Teak is used to make outdoor furniture, boats, and other things which require resistance to the elements. Teak is used for outdoor furniture because of its natural durability in extreme weather conditions and because of its relative rarity. Being more expensive than most other woods, teak furniture has become something of a status symbol. Not only is it common for a teak bench, chair, or table to last 70 years standing out in the elements, it is also common to pass down such furniture to future generations as an heirloom.
Kinds of teak furniture
Teak furniture can remain outdoors in any climate year round, and can be left unfinished or protected. Plantation teak wood can be considered eco-friendly due to its long life expectancies. To ensure the reduction of impact teak furniture has to the environment, many forestry companies produce sustainably managed plantation teak.
Tables and dining sets
In places and seasons where eating outdoors is common and pleasant, it is common to find wooden dining tables and chairs in gardens, backyards, deck areas, patios, pool yards and sun rooms. Teak is an excellent material for this application, because it will not be broken down in the sun like plastics, it is less prone to the elements like other woods, it is lighter and cooler than iron, and will not easily bend or break like tubular metals.
Caring for teak
Teak does not need to be protected. It is a unique wood that if left in its natural state, is virtually maintenance-free. Teak can be left outside year round, surviving even the most extreme weather conditions. Over time untreated Teak furniture which is exposed to the sun will patina and turn a silvery, grey color. This process is cosmetic and does not harm the strength or quality of the wood.
Teak sealer is often recommended to preserve the natural honey color or to darken the color of the wood. Teak sealers can be applied to new teak or old teak furniture after it has been cleaned. Sealer is not the same as varnish. It is meant to preserve the color of the wood and is breathable, letting the natural oils escape without bubbling or peeling like varnish. Sealers and preservatives serve both as protectants and stains. Generally, the darker the stain, the more sun protection it provides, and the less often it needs to be reapplied. For furniture with an ageing varnish that is peeling, cracking or bubbling, it is recommended that you sand this finish off and use a teak sealer or just let the teak stay bare.
Teak is protected by its own natural oils that migrate to the surface of the wood and make the wood virtually impervious to water.