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Is All Teak Furniture Made the Same?

Teak is one of the finest materials for outdoor furniture. This tropical hardwood has a lustrous, natural beauty that will enhance the look of any space.

Beyond its luxurious good looks, teak also boasts outstanding durability. The oils in teak wood naturally protect it against all types of weather and insects. Although expensive, an investment in teak wood outdoor furniture can pay off in luxurious, good-looking furniture that can last for generations.

Upon first look, all teak may seem the same. But as with many things, looks can be deceiving. It may be a clich, but the old saying that you can't tell a book by its cover is true for teak too. Many people can't readily distinguish high-quality outdoor teak furniture from second-rate - or worse - teak pieces. That is unfortunate, because if you buy a cheap piece of teak furniture that is shoddily made of poor materials, you will pay a higher price in the long run. Inferior teak products won't last nearly as long, and they won't keep looking good either.

To help you understand what you should look for when buying teak furniture, whether for your back yard, deck, pool or anywhere else outside, Outdoor Furniture Plus presents this guide to how teak furniture is made and the different types of teak.

Most of the world's commercial teak, or Tectona grandis, comes from Southeast Asia and Malaysia. Though it grows in the wild, it is better for the environment to purchase teak that has been farmed. These teak trees will be replanted over and over again. Plantation-grown teak offers all the benefits of wild teak without the environmental costs. You might even look for FSC-certified teak, which means it has been approved by the Forest Stewardship Council for sustainable harvest with respect for the local environment and population.

After mature teak trees are cut and the logs harvested, the teak wood is dried in kilns where humidity and temperature are controlled. After drying, the wood is cut, sanded and shaped into the components used to make furniture, including the outdoor teak furniture you will find at Outdoor Furniture Plus.

You may find teak outdoor furniture in a natural and unfinished state, sealed or pre-weathered. Pre-weathered teak has a silvery gray color, while natural or sealed teak shows off a rich, golden brown color. The choice is largely based on your personal taste. If left untreated and outside, however, all teak furniture will eventually turn silvery gray.

Three grades of teak wood are available. Grade A teak is the best quality teak you can buy. Hewn from the heartwood in the center of a fully grown teak tree, grade A teak has many desirable traits, including a uniform golden brown color and fine grains. Thanks to its abundance of natural oil, it boasts a glossy look. This oil also provides supreme protection against the elements and insects.

Grade B teak also comes from a mature teak tree's heartwood. The difference is that it is from the outer heartwood. This small change in origin makes a big difference in looks and performance. Grade B teak tends to have a lighter color than grade A teak wood. It is not as shiny and needs constant treatment to withstand the weather and the insects. Thus, it will not typically last as long as grade A teak furniture.

Grade C, the lowest class, comes from the teak tree's outer parts. This poor grade has practically no natural oils, making it susceptible to weather and insects. Its color is not uniform. In addition, this wood is extremely soft. That means that it won?t even stand up to much indoor use, much less outdoor use. The only attraction for some is that Grade C teak wood is much cheaper than grade A teak. Unfortunately, some unscrupulous merchants stain inferior grades of grade B or C teak to give it the richer, more uniform color of grade A teak.

Another clich‚ "you get what you pay for" is not always true, but it is true with teak. Although purchasing outdoor furniture made of grade A teak will require a higher initial outlay, it will be less expensive in the long run to buy the best quality teak you can afford, simply because it will last longer and look better. At Outdoor Furniture Plus, we carry a huge selection of furniture made from grade A, plantation-grown teak, such as our such as our Teak Kingston Loveseat.


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