As the evenings lengthen and the temperature rises you might be thinking about investing in new garden furniture. If you are, then you may have already started to explore the different options and spotted a lot of talk about teak furniture. There’s a good reason for that - teak is the best wood for garden furniture.
Read on to find out why teak is the best wood for your garden furniture.
What Is Teak?
Before we give you the lowdown on why teak makes the best garden furniture, let’s first take a look at what teak wood is.
Teak is a dense, close-grained type of wood that is sourced from the Tectona grandis tree which is a tropical hardwood species that occurs in mixed hardwood forests.
The Tectonis grandis tree is native to south and southeast Asia being found in significant quantities in Bangladesh, India, Myanmar, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and Sri Lanka.
Teak is naturally high in oils, is a beautiful golden brown colour and has a smooth grain and texture. It’s also extremely hard. Measured on the Janka Wood Hardness Scale (the standard test to ascertain the hardness of wood), teak has a Janka rating of 1000-1155, which makes it harder than pine, poplar, cedar, chestnut and mahogany.
Teak will generally grow to about 40m (131ft) tall over a period of 25 years, at which point it is ready to be harvested.
As we’re sure you’ll agree, it’s quite a remarkable wood.
So, why exactly does teak make the best garden furniture? Let’s find out why it’s so highly sought after as a material for the very best garden furniture.
(Shop Now: Warwick Solid Teak 3 Seater Memorial Bench).
Strength & Durability
Teak is just so strong! There isn’t another wood which really comes close.
The wood’s strength is derived from its close grain and abundant natural oils. This means that teak is able to withstand significant temperature variations without succumbing to the sort of warping that affects other woods. This makes teak an ideal furniture for garden furniture - especially if you intend to leave your furniture outdoors for much of the year.
The sheer strength of teak also means that it doesn’t suffer the type of afflications suffered by other woods such as rotting, insect damage, UV light damage or scratches and dents.
All being well, you should expect your teak garden furniture to last 50-70 years (and perhaps even longer in the right environment). As a fun fact, some of Britain’s oldest park benches are nearly a century old, and you guessed it! They’re made from teak.
When many people invest in garden furniture, they want furniture that they can put in their garden and use without the hassle of regular maintenance.
If that sounds like you, then teak garden furniture is the perfect option. Thanks to teak’s innate natural qualities, it’s nearly maintenance free (with one important caveat which we’ll cover in a moment).
Teak’s high oil content means you don’t need to paint or varnish it. Teak is normally dried to about 10 percent of its original moisture level, which locks in the natural oils and rubbers. This means the wood in effect ‘protects itself’. The only thing you’ll need to do is give your furniture an occasional scrub with soapy water to remove any accumulated dirt and grime on the surface.
But on to that caveat. When you first buy your new teak garden furniture it’ll be a gorgeous, deep golden brown. If you want it to stay that way you will need to undertake some occasional maintenance.
Without occasional maintenance, your teak furniture will develop a grey, silver patina (which in our opinion is just as beautiful!). If you’re determined to keep that golden brown colour then you should invest in a teak cleaner and use it every six to twelve months.
If you want to know just how long teak can survive without maintenance or treatment, consider the following - in caves in western India, objects made from teak have been discovered which are more than 2,000 years old!
(Shop Now: Extending Oval Solid Teak 10 Seater Table).
Related to the two points above, teak is also pest resistant. If you’ve ever invested in cheaper wood garden furniture, then you may have discovered that it soon becomes home to a variety of bugs and critters.
Not so with teak! Thanks to being so hard and filled with natural oils, teak resists the kind of pest attacks that other woods succumb to. Teak is also highly resistant to fungi - the natural oils and rubbers within the wood protect it from developing dry rot - something you’ll undoubtedly have experienced with cheaper, older wood garden furniture.
As we’ve alluded to above, teak is also extremely weather resistant. This is mainly due to teak’s oil rich nature. In fact, it’s one of the few woods in the world to contain a natural oil which actively repels water. Good quality teak furniture should never warp, crack or become brittle.
Teak will also resist hard frosts, so if you live in a part of the UK that suffers hard frosts - choose teak garden furniture.
Believe it or not, wood can actually rust. But, not teak! Garden furniture is often constructed and held together using metal fittings and nails etc. Over time, the minerals in these metal fittings will react with minerals in the wood, creating rust corrosion that drips down the wood. Buy teak furniture and you’ll not need to worry about this.
To give you an idea of just how weather resistant teak is, consider some of the other things it’s put to use for. Teak has routinely been used in shipbuilding since the middle ages. Even today, you’ll find teak used extensively in the construction of high end boats and yachts.
If teak can withstand the waves of the mid-Atlantic, it can certainly withstand the rigours of your garden!
(Shop Now: Crummock Carver Solid Teak Chair).
Teak Is Beautiful
If you’re going to invest in a new set of garden furniture, you don’t just want it to be practical and long lasting, you want it to be beautiful too!
Luckily, teak performs well in the looks department. In its natural state, new teak furniture has a beautiful golden brown colour and sometimes appears ‘polished’. This polished look comes from oil occurring naturally on the surface of the wood. After a few days outside, this surface oil will evaporate.
Left to age naturally outside, the next 9-12 months will see your teak furniture develop a silver/grey patina (the amount of time this takes depends on the amount of UV light and rain your furniture is exposed to). The main point here though, is that it’s still beautiful.
In fact, many people prefer this silver, grey patina as it gives their furniture a natural look, allowing it to merge into their broader garden landscape.
The high quality nature of teak also lends itself well to furniture builders, so there are a wide variety of different styles of teak garden furniture to choose from. Here at Cotswold Teak we’ve got everything from traditional styles through to more contemporary designs to suit all types of garden.
Long Term Value For Money
Although teak garden furniture has a higher upfront purchase cost than other types of wood garden furniture, as the old saying goes ‘you get what you pay for’.
As we’ve outlined above, teak creates the Rolls Royce of garden furniture. It’s tough, weather resistant, pest resistant, practically zero maintenance and above all beautiful.
Teak furniture will literally last you a lifetime - if you’re going to invest in garden furniture, invest in teak furniture and never worry about it again. If you think about it that way, teak isn’t expensive.
Added up, these are all reasons why teak is the best wood for garden furniture.
If you want teak furniture for your garden, you’ll find a huge range of options at Cotswold Teak today.
Find more garden furniture buying guides and advice on the Cotswold Teak blog...