Type to search

Share

Teak wood is a popular, dense material used in various kinds of wooden products. It is a close-grained hardwood with a high amount of natural oil and silica content. It is so popular for how strong and durable its wooden properties are, but for what? In this article, you will find all the information you need to know about teak wood, where it comes from, the pricing, and how you can identify what items are made from teak in your home.

Properties of Teak Wood

It is used for interior and exterior furniture and other appliances. In fact, it is so well known due to how long-lasting it is for outdoor appliances such as park and school benches. The colour of teak is one of its most unique and recognisable features, as it is usually between light to dark brown. Be aware that, if teak is left outdoors, this colour can gradually fade away. It can be is often used for:

  • Decking (including marine decking, residential decking, and decking tiles)
  • Siding
  • Marine trim and millwork
  • Dining furniture

Teak is more variable when used as indoor furniture but often shows the material at its most beautiful. Teak can be used for:

  • Marine interiors
  • Flooring
  • Teak and holly flooring
  • Furniture
  • Mouldings
  • Custom millwork

Another interesting fact is what is in teak oil. Teak oil is a blend of refined oils including tung oil and linseed oil. Futhermore, these particular oils provide natural protection and a glossier wooden finish to whatever items they are polished onto.

Pros and cons

Like many other varieties of wood, teak has its advantages and disadvantages. The table below shows what does and doesn’t work about this type of wood:

ProsCons
Colour and appearanceCost
Long-lastingAvailability to use
Water and rot resistantAdditional care is needed for its natural oils
Can be reclaimed after use 
Standard wood for outdoor and marine woods 
Strong stability; resistance to splitting 
Easy to use 

Origins of teak wood

Naturally grown teak originates from Burma, which is in Southeast Asia. However, since teak is native in Southern Asia, it can also be grown in other tropical areas, including Africa, Asia, and Latin America.

map of asia showing where teak comes from

What is Tectona Grandis?

Teak is sourced from a teak tree, or Tectona grandis tree, and is recognised for its golden colour and smooth texture. It is a fast-growing plant and can take at least 25 years to grow into a mature tree before harvesting.

What is the Price of Teak?

The price of teak can vary, depending on the length, width, and thickness you are looking for from your teak wood. The cost can also be affected by the plantation and whether the teak you wish to purchase is naturally grown because this can drastically affect its price.

what is teak wood image of log stack

Teak Furniture

The life of teak furniture can last between 50-70 years, depending on the right environment and weather conditions it is kept in. The oldest teak benches in the UK are over a hundred years old! Its impressive lifespan is caused by its strength and durability to the elements, and it can impressively withstand not being treated by preservatives and ointments.

Teak furniture includes:

Can teak rot?

Most wood will naturally rot, including teak, due to the high volume of natural oils and rubber that it contains. However, natural teak should not rot for at least 20 years! This is the reason why teak is naturally resistant to rot, and is why it is used to make boats.

Water is a common factor for materials rotting, and fortunately, teak is resistant to water. In addition, its protective oils mean it can avoid moisture, rotting, warping, and splitting.

Did you know that African teak is an endangered plant?

Tick Teak on your Bucket List

As you can see, it is understandable why teak wood is such a popular material to use in furniture due to its long-lasting life. You most likely will have teak furniture already in your garden, such as from your sheds or garden furniture, or in your home with your coffee tables and wardrobes. This surge in popularity makes it a very valuable type of wood that you can accommodate in your home.

FAQs

What is teak wood?

Teak wood is a type of hardwood obtained from the Tectona grandis tree, which is native to Southeast Asia, particularly Indonesia, Myanmar (Burma), and Thailand. It is highly valued for its durability, natural resistance to decay, and attractive grain patterns.

What are the properties of teak wood that make it desirable?

Teak wood has a high natural oil content, making it resistant to water, rot, and pests like termites.
It has excellent dimensional stability, meaning it remains relatively unaffected by changes in humidity or temperature.
Teak wood is known for its strength and durability, making it suitable for outdoor furniture, boat building, flooring, and other applications.

Is teak wood sustainable and environmentally friendly?

The sourcing of teak wood can vary. Look for teak wood certified by organizations like the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), which promotes responsible forestry practices and sustainable sourcing.
Reclaimed or recycled teak wood is another environmentally friendly option, as it reduces the demand for new teak wood harvesting.

How does teak wood age and develop a silvery patina?

Teak wood starts with a warm golden-brown color. Over time, with exposure to sunlight and the elements, it naturally weathers to a silver-gray patina. This aging process is purely aesthetic and does not affect the wood’s quality or durability.

How should teak wood furniture be maintained?

Teak wood furniture can be left outdoors and will naturally develop a silvery patina. If you prefer to maintain the original golden-brown color, periodic cleaning and applying teak oil or sealant can help preserve it.
Regular cleaning with a mild detergent and water, along with gentle scrubbing using a soft brush, can remove dirt or stains from teak wood furniture.

Can teak wood be used for indoor furniture?

Absolutely! Teak wood’s durability and aesthetic appeal make it an excellent choice for indoor furniture. It is often used for items like tables, chairs, cabinets, and even flooring.

Is teak wood expensive?

Yes, teak wood is generally considered a premium hardwood and tends to be more expensive compared to other types of wood. The high demand for its desirable properties and limited supply contribute to its higher price.

Can teak wood be used for outdoor applications?

Teak wood is highly suitable for outdoor applications. Its natural oils provide protection against moisture, rot, and insects. It is commonly used for outdoor furniture, decking, siding, boat construction, and other outdoor structures.

Does teak wood require any special treatment or maintenance?

Teak wood is known for its low-maintenance nature. While it does not require regular treatment, applying teak oil or sealant periodically can enhance its appearance and protect it from weathering.

Can teak wood be used in humid environments like bathrooms?

Teak wood’s natural resistance to moisture and dimensional stability make it suitable for humid environments like bathrooms. Teak wood shower benches, mats, and vanities are popular choices due to their durability and water resistance.

Sources

Garden Benches. (02/03/22). How to Apply Teak Oil to Garden Furniture. Retrieved from: https://www.gardenbenches.com/blog/how-to-apply-teak-oil-to-garden-furniture/

WWF. (n.d.). African Teak. [Accessed 03/01/23] Retrieved from: https://wwf.panda.org/discover/knowledge_hub/where_we_work/congo_basin_forests/the_area/wildlife/plants/african_teak/

Cyan Teak Furniture. (n.d.). What is Teak Wood and Why Is It So Great? [Accesed 03/01/23] Retrieved from: https://www.cyan-teak-furniture.com/faqs/materials-construction/what-is-teak-wood-and-why-is-it-so-great

The Wood Database. (n.d.). Teak. [Accessed 03/01/23] Retrieved from: https://www.wood-database.com/teak/

Aquateak. (2021, July 23). 10 Facts About Teak Wood. [Accessed 03/01/23] Retrieved from: https://aquateak.com/blog/10-facts-about-teak-wood/

Forest Stewardship Council. (n.d.). [Accessed 26/05/23] Retrieved from: https://fsc.org/enhttps://fsc.org/en

Tags::
Anna Sharples

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

  • 1

You Might also Like

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *