Teak furniture- a quick user friendly guide

by Polina

When shopping for garden and outdoor furniture, you will quickly notice the popularity of teak as a material used to make many different types of furniture. From tables and chairs to benches and even sun loungers and recliners, teak is often the material of choice for manufacturers and customers alike. But why is this the case? This guide will explain a little more about teak, its properties and origins, before discussing the correct care of your teak outdoor furniture.

Teak is a kind of hardwood which grows in the regions of South and Southeast Asia. It is an extremely sturdy and weather-resistant variety of wood, which is why it is so often used in outdoor furniture. In addition, its weightiness keeps furniture grounded and in position even in more severe wind and rain. As a hardwood it is a relatively slow growing tree, which is reflected in the relative rarity, and consequently the price, of teak.

There are cheaper woods, but few, if any, can compete with teak for sheer durability. There are obvious sustainability concerns arising from slow growing woods, but there is certified sustainable teak available on the market which hails from carefully managed commercial plantations. It’s also important to note that the long lasting nature of the furniture makes it an environmentally friendly option, as it avoids the need to frequently replace furniture.

This is part of the reason why teak is often used for park benches, where anything less would prove a false economy in the long run. It also goes some way to explaining teak’s traditional reputation as a family heirloom, with older teak furniture being passed down through generations.

But how can you care for and maximise the life of your teak? The extraordinary fact is that teak requires no special treatment from you at all. Where other woods require top coats and varnishes, these are optional for teak, and purely a question of taste. It is common for years of outdoor exposure to turn teak a greyish colour, without affecting the quality or stamina of the wood.

This is a purely cosmetic concern which can easily be prevented by the application of a teak sealer product available from a hardware shop or garden centre. If wishing to avoid your furniture being stained by tea, coffee or food, a clear varnish will prevent stains seeping in permanently. Otherwise, with ordinary care, attention, and an occasional rinse in soapy water, outdoor teak items can last 70 years or even more! This low maintenance wood is a deservedly and persistently popular choice.

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