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Discover the unmatched qualities of teak, the naturally waterproof wood that excels as the best choice for outdoor furniture. 

At Sloane and Sons, we are proud to be the go-to experts within the industry in regards to teak wood furniture. But what makes this material so good is its water resistant wood properties. In this article, we will explore why teak is the most water resistant wood, making it the ultimate option for enduring beauty and functionality in outdoor furniture. If your knowledge is lacking in regards to teak, read our detailed guide about what teak wood is beforehand.

Join us as we uncover the secrets behind teak’s natural water resistance and its reputation as the best waterproof wood for outdoor furniture and beyond.

See for yourself our premium products within our outdoor teak dining furniture range.

What Occurs When Teak Gets Wet

Due to it being a naturally waterproof wood, teak has a unique interaction with water. When teak gets wet, it will not absorb or get damaged unlike so many other varieties of wood. This resistance is why teak is favoured for outdoor furniture. 

Natural teak oils prevent decay, even when exposed to rain, displaying its status as a water-resistant wood for outdoor use. Yet, continuous moisture exposure can cause teak to absorb water and expand slightly, with its oils diminishing under prolonged sunlight if left untreated. Nevertheless, with appropriate maintenance and sealing, teak’s water exposure poses little concern.

Benefits of Water Resistant Teak Furniture

Teak owes its remarkable water resistance to its rich content of natural oils and resins. These elements form a barrier against water penetration, averting potential damage like warping, rotting, or mildew. 

Besides repelling water, these oils also fend off pests such as termites, contributing to teak’s longevity. Teak’s historical use in boat construction highlights its durability and water resistance, with its oils offering saltwater resistance, making it the best waterproof wood for marine use as well. However, be aware that over time, untreated teak will display a silver-grey patina, a feature especially valued in the maritime community.

Learn more removing pests by following our advice on how to keep spiders off patio furniture.

Why Teak Is The Best Water Resistant Wood For Outdoor Furniture

best water resistant wood teak

To ensure our products are of the best quality, we conduct exposure tests by subjecting teak to various outdoor elements, including rain and sunlight, to gauge its water resistance. Immersion tests, for example, involve dipping the wood in water to test its moisture repelling capacity. 

Such thorough testing re-establishes the optimal strategies for waterproofing teak, ensuring its lastingness and functional superiority as a naturally waterproof wood. 

Durability

Its incredible durability and natural water resistance make it virtually unrivalled. Unlike other woods, teak doesn’t need sealing or staining to withstand weather conditions. Its inherent protective oils not only repel water but also improve its appearance with a high gloss finish. Of course, using our bench covers will only aid in extending the life of your teak benches, decreasing further chances of outdoor elements harming it.

Weather Resistant Properties

Teak stands out as one of the most resilient hardwoods, capable of withstanding severe weather, from torrential rain to intense sunlight. Its natural resilience makes teak ideal for use in diverse environments, such as spas, poolside areas, and ski lodges, where durability and weather resistance are paramount. Even when exposed to harsh conditions, a simple application of teak oil can restore teak furniture and its natural beauty, highlighting its low maintenance needs.

Pest Resistance

Teak’s inherent oils do more than just protect against water; they also act as a natural pest deterrent. The wood’s resistance to termites and marine borers is a testament to its suitability for outdoor use, where the risk of pest infestation is higher. 

Low Maintenance, High Appeal

Teak’s low maintenance requirement is one of its most celebrated attributes. It retains its beauty and functionality without the need for frequent staining, painting, or processing. An annual application of teak oil is often enough to rejuvenate its appearance and maintain its natural shine. 

Enduring Longevity

The lifespan of teak wood is extraordinary, outlasting most other woods in outdoor conditions. Its robustness and resistance to splintering or cracking ensure that teak furniture remains a lasting investment. 

Ideal for Wet Environments

Teak’s water-resistant properties extend to its use in wet areas like bathrooms, where it is often used for shower benches and bath mats. Its oils guard against moisture, preventing mould and mildew, and contribute to a luxurious bathroom ambiance.

Best Types of Teak Furniture Choices

Edward Sloane (2024) Sherborne Teak Patio Lounge Furniture Corner Sofa Set. [online[ Available at: https://www.gardenbenches.com/wooden-garden-corner-sofa-sets [accessed 18/03/24]

Teak’s unparalleled durability, strength, and water resistance make it the naturally waterproof wood of choice for various furniture types, such as the following:

Outdoor Seating and Tables

  1. Coffee Tables: Teak coffee tables exemplify versatility, combining sturdiness with natural oils that shield against water and pests. Ideal for outdoor spaces, these tables resist warping and deterioration, maintaining their form and functionality regardless of weather conditions. Our range of coffee tables includes the Lutyens teak garden coffee table and banana halfmoon teak coffee table.
  2. Dining Tables: The elegance of our teak dining tables is unmatched, making them perfect for al fresco dining. Available in diverse styles and sizes, they are easy to maintain, needing just occasional oiling to preserve their beauty.

