Guide To Purchasing Teak FurnitureJerry Nordstrom
But as perfect as teak is for outdoor areas, you should still go through the purchasing process armed with information. Here are five things to consider before taking the plunge with teak.
The same things that make teak so desirable also help drive up the price, making it most suitable for spaces you’re planning to use for years to come. So if you move around a lot or are the kind of person who likes to constantly redecorate, it might not be the best option.
The demand for teak has helped drive deforestation across South and Southeast Asia, devastating ecosystems and contributing to the exploitation of local peoples. But not all teak comes with bad karma. These days it’s much easier to find teak grown on plantations that practice sustainable harvesting.
There are three general options for teak finishes: natural/unfinished, sealed and preweathered.
When exposed to the elements, teak naturally turns a silvery gray over time. You can see this starting to happen to the furniture shown here, especially on the arms. If you like this look, all you need to do is sit back and enjoy your teak furnishings; they’ll begin to gray within a few months.
Tip: Buy all your unfinished teak furnishings at the same time to ensure they’ll end up the same color.
Some vendors recommend oiling teak as a preservative to help maintain its color. The downside: Oiling can promote mold and mildew. When deciding whether or not to oil, consider where the furniture is placed. If it’s in a covered or enclosed area in constant shade, the sun won’t fade it as quickly. Indoor teak furnishings often won’t fade at all.
Teak furniture needs to be cleaned at least once a year to remove dirt, dust and stains. This is something you can do yourself with a diluted household cleanser and a bristle brush. Ask your vendor which detergent you should use based on the finish you’ve chosen.