Teakwood has been the material of choice for hundreds of years for garden furniture ranging from tables and chairs to park benches. What makes this material so popular and what should you look out for when buying teak garden furniture? Want to know more then read on…
Teak or Techtona Grandis is a tree native of Asia, where It was used for centuries in the construction of houses and temples througout the region. The Victorians were the first to export teak back to Europe in its mass produced form finding it an ideal all weather material that could endure the cold Winters outside followed by warm summers.
Teak is a very robust Material. It has a high natural oil content which makes it resistant to the effects of sun, rain frost and snow. It is also resistant to termite attacks and rot. An ideal material therefore for garden furniture but it must be maintained to keep its golden brown colour. It will turn silvery grey if left exposed to the sun for long periods of time. Now in Europe this is often the desired colour and one finds many teak park benches like this. To maintain the golden colour all you need do is to regulairly wipe over with teak oil every couple of months. So teak is a great material and if maintained and looked after can easily last 20-30 years. But what should one look for when buying teak furniture?
To appreciate the quality of the furniture one needs to examine the workmanship. Check the following:
- Are the joints properly connected together? There shouldn’t be a gap between the two joints and there should be a mortise and tennon joint with dowled pegs to lock the joints.
- Run your hand over the surface of the wood. Does it feel smooth? The grain should generally be running parallel to the direction of the wood.
- Check for knots in the wood. This is often a sign of poor quality wood.
- How sturdy does the piece feel? Does it have the look and feel of good design and construction?
- Will the company offer to correct any defects in the furniture? Yes to this is often the sign of a serious company.
- Where is the teak from? We source our teak from government managed plantations in Indonesia however Burmese teak (Techtona Hamiltoniana) is an endangered species and its use is banned.