Strong, weather-resistant, and elegant — teak is one of the best choices for outdoor furniture, whether you have a small Seattle balcony or a large patio in Bellevue. it can weather nearly any storm.
Thanks to its durable nature, teak has long been prized by the maritime industry. Resistant to pests and mildew, it can weather nearly any storm.
Why is Teak So Durable?
Teak trees grow in South and Southeast Asia. The highly-prized wood features a dense, close-grain with an extremely high oil content. The combination of these rich features makes it extremely weather-resistant. Sun, rain, snow, and frost have next to no effect on its integrity.
Because of its dense nature, it’s also termite resistant. Furthermore, it almost never warps or breaks, no matter what it endures from Mother Nature.
Why Does Some Teak Furniture Cost More?
Not all teak is created equal. Or, more accurately, not all teak is grown equally. The highest-grade teak is called “heart wood.” As the name would suggest, it’s harvested from the heart of the tree. The older and more established the tree is, the sturdier the heart wood.
The outer rings are known as “sap wood.” These rings aren’t as dense and don’t have the same high oil content. This makes them less durable and desirable for outdoor furniture.
Do You Have to Treat Teak?
No. Unlike other wood which must be treated in order to withstand Mother Nature, teak patio furniture does not have to be treated. Rather, it ages naturally. As it is exposed to the sun and rain it will develop a silver-grey finish known as patina.
Is it Possible to Maintain Teak’s Original Golden Color?
No. Ultimately, your teak will begin to turn a silver-grey. However, it is possible to slow this process — however doing so takes a lot of work. In addition to regularly sealing it, you would need to avoid exposing it to the sun and rain. This would require covering it or moving it after each use. That being said, over time it will still turn silver-gray. In order to restore your furniture’s original hue, it would need to be sanded.
Do You Have to Clean Teak Patio Furniture?
Yes. You are strongly encouraged to clean your teak patio furniture. While it can withstand Mother Nature’s extremes, this doesn’t keep mildew and mold from accumulating on its surface.
If left, mildew can discolor your teak garden furniture and cause it to become dark in irregular splotches. Mildew is of particular concern here in the Pacific Northwest where we have high amounts of rain for long periods of time.
Does Cleaning Your Teak Take a Lot of Time?
Cleaning your teak can help remove mold and mildew before it takes hold, preventing it from becoming irregularly discolored. Luckily, this process is a relatively easy one. In most cases, cleaning it only requires mild soap, warm water, and a soft-bristle brush. (Metal brushes can mar and scratch the wood’s surface.)
If your teak has developed a heavier buildup of mildew, you may need to add a small amount of bleach or vinegar to the mix. For stains that are particularly hard to remove, you might also consider buying specially designed teak cleaner. These cleaners have been developed to remove unwanted dirt and grime from teak, while protecting the wood.
Is teak sustainable?
Teak can be sustainable. Like all trees, over-harvesting can have devastating effects on the environment. This is the case for some teak that’s harvested from the wild and not replanted.
However, some companies have developed “teak plantations.” Like Christmas tree farms, these plantations plant and harvest the trees systematically to ensure the supply is continually renewed – effectively creating a sustainable source of teak.
Does Teak Patio Furniture Need Cushions?
Cushions and outdoor throw pillows are not a requirement for teak patio furniture.
Unlike cast aluminum and wrought iron patio furniture, most teak chairs and couches are comfortable without cushions.
However, many individuals find that cushions make sitting for long periods of time more enjoyable and luxurious. Furthermore, cushions and throw pillows are an excellent way to add pops of color to your outdoor space. This can be an easy and affordable way to revamp the look of your patio without replacing all your furniture.