If you are looking for new outdoor furniture, then the chances are that you’ve come across some teak pieces. Teak is one of the most favoured materials for furniture and outdoor applications in general, thanks to its strength and natural beauty.
Here we’ve looked at the pros and cons of teak outdoor furniture to help you decide whether this could be the right choice for you.
The pros of teak outdoor furniture
Teak is one of the strongest and most durable hardwoods and comes from a tropical environment which has only added to this natural hardiness. As a result, it performs well when exposed to weather conditions such extreme rain and extreme heat. This is greatly due to teak’s high natural oil content and the genetic make-up of the timber.
Not only does teak hold up well against the weather, but the natural oils and silica means that teak also has a high resistance to rotting, termite devastation and acid damage. The natural oils repel unwanted insects and moisture from damaging the integrity of the timber, which is why it has been used for exterior projects, including boat building, for years.
Thanks to the properties mentioned above, teak outdoor furniture requires little maintenance even if left uncovered outdoors. Teak furniture will stand the test of time and will still be just as sturdy and well kept regardless of the conditions that your garden has to withstand.
This makes teak perfect for those who want low-maintenance garden furniture as when left to naturally weather it will transform over time to a beautiful silvery grey and will just require a general brush down and clean. Alternatively, you can bring your teak outdoor furniture back to its natural colour with a light sand and a polish.
Teak is a naturally beautiful timber with tight and typically straight grain with varying textures. The natural golden-brown colour tones of freshly cut timber appeal to many and as mentioned above this can be kept if this is the colour you enjoy.
Otherwise, teak does age well and the patina is a testament to its high quality which only adds to the aesthetics of your outdoor space.
Being a timber that is relatively easy to work with, teak is extremely versatile and can be used for many different applications and projects.
Teak has been used to make all sorts of garden furniture, including tables, bench seats, chairs and sun loungers.
It can also be left natural, painted, stained, waxed or varnished depending on the style of the furniture and the taste of those purchasing it.
The cons of teak for outdoor furniture
Whilst the cons of teak are minimal, there are a few which we have included here for you to consider.
As mentioned above, teak will silver naturally over time if left outdoors. Whilst some may like the greyness of silvered teak, others may prefer their teak to be, well, teak. To maintain the golden colour teak is known for, you’ll need to move your furniture indoors over winter, which takes time, energy and space. You may struggle to lift a whole table yourself, or you may not have room to store everything for 6 months a year. A good solution is to look at sheds for sale to keep your furniture in – a shed will keep the wood dry, extending its lifespan and maintaining its colour.
Unfortunately, teak’s desirability has made it a vulnerable species. The teak tree is incredibly slow-growing, meaning it’s harvested faster than it can grow. Traditionally, teak has been harvested from natural forests, which destroys ecosystems and reduces biodiversity. Meanwhile, plantation-grown teak encourages the expansion of mono-cultural farming, which is arguably worse for the environment. If you really want teak, it’s important to find sustainably-grown wood, even if that means paying more.
Teak is one of the best timbers to work with, especially in exterior applications, but naturally this also means it is one of the more expensive. Although, despite costing more upfront, it is unlikely that you’ll have to replace it at the same pace as some other timber furnitures.
Teak is also more expensive than some other timbers due to the availability of this timber. While teak a highly desired material, it isn’t as readily available as some other species on the market which can be an issue. This is because teak is a naturally slow growing timber and isn’t overly easy to harvest.