Teak is a classic when it comes to outdoor furniture, and for good reason. It’s incredibly durable, long-lasting, naturally water- and bug-resistant and ages exceptionally well. It’s an investment that will look good for years to come. While teak outdoor furniture does come with a high price tag, its longevity makes the investment worth it. But there are still things you should know before you invest in teak outdoor furniture.
- Teak weathers
Most teak comes unfinished, or “natural”, which will weather over time to a silvery gray color. You can find sealed teak, or seal it yourself if you prefer to preserve the warmer color of fresh teak. Be aware, you will have to reseal on a regular basis to maintain the finish. If you like the weathered look, just leave it be, your teak furniture will start graying before the first season is over.
- Care and cleaning
Even in its natural state, teak requires care. Some suggest oiling, which can preserve the color, and prevent the wood from over-drying in the elements. Oiling can lead