What You Should Know About Teak
Teak is a very hard, closely grained wood that is high in natural oils. These three properties combined together, is what creates this wood's legendary endurance, truly making teak the King of woods, best suited for outdoor use that is extremely resistant to water and humidity.
There are several factors to consider when buying teak furniture.
1) Make sure that the teak furniture you are buying is made from Grade A premium Teak and not from inferior teak like woods such as Shorea, Eucalyptus, Cedar, Jarrah, etc. Also, there are three (3) grades of teak that are commonly used when making furniture. They are grade A, B, and C. Grade A teak is by far the most superior in quality and here is why:
For teak to become Grade A the teak tree has to grow for at least 45 to 50 years to fully mature before it is harvested. This length of time gives the tree time to produce a very heavy oil concentration, allowing the oil to spread to all parts of the wood, bonding the wood and making sure that nothing penetrates the wood.
B and C grades of teak are harvested just after 10 to 20 years. This results in a lack of oil in the tree, which will give the timber a much shorter lifetime since water will be able to penetrate into the wood.
Another important feature of Grade A teak furniture, is the fact that nothing but the heart of the tree is used. But that is not so with Grade B and C teak furniture and the presence of knots, often covered by heavy oiling, will be noticeable.
2) Indonesian Teak is the most eco-friendly teak furniture in the world. Why? In Indonesia, there are teak plantations strictly managed by the government to harvest this wood for the sole purpose of manufacturing, which is reforested and government regulated. If you are familiar with the Rain Forest Alliance and Friends of the Earth, you will be interested to know that the only teak product they certify is Indonesian Teak Furniture.
3) Quality craftsmanship is another mainstay of all Windsor Teak Imports teak furniture. We offer machine-made mortise and tendon joints that provides maximum dependability along with solid brass or stainless steel fitting. And all of our wood is solid pieces of heavy weight teak for these compositions. Some retailers will offer a lighter construction of teak at a reduced cost, but this type of construction does not offer the longevity and reliability of heavier constructions.
4) Finally, the teak must be Kiln-Dried before construction to an optima moisture content of 8% to 12%. Not air dried and not sun dried, but Kiln-Dried. This allows the furniture to dry to the core and reduces cracking, splitting and warping for decades.
Teak is a natural product, and can be left outside in the elements year round. Teak will mellow to a graceful silver patina, which is stunning, if left in the sun. If you decide that the silvery color is not for you, you can bring teak back to its natural color by using a teak cleaner. You can also oil your furniture with “teak oil” from time to time, depending on the weather and your preference.
Also, since teak is a natural product, the wood breathes and reacts to variations in the moisture content of the air. The timber may expand or contract and surface cracks may appear. This is quite normal but rarely do they affect the strength or performance of the item since manufacturing tolerances have compensated for this movement.
We do recommend cleaning teak furniture from time to time with a good wood cleaner or simply hot, soapy water.