The pros and cons of teak furniture

You walk into a furniture store on a quest for the perfect dining table or chest of drawers. Cherry, mahogany, oak- somehow they don’t call to you. You can’t imagine them in your living room or master suite. Wait. There in the back, glowing softly in the flattering light of the store. It is a teak table. The sign says perfect for outdoor use, but you want it in your dining room, because it will match your russet colored wood floor.

Designers all over the world have been coming up with innovative ways of using the natural quality of teak to enhance your garden and the range available includes tables in modern designs that can easily be blended with basketwork chairs for that executive look, traditional outside dining suites, recliners, and chairs with a range of accessories such as cushions and chair covers for those occasions that warrant something special.

Taken further than that, German designers and arts and crafts style designers have come up with designs for garden benches that blend in with the naturalness of their environment, the arts and crafts styles known for their simplicity, and the new designs with swirls and shapes create a classical look for a more formal garden. Due to its hardiness, teak is often popular indoors too.

After asking the salesman, you discover that teak furniture truly has more advantages than disadvantages.

Teak is a very dense wood, and this makes it naturally weather proof. Teak tree grows in tropical rain forests of India,Thailand and Malaysia.

These countries use this wood not only for making furnitures,but for ship building, making of window frames and even roofs. Structural strength and durability are the unique advantages of this wood. It is also used in boat building; some of the most beautiful boats are the old teakwood runabouts. They are so popular, that many people pay a lot of money for model boats that are made of teak that look like their real counterparts.

teakwood model boat

Teak wood has a natural oil in it that makes it hold up to the harshest environment, without so much as a coat of varnish.  It is also used in making furniture, indoor and out (in fact it is a popular patio furniture wood). The old-growth teak is the most desirable, for it is much stronger and durable than the farm trees. It is occasionally also used as a veneer on indoor furniture.

Teak furniture is very beautiful and will last a lifetime if taken care of properly.

Indoor teak furniture adds a very interesting touch to a room, and is a great conversation starter. In the 1950’s and 60’s teak furniture was very popular, when it was called Danish Modern, and was all the rage. Today those pieces are much sought after and valuable.

Teak is a very fine grained wood, and what this means in terms of furniture is that it does not have the same disadvantage of soaking in dampness, and will therefore last longer. It’s a very strong wood, and the choice of garden furniture that you can buy in teak is amazingly flexible, in that the contemporary, modern and traditionalist ideals are catered for.

Outdoor teak furniture is as good as it gets in my opinion, good looking and will last forever. The main concern today is the harvesting of the old-growth teak, but they are making strides in growing teak specifically for the market. This should help ensure that teak will never become extinct, and that the old-growth will be around for a long, long time.

The pros of using teak furniture exceed the cons in our opinion.

Benefits of Teak Wood Furniture

The first fine feature of teak furniture is that it is incredibly tough! It has dense, hard grain and a natural resin that repels insects, both nice advantages for outdoor use. Teak also is high in completely natural oils, reducing the necessity of varnishing and finishing and sealing.

A second sweet specialty of teak furniture is that due to its makeup, it is extraordinarily resistant. It contains silica, which helps keep the furniture in its original shape, without warping or raising grain. The denseness of the wood makes it very tough, so it can take a beating. This furniture is actually surprisingly resistant to burns!

Thirdly, teak is naturally lovely. It has straight, close grain with some natural imperfections which add texture and interest to the piece.

The only problem with teak furniture, in this author’s mind, is that it is an unusual wood to see inside. However, it is eminently suitable for inside and outside use, so people just need to learn this fact. All in all, teak may be the choice for you.

PROS:

  • Natural Beauty
  • Hardiness
  • Insect repelling
  • Natural Oils
  • Low Maintenance
  • Weather resistant
  • Holds value
  • Burn resistant

CONS:

  • Expensive
  • Hard to tell from imitations
  • Takes years to Grow
  • Is a difficult wood to work with by hand

Natural Beauty

The natural beauty of teak furnitures is not easily found in other woods.  Teak wood can be transformed into outdoor decking, indoor tables and chairs, and executive office furniture which means that its beauty has many furnishing applications unlike most woods. Annual coats of teak oil can enhance the beauty much more.

Weather resistance  and hardiness

teak park bench

Teak furniture is highly durable and highly resistant to extreme weather conditions. Its natural oils are a nature insect repellent, which keeps a large number of wood destroying insects away. This is why park benches of many countries are  made out of teak if they can afford it. It does not require frequent polishing on a regular routine unlike other wood furniture.

Durability

The teak furniture is resistant to water and does not damage the wood. Also resistant to fungal attacks of rainy season and even chemicals. This is the reason why teak furnitures are used even in laboratories.Teak furnitures are meant for all seasons.Easy to transform teak wood into wooden furnitures.Easy to even shape teak furnitures with metals and even corroding and rusting can be prevented.

Holding Value

Selling old teak furnitures can be profitable. If you buy a teak furniture today and sell it after 15 years, you ought to still get a good price for it as long as you have taken care of it.

Disadvantages of Teak Furniture

Expensive

Teak wood furniture is much more expensive than any other type of wood furniture. If you are looking for buying cheap furniture, teak is not meant for you.

Often Mis-sold

Unfortunately, because teak is popular, but takes years to grow, many unscrupulous furniture sellers will pass of “teak oiled” or “Teak Covered” (i.e veneer) as genuine teak furniture. Also, it isnt easy for the untrained eye to identify teak that is of a decent quality.

Demands Care

Although we say teak is a low maintenance wood, it still requires some oiling or polishing every year or every other year. Compared to other woods, this isnt that often, but compared to composite woods such as particle board, plywood, or plastic furniture, there is some maintenance required.

 

Teak Furniture Care

All woods exposed to the weather need care, though with careful treatment of teak with teak oil that feeds the wood, teak furniture is capable of keeping it’s true golden brown color, as opposed to hardwoods that Grey and age with weather conditions.

Oiling the furniture regularly with a soft cloth and leaving it to dry does not damage clothing and ensures that although you paid more for that stylish furniture, what you got was value for money, and furniture that lasts longer than other outdoor furniture.

Some people choose to oil teak every 3-6 months, but it is often unnecessary. However it does add a nice luster to the wood if its finish is wearing off. It is probably best to use teak oil if you do choose to oil your teak furniture.

 

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