With the wide selection of options in today’s outdoor furniture market, you’d think the search for distinctive wood tables, chairs, and benches would be easy. But weather and wood don’t have a reputation for being forever friends, and there are often some hidden downfalls to many wood finishes being used outdoors.
But then there’s teak. There’s a reason this beautiful, hardy material is a top choice for outdoor furniture. It’s durable, low-maintenance, eco-friendly, and weatherproof. And it is a worthwhile investment.
When shopping for outdoor furniture, you’ll find that various wood types are often marketed as suitable for the outdoors, like teak, oak, or pine. But unlike oak and pine, teak furniture can last longer outdoors without being treated with a finish, making it today’s ideal outdoor wood. A few reasons why:
Teak is remarkably durable, on a variety of levels:
It’s moisture resistant. Say goodbye to water rot. Teak’s natural oils and high silica content make it virtually water-proof.
It’s pest repellent. Silica is not favored by bugs, and teak has a lot of it. Thanks to the wood’s high silica content, termites and wood post beetles are less than likely to take a bite.
It’s UV resistant. Teak is also resistant to sunlight. The biggest change that the wood may have is a silver-gray patina if not oiled every few months.
It’s tough as nails. The same qualities that make teak resistant to water, pests, and sun damage also keep it super strong and warp-free.
Texture and Scent
The straight grain found in teak wood is perceived to be more elegant than the larger, wavier grain of oak and pine. And when it comes to fragrance, teak’s natural oils are similar to the pleasing scent of genuine leather.
Although many companies believe in offering sustainably and responsibly grown wood, it is especially important to purchase teak from well-managed forests because of the wood’s high demand. To ensure you make an eco-friendly product purchase, ask your retailer or supplier whether or not their teak furniture is certified. You can also look through the following online products databases to find a retailer that carries certified teak: Forestry Stewardship Council (FSC), Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI).
From there, teak’s durability allows for the wood to actually be used over and over again while maintaining its original qualities. As a wood with a long lifespan, its overall demand is lower than other woods because you can get more use out of it.
To clean teak furniture, you simply need to wash it with mild soap, water, and either bleach or vinegar mixed in. A soft plastic brush works as a gentle scrubbing agent if needed. If desired, oil the wood with Tung or Linseed Oil every 2 to 3 months after a wash to preserve the rich brown color of the teak.
Worth The Cost
In general, teak is more expensive than other hardwoods. But this extra cost is justified by the lifespan of the wood. It’s an investment, but beautiful enough to work indoors if you ever switch up your outdoor space.
With the right teak furniture in your outdoor room, you’ll be able to enjoy warm and modern alfresco entertaining for many years to come.
Tonyé is a Senior Product Content Publisher at YLiving who dwells over the way modern design transforms customary furniture and accessories. She began her career in the Furniture Industry at the San Francisco Design Center and has not turned away since. In her free time she enjoys volunteering, adding images to her incomplete inspo board, obsessing over different ways to refresh her apartment, immersing in the East Bay Art & Culture scene, and never turning down brunch with friends.