Most people do not think about their outdoor furniture as something that may be heirloom quality, but when getting high-end and high-quality teak wooden furniture, this is absolutely a possibility. Many people have heard a few stories about he mystique of teak wood and wonder if it is really worth both the hype and the often hefty price tag.
Mystique of Teak # 1 – Versatility and Durability
Teak has been used for centers in South East Asia for boats, bridges, doors, homes, indoor furnishings, home accessories, and even royal dwellings. This wood is versatile with a capital V. One of the main reasons which teak is so widely used is that it is extremely durable. Being a hardwood, teak is very strong and durable.
Mystique of Teak # 2 – Supply and Demand
Quality teak is harvested from mature Tectona Grandis. This tree grows very slowly in a tropical rainforest environment and reaches malnutrition slowly. Because of the time that it takes for teak to mature, the supply of harvestable and sustainable teak varies from time to time.
In recent years, the government of Indonesia has begun to regulate all teak plantations to ensure the sustainability of the valuable natural resource. Teak from Indonesia is the most likely to have been grown in a sustainable environment and is superior in the “green-ness” of the material, due to strict government regulation.
Mystique of Teak # 3 – Truly a No Maintenance Wood
Wood needs to be painted, stained, sanded and power washed, right? Not teak! Teak will last for many years in any weather without any maintenance except for spraying with water or wiping down with a soapy soft cloth. (Rinse after using mild soap on teak.) Indeed, stripping, oiling, painting, staining, etc. can actually shorten the life of your beautiful teak outdoor furniture .
This may seem odd to many, being that if your childhood was anything like mine, late spring mean the annual stripping, sanding, staining and sealing of our redwood furniture. Teak's no-maintenance badge is due to the fact that teak wood is rich in teak oil and that this oil moves from the interior of the wood to the exterior even after harvesting. This oil gives teak its no-maintenance quality.
Mystique of Teak # 4 – Color Shifting
Teak, when freshly harvested is a lovely honey shade of light brown or tan. This wood ages by shifting the hues from this rich color to a silvery-gray shade. This fascinating shift of hue can take up to two seasons to occur. Many believe that this is a sign that the wood needs to be stained or painted, but that is not the case. Enjoy and embrace the shift just as your gray highlights signal wisdom and maturity.