There are many types of wood that match the beauty, quality, durability and the maintenance free care of quality teak wood. Teak is a hardwood that is indigenous to Southeast Asia. Being a hardwood, teak trees are long living and require several years to reach maturity, when the wood is best harvested. Prone to over harvesting in the past, there is a current movement for buyers to only use teak that is harvested from reputable sources that maintain sustainable crops.
Teak trees at maturity are about one hundred fifty feet tall and the wood is almost all harvested from the trunk of the tree. Teak has a beauty that is all its own; it has been used in Thai palaces for centuries as being the best material and one that is suitable for a royal residence. This special type of wood is commonly used in India for window and door frames since it can be quite versatile. In addition to these uses, teak has been used in bridges, ship building, flooring, houses, and in window treatments such as blinds and shutters. Teak is considered a very high quality wood with extreme durability to harsh conditions
One of the reasons that teak is so durable is that teak is rich with special oils. The wood, even after harvested, benefits from these oils. Teak oil makes teak wood resistant to rot, insects, fungi and rust (when the wood comes into contact with metal hardware).
When teak is exposed the elements, it weathers beautifully and needs very little maintenance to remain durable. As teak weathers, it changes from honey brown to a silver gray color. Some mistake the color change for damage to the wood and strip it with chemical strippers or sand the finish. In actuality, doing so damages the wood and drastically reduces the life of the piece that is being “restored.”
Since teak is maintenance free in any climate, it is often used to make outdoor furniture. Teak patio furniture has long been considered as one of the best options for outdoor furniture since it can be left outdoors year round and with the qualities of teak oil will resist rot and insects.
Teak has been used in shipbuilding for centuries. In addition to being a primary material on ships, teak docks, gang-plank, and in other marine applications. Teak is also commonly used in cabinets, decks or as the base of wooden control panels. Teak is moisture resistant and does not warp when exposed to water, so it works great in outdoor furniture.