Teak Furniture

Written by Rachel Arieff
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Teak furniture is one of the finest choices for outdoor use. This is because high-quality teak is a naturally weather-resistant wood. However, notice I said "high quality teak." There is indeed a difference.

Teak comes in varying grades, some of a higher quality than others. The highest-grade teak is called Tectona Grandis. This type of teak is grown on plantations in Indonesia and specially harvested for teak furniture building.

About Teak Wood

Teak is a hard tropical wood that's famous for being two seemingly contradictory things at once: beautiful and tough. When left untreated, teak becomes a luminous, silvery-grey color. Some people prefer the natural beauty of untreated teak; others apply stains, hardwood oils, or bleaching agents to alter its appearance to their personal tastes.

Teak is tough and durable because it contains high amounts of rubber and oil. These naturally-occurring substances give teak flexibility and water-resistance. Consequently, this makes teak a great furniture-building material, as it will not rot when exposed to the elements.

Fine Teak Furniture Vs. Cheap Furniture

Fine teak furniture is made from 100% solid teak; not laminates or blends of different wood. This is a huge quality commitment right there, for many furniture manufacturers do not want to invest the money or effort to work with solid, high-quality teak. Their profit margin is greater when they spend less on materials and quality construction.

Cheap wooden furniture is often made from Shorea, which is touted as similar to teak but is simply a lesser, cheaper grade of Indonesian wood. Other times, teak or Shorea is blended with other woods to be more cost effective. In the end, though, these methods yield lower-quality furniture that cannot match the beauty and resilience of real, solid teak.

Preparing Teak

You can tell the difference between high-grade teak and inferior woods right away. First of all, genuine high-grade solid teak wood is grown on Indonesian plantations dedicated expressly to that purpose. These plantations carefully control growing conditions to provide the finest quality teak furniture in the world.

Once harvested, solid teak wood is dried in a kiln to ensure that it resists warps and cracks. This process is crucial to creating fine quality outdoor furniture that can withstand the elements. Lesser teak furniture manufacturers cut these corners and, as a result, produce furniture that splits and bends when exposed to any climactic changes.


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