Elegant Bathroom Sets

  • Shower Seats: A teak shower bench not only offers water resistance and a non-slip surface but also brings a touch of luxury to bathrooms.
  • Shower Shelves: Adding a teak shelf in the shower area elevates the room’s aesthetics while offering practical storage for bathing essentials. 

Caring for Teak Outdoor Furniture

how to care for best water resistant wood

Maintaining teak furniture is straightforward, primarily due to its inherent oils and nutrients that naturally protect the wood. An annual cleaning with soapy water is sufficient enough to remove dirt and grime.

How to Care for Teak Furniture in the Winter

Since teak is considered to be the best water resistant wood, does this also mean that it can withstand harsh winter weather conditions in the UK as well?

The answer is easily yes! Its robustness means it can stand tall and proud outdoors, all year round. However, this should not deter you from applying extra care for the furniture during colder months, ensuring that it remains in pristine condition.

Here’s what to do to protect your teak furniture in the winter:

  • Regular Cleaning: Winter’s harsh elements can leave teak dirtier than in warmer seasons. Regular cleaning prevents the build-up of dirt and grime.
  • Use of Sealers and Cleaners: Applying teak cleaners and sealers can help preserve the wood’s natural look and protect against winter’s damp and frost.
  • Protective Covers: Breathable, high-quality covers can shield teak furniture from snow and rain, preventing moisture accumulation and potential cracking.

How to Store Teak Furniture

For those preferring to store teak furniture indoors during winter, choosing the right environment is crucial:

  • Proper Ventilation: Ensure the storage area, like a garage or shed, is well-ventilated to avoid humidity fluctuations that can cause wood to expand or contract.
  • Avoid Heat Sources: Keeping teak away from direct heat sources prevents drying and cracking, maintaining its natural moisture balance.

Weatherproofing Teak Furniture

Teak’s natural oils provide inherent weatherproof qualities, making it a naturally waterproof wood ideal for outdoor spaces. To improve these properties:

  • Teak Protectors: Products like Teak Protector keep the wood’s golden hue intact while guarding against UV rays.
  • Sealer Shield: Applying a Teak Sealer Shield adds an extra layer of protection, especially useful for dining tables and other frequently used pieces.

Explore our picks for the best outdoor garden table decoration ideas.

How to Prevent Wasp Damage on Teak Furniture

best water resistant wood keep wasps off furniture

Although teak is the best water-resistant wood, it can unfortunately attract wasps that use the wood fibres to build nests. To prevent damage, you should use:

  • Natural Repellents: Homemade solutions like vanilla, eucalyptus, menthol, or citronella can deter wasps. Applying these solutions to the furniture creates a repellent barrier.
  • Eradicate Nests: Removing nearby wasp nests reduces the likelihood of them targeting your furniture. Hire a professional to do this to prevent harming yourself or the furniture.

Learn more about deterring wasps in this useful guide on how to get rid of wasps naturally.

Choose Teak as the Best Water Resistant Wood

In summary, teak’s combination of water resistance, durability, pest resistance, low maintenance, and longevity establish it as the best choice for outdoor furniture, capable of withstanding the elements while offering a timeless elegance.

For further information about teak furniture, feel free to contact us today and see how we can meet your garden furniture needs.

FAQs

Can teak be left out in the rain?

Yes, teak can be left out in the rain. It is naturally water-resistant and durable, making it suitable for outdoor use without significant damage from rain.

Does water damage teak wood?

Water does not typically damage teak wood due to its natural oils that protect it from moisture, rot, and decay. However, prolonged exposure to standing water can eventually lead to mildew or stains.

How long will teak last outside?

Teak can last outside for 20 to 75 years or more with proper maintenance. Its longevity depends on the environment and care it receives.

Sources


Murdani Usman. (2017) Teak log yard. Flickr. [online] Available at: https://www.flickr.com/photos/cifor/35104275923 [accessed 18/03/24]

Joyner, L., (2021) How to get rid of wasps naturally. Country Living. [online] Available at: https://www.countryliving.com/uk/homes-interiors/gardens/a36557453/how-to-get-rid-of-wasps/ [accessed 13/03/24]

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Anna Sharples

Anna is the marketing and office manager for Garden Benches - a premium supplier of high-quality wooden benches and other outdoor furniture.

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