Everything You Need to Know About Teak Outdoor Furniture
If you’ve been browsing seating options for your patio, you’ve probably heard people herald the benefits of high-quality teak wood furniture. Teak wood is a massively popular choice for outdoor furniture, especially in temperate climates like Southern California.
Of course, you’ve also probably realized that teak wood furniture isn’t cheap. So, is the substantial price tag worth the material’s supposed benefits?
That’s what we want to talk about in this blog post. As a bonus, we’re also sharing some tips and tricks for making your teak investment last, should you decide to pull the trigger on an outdoor set.
What Is Teak Wood?
Teak comes from the teak tree (Tectona grandis), a tall, broadleaved tree found throughout parts of south and southeast Asia – specifically Burma, Laos, Thailand, and India. It’s sometimes referred to as the “king of the woods,” largely due to its beauty and long lifespan.
Throughout history, humans have used teak wood in luxury carpentry. Its durability, water resistance, and beautiful color make it a great choice for everything from boats to furniture. There are records of teak wood construction as far back as the middle ages, but the material became especially popular when adopted by the Dutch in the 16th century.
Today, you’ll predominantly find teak wood used to create outdoor furniture, flooring, railings, and exterior decks – and perhaps the occasional sailboat or yacht. Because its natural oils protect it from moisture-related damage, teak wood is especially popular amongst homeowners with gardens, pools, and other outdoor seating areas.
How to Tell If It’s Authentic Teak Wood
As with any material, you’ll find poor substitutes for teak wood that are marketed as the real thing. Fortunately, it’s pretty easy to distinguish real, high-quality teak wood from inferior products.
- Grain. Real teak wood has long, straight grain while cheaper substitutes tend to have large knots.
- Scent. Teak wood’s natural oil gives a distinctly leather-like smell.
- Weight. Authentic teak wood is heavy.
- Water-resistant. If you place water droplets on a real piece of teak wood, they should sit on the surface rather than soak into the wood.
The Benefits of Buying Teak Wood Furniture
An outdoor teakwood furniture set can easily cost thousands of dollars – even with lumber expenses decreasing since their spike in the past few years.
The truth is that this hefty price tag does reflect quality and durability that other outdoor furniture materials simply don’t have. Teak is one of the strongest, most durable hardwoods on the market.
Thanks to the wood’s high natural oil content and tight grain, it doesn’t deteriorate quickly – even when exposed to rain and harsh sunlight. Teak wood also:
Doesn’t Crack or Break
Although teak wood is a porous material, its protective oils make it resistant to rotting, warping, and/or splitting caused by moisture. Over time, you may notice some small cracks or splits, but this typically only happens when there are dramatic changes in humidity and temperature. This makes cracking less of a concern in places like Southern California.
Even if the material does develop small imperfections, it likely won’t affect the furniture’s structural integrity. In the wild, teak trees can easily live to be over 100 years old, and teak wood furniture should last for at least 75 years.
Can Be Refreshed to Like-New
As teak wood furniture is exposed to outdoor weather, it will eventually begin to lose some of its beautiful colors. The original honey-brown hue made fade to a silvery-gray patina after years of oxidization and exposure to moisture.
The good news is that these signs of aging are purely cosmetic. By occasionally cleaning and sealing teak furniture, you can keep the items looking like-new for decades.
Comes in a Variety of Finishes
When shopping for teak wood furniture, you’ll likely find a wide range of oil finishes, from tung and lemon to walnut and linseed. Although teak wood does not require a finish, you may want to look at different options to find the exact shade and gloss level to suit your preferences.
At first impression, teak wood might seem overly expensive. However, when you consider the material’s durability, beauty, and versatility, you will likely find that its pricetag accounts for its long-term value.
Things to Know About Teak Wood Maintenance
Should you decide to purchase a luxurious set of teak wood furniture, you’ll want to know how to keep it in pristine condition. In order to do that, there are a few things you should understand.
1) It Has Special Natural Oils
As we mentioned, teak wood’s oils are one of the material’s defining characteristics. These oils are what give the furniture a natural shine, as well as a defense against rain and sunshine.
These oils also require certain kinds of care. If you apply too many extra teak oils or use products that scratch the wood, you could cause long-term damage to the furniture. Always do your research before treating the wood to prevent overcleaning or over-oiling.
2) You Need to Preserve Its Color
If left unattended, your outdoor teak furniture will eventually begin to gray – likely within 9 to 12 months. To prevent this from happening, you’ll need to protect the furniture’s natural oils by applying a teak sealer.
Our team recommends scheduling a teak wood cleaning and sealing appointment at least once per year. This will ensure you’re adequately protecting the wood from discoloration, as well as things like mildew growth.
3) It’s a Long-Term Investment
If you want your teak wood furniture to last a lifetime, you need to preserve it accordingly. That means keeping up with regular cleaning and sealing, but it also means turning to professionals for the best level of care.
Just like you take your luxury vehicle to the dealership for professional treatment, it’s worth calling in experts for annual (or bi-annual) teak wood maintenance. This is a surefire way to prevent the build-up of contaminants on the furniture, as well as to nip any deterioration or discoloration in the bud.
Want a Professional Opinion?
There are many perks to owning teak outdoor furniture, but even the highest-quality pieces will require annual care and maintenance to stay beautiful. That’s where we come in.
If your teak wood furniture is dull, gray, or dirty, don’t despair. Request a quote today and we’ll help you restore your investment to like-new condition.