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What Determines The Quality Of Teak Outdoor Furniture

by Emmi Kokko

The main strengths of teak wood are its durability and resistance to harsh weather. These qualities make teak outdoor furniture an ideal choice.

However, not all teak is equally resilient. Teak wood is graded according to its quality, and the higher quality it is, the more durable a piece of teak wood is.

Grades Of Teak

The quality of teak wood varies depending on what section of the tree it originates from. Wood harvested from the centre of a mature tree trunk that is at least 20 years old is termed heartwood. The heartwood is of the highest quality, and the quality of the teak declines the further outward it originates from. The outermost part of the trunk is termed sapwood and is of the lowest quality.

A grade teak is harvested from the heartwood. The heartwood is denser that the outer regions and is infused with a higher concentration of teak oil. It is the teak oil which is so beneficial and which renders teak resistant to water and insects such as termites.

B grade teak is harvested from the section of the trunk that lies between the heartwood and the sapwood of a mature tree. The heartwood of a tree that is less than 20 years old is also classified as B grade.

C grade teak is harvested from the sapwood, the outermost part of the trunk; this is the living part of the tree that transports nutrients throughout. The sapwood is less dense than the heartwood and has a high water content. It has the lowest oil content.

Buying Teak Furniture

It is important to verify the grade of teak when buying furniture. Grade A teak is dense, with an even honey colour. The high concentration of teak oil lends a pleasant sheen to the wood. Grade A teak is free of imperfections such as knots. Furniture manufactured from A-Grade teak will be extremely resilient to the harsh weather.

The appearance of Grade B Teak falls somewhere between the other grades. It may show some imperfections such as knots, and its colouring may show some unevenness.

Grade C teak, on the other hand, has multiple imperfections and knots, and it has an uneven light and dark appearance. It lacks the even, warm shiny texture of A-Grade teak. Sometimes Grade C teak is stained so as to mimic higher quality teak, so be alert to this possibility.

Teak Sealer

Sealer will prevent the teak oil from evaporating from the outer part of your teak outdoor furniture, which will help it to retain its honey colour throughout its life.

However, using sealer is not necessary. If you leave teak to weather naturally, the oil will evaporate from the outer part of the wood and this will result in a grey weathered appearance. This does not damage or weaken the furniture, as the oil will remain in the innermost parts of the wood.

Teak wood is ideal for outdoor furniture due to its renowned resilience and durability. Just be aware of the grade of the teak when purchasing to ensure you get the teak outdoor furniture you are paying for.