If you’re getting ready to make some changes to your patio, there is a wide range of beautiful options to consider when it comes to furniture and décor. From wicker and plastic to wood, there’s certainly no shortage of beautiful options that will elevate your outdoor space. One of the most popular types of patio furniture is teak, which is a strong and durable natural wood. Before you determine whether this is the right choice for you, read on for a helpful teak furniture buying guide so that you can make the best decision for your outdoor entertaining needs.
Teak Furniture Buying Guide: Choosing Grades of Teak
Teak is certainly a high-quality furniture option, but it does come in a few different grades which can affect your purchase decision. Grade A teak refers to the mature section of teak timber that has a beautiful, rich honey color. This grade of teak furniture is a bit oily to the touch, but don’t let that concern you. The wood’s natural oils are what protect it from damage and from warping, splitting, and cracking. Grade A teak wood is dense and has a straight or curvy grain grouped together in close clusters. In most cases, it’s the much more expensive choice since just 20 to 25-percent of the wood comes from a mature log. It’s extremely strong, durable, and should last a lifetime on your patio.
Grade B teak is constructed using the outer heartwood of semi-mature teak logs. This furniture typically has a bit lighter color than Grade A and an uneven grain. It’s not as shiny when sanded, and you may notice a few small knots in the patterns of the wood. Grade B is also not quite as oily as Grade A teak furniture. Finally, there’s Grade C teak wood, which is usually harvested from the outer sections of the log. This portion is the living section of the tree and is used to move water and minerals to the inner core of the tree to provide nourishment. Grade C teak wood furniture tends to be softer, and it often shows patchy variations of dark and light colors. Higher water content in this part of the wood also means that knots are much more prevalent and visible. Ideally, you should choose between Grade A and B teak wood furniture whenever possible, particularly if you’re using it for the patio. Grade C tends to have a shorter lifespan and won’t hold up to the elements as well as the other two grades will.
Maintaining Your New Teak Furniture
Another crucial component of this teak furniture buying guide is how you’ll keep your new furniture properly maintained so that it lasts for many years to come. While teak doesn’t need a lot of extra care, occasional polishing can help it to look its best, and it brings out the beautiful natural honey tones in this dense wood. If you want to clean your teak furniture, make sure you choose a non-toxic, water-based cleaning solution. You shouldn’t have to clean your teak too often, since the oils do a great job of naturally repelling things like grime, dirt, and mold. If you do clean your teak furniture, it’s recommended that you follow up with a quality sealer. Teak should be sealed at least once a year whenever possible to help preserve its natural beauty and durability.
When applying a sealer to your teak furniture, look for products that contain a UV protectant. Always refer to the manufacturer to find out what they recommend in terms of sealant products. You should always make sure that the sealer you apply is biodegradable and non-corrosive, so it doesn’t “eat away” at the wood. When you apply the sealer to the wood, it may turn a slightly gray color at first, but don’t panic. This is a natural part of the aging process, and it should slowly fade as the sealer is absorbed into the wood. Once the sealer has finished drying, the beautiful honey color should return and produce a vibrant color that makes your furniture look brand-new again.
Why Choose Teak?
While there are certainly plenty of options available for patio furniture, teak is one of the most popular choices. This incredibly high-quality wood is more expensive than many other alternatives, but there’s a reason why it costs more. Teak wood is a lot more durable than other materials, which means that it’s a solid investment that will last. In fact, your new teak furniture should last a lifetime if you take good care of it. As the wood starts to age, the material actually becomes denser. This means that your beautiful new furniture won’t just look beautiful year after year, but that it will actually get stronger over time!
Another reason why consumers prefer teak over some other options is its classic, timeless look. The unmistakable honey brown color is easy to mix and match with a variety of items like patio umbrellas, outdoor area rugs, and patio furniture cushions. Whether you love a contemporary and modern aesthetic or prefer your patio to have a laid-back island vibe, teak furniture blends in beautifully with a huge array of styles. Another perk to choosing this aesthetically pleasing furniture is the quality of construction. Look for pieces that are made with joints and joinery to give your outdoor ottoman, patio sofa, and chairs a sturdy and durable boost. If you do choose teak pieces that use hardware instead of joinery, make sure that the hardware is made of brass or stainless steel. This will ensure that the hardware doesn’t rust or corrode, which could leak to the degradation of the material and its sturdiness over time.
Is Teak an Eco-Friendly Choice?
Today’s consumer is much more concerned about buying sustainable products than ever before. Since teak comes from a tree and is a natural material, you may be wondering whether it’s an eco-friendly choice. In the past, teak was vulnerable to practices like deforestation which damages the delicate rainforest ecosystems where it is grown. This wood hails from the regions of South and Southeast Asia, but thankfully, more manufacturers are now following sustainable harvesting methods. Look for furniture that is made of teak wood grown on plantations where it’s re-planted rather than simply removed from its natural environment. If you’re unsure about where your teak furniture comes from, check the labeling to confirm that it is FSC-certified. The Forest Stewardship Council certification ensures that the teak timbers are plantation-grown under strict guidelines. These guidelines are put in place to make sure that the original ecosystem where the trees are grown is maintained and restored while also respecting the lives of the people who live within these regions.
Choose Versatile Designs
While most teak patio furniture isn’t as ornate as some other options, it still comes in a variety of different designs. Look for furniture that is versatile and can easily be mixed and matched with your décor as the seasons or your tastes change. For example, a teak outdoor ottoman with a colorful cushion on the top can easily be updated by adding a new cushion in a different pattern or color. The same idea applies to outdoor chairs and sofas where you can switch cushions or fabric cushion covers. Simple, seamless silhouettes will easily pair with almost anything you add to the patio. A set of stacking chairs will provide you with a comfortable place to sit along with easy storage. The more versatility your teak furniture has, the more you’ll enjoy using it. Most of this furniture comes unfinished and should feature the classic golden honey hue. This beautiful color works beautifully with practically any style and any colorway, making teak a smart option for those who want to change the look of their patio as trends change.
Use the tips in this teak furniture buying guide to help you determine if this type of furniture is right for you. With its durable properties and beautiful looks, it’s easy to see why choosing teak can be the best choice for those looking to make a long-term investment in patio furniture.