Today I want to write about in more details what is teak wood exactly and why is it so praised as a furniture building material. Tectona Grandis (Latin) is a tropical hardwood mainly found in the south and Southeast Asia.
It’s famous for its durability and water resistance, thus being used for outdoor furniture and constructions, boats and spa or bathroom furniture.
While Myanmar is a home of nearly half of the world’s naturally occurring teak forests, the most popular teak wood plantations are based in Indonesia.
Besides its durability, teak is adored for its reddish, honey brown color that a few kinds of wood can match.
Teak wood is well known to last a lifetime, and over the time it starts to fade and takes an elegant gray, silvery look.
I’ve seen some teak patio tables that are several decades old but have aged exquisitely well. There some ways to retain its original color, but to me, it looks amazing in both versions.
My partner criticized me for spending a lot of money on teak furniture at first. Now that he’s seen the quality of it, and what a good investment really is, he even encourages me in it.
He even bought a teak plan or two for his small woodworking and carving projects. Apparently, besides the easy handling, he loves the leathery smell it produces when being cut.
What is teak wood used for the most?
Teak really earned its reputation by enduring hard weather conditions like no other wood was able to. Due to the wood being high in oils and having a tight grain, teak is extremely resistant to water and humidity. That’s why it’s the go-to wood when it comes to outdoor furniture, as well as spa and bathroom furniture.
Worth mentioning that poolside and patio chairs made of teak wood are extremely popular.
It is highly desirable as indoor furniture too since it serves as a repellent for insects and will not be eaten by pests like termites. Teak is very good for bathroom furniture like shower or bathtub caddies, shower seats, towel racks, and shower mats.
It would be a sin not to mention its stylish and luxurious look too. This is exactly why most of the spas look so comfy and fancy at the same time.
Boatbuilding is definitely one of the most traditional teaks uses out there. Discoveries showed that teak has been used as a boatbuilding material for over 2000 years. Rot, fungi, and mildew have nothing on this type of wood. Woodworkers love it since it’s easily worked and provides a lot of options when it comes to finishing. This is probably why teak wood furniture can be priced above most of the other wooden furniture.
Where to find the best teak wood for sale?
With teak being somewhat exotic and rare wood, not every woodshop might have the teak wood for sale available at all times. I’ve managed to find teak lumber in some niche stores that specialized in selling more exotic building materials. Sometimes it’s hard to find it even there, as the demand gets higher.
Another option is to search for sellers online. You can choose from various sources and origins of teak lumber and pick the right ones for you.
A huge advantage is that you don’t have to struggle with the transport. Teak that you order online will come directly to your door.
You can find some smaller, more locally based online shops. But you can also go with the bigger online selling sites, like eBay, Craigslist or Amazon. Personally, I prefer Amazon. The sellers are more reliable and you can usually find the most affordable teak wood prices there.
3 common misconceptions about teak wood
We already know by now that teak is one of the high-grade woods and why do people love it so much. But there is a lot of misleading information that circles out there about teak furniture and teak itself. I decided to research them more thoroughly and see if the myths are true or busted.
Myth #1: Teak furniture business is harmful to the environment!
Many argue that high demand for teak furniture is causing deforestation and damages Nature.
Although there have been problems with extensive logging in the past, teak wood farming is rigorously regulated in order to protect its sustainability.
Also, the teak that is being used for furniture manufacturing is almost always from a legal plantation. It also helps that teak doesn’t need chemicals at last and that it lasts much longer so there’s no need to replace teak furniture often if not ever.
Myth #2: Teak from Africa is as good as in Asia
So-called “African teak” is often confused with teak from genuine plantations. Cheaper production of teak in Africa gave birth to some shady business with “African teak” furniture.
The logging in Africa is highly unregulated and presents a real damage to the environment. Mass deforestation and export will inevitably cause the extinction of “African teak” unless some measures are introduced to prevent this.
Myth #3: Teak furniture is too expensive!
The price of teak is also a common complaint but teak is now more affordable than ever. Decades ago it was unimaginable to think that a top quality teak chair could be in the range of 150-250 dollars. It is also anything but overpriced.
Once you invest in a teak piece of furniture, it will most definitely outlive you. There are few materials that can survive generations of wear and tear like a teak can. The best thing is that it ages amazingly and will constantly look better and better.
So be sure to check where the teak lumber that you are buying comes from. Southeast Asia is the most common home of teak plantations, with some from Central America joining in. We have unlimited sources online, so it’s to check it every time. It’s worth noting that Indonesian Perum Perhutani plantation is always the safest bet.
I’m glad that I was able to explain what is teak wood. Ever since I bought the first teak piece I can’t stop buying them. I hope that you now have more knowledge about teak lumber than before. Surely, you’ll have more ideas about what to look for in teak wood and where to find it the easiest.