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What is Teak Wood?


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:

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 southern asia

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.

pile of teak wood logs

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.


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/

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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