amount of timber to use when creating outdoor furniture.
Native tribes in Asia originally used teak to build homes and create tools due to its strength and durability. Some also used it as a healing agent by boiling it in tea and then drinking the tea as a cure for stomachaches and headaches. By the 17th century, members of the British empire began using teak to build naval ships. It wasn’t too much longer that British citizens began noticing outdoor furniture such as park benches made from teak.
Benefits of Wood Furniture Made with Teak
As civilization evolved, people couldn’t help but notice the incredible durability and weather resistance of furniture made from teak. Its natural oils helped to guard against moisture damage and fungus, an ongoing battle for anything made from wood and used primarily outdoors. Teak remains popular among furniture manufacturers and homeowners who purchased their products to this day.
People shopping for new wood furniture might be surprised at first that pieces made with teak sometimes cost more than those created with other types of wood. They soon realize that the extra investment is worth it to own outdoor furniture with such a well-known reputation for durability. It’s also elegant and highly pleasing from an aesthetic standpoint as well as unique when compared to other types of wood.
The oils and rubber contained within teak protect the wood from invader parasites that could otherwise destroy it. This factor alone makes teak furniture much more low maintenance than other types of wood furniture that require regular treatments with weatherproof oil. After several years of outdoor exposure, the wood color may slowly change from brown to silver.
Teak Furniture Grades and Why Quality Matters
Homeowners new to purchasing teak furniture might not know to look for a grade to indicate quality. A-Grade teak describes the premium center cut of the timber and makes up approximately 40 percent of it. To receive an A-Grade rating, a teak tree must be at least 40 years old. This is the best way to ensure that the wood won’t contain variations, knots, or discolorations that can show up in teak with a B-Grade or C-Grade rating.
Tight and even grain and consistent coloring are additional things to expect with A-Grade teak. It’s the compounds contained within teak that make it highly resistant to insect damage and rotting. The oil and natural rubber found in teak help to protect it from damage caused by the sun’s rays as well.
B-Grade teak is of lower quality because it has more color variation, grain twisting, knots, and its grain contains lower density. The pattern can be inconsistent and appear more like other types of wood such as olive. Homeowners might also notice significant residue on furniture made with B-Grade teak. Due to its even lower quality, C-Grade and D-Grade teak (sapwood) doesn’t usually make its way into wood furniture sold in the United States.
High-end retailers use the highest grade of teak in their furniture, referred to in the trades as premium grade teak. Premium grade comes from the inner 35% of the tree where the wood is denser, straighter, and much stronger.
Care Tips for Teak Furniture
Although teak is a highly durable material, taking proper care of outdoor furniture made from teak can help to extend its already long lifespan. For homeowners who live in climates that force them to store their teak furniture for the winter, cleaning the deck and all teak furniture with a soft power wash should be the first step.
Using a power needle with a wide angle while cleaning the teak furniture is the best way to get rid of any erosion that might have started during the time it was in storage. Applying oil or a teak protector shield product will help the furniture shine.
Homeowners shouldn’t feel concerned if they notice small cracks in their teak furniture since this is a natural process over time. To cover the tiny cracks, all they need to do is apply a small amount of glue and sand over it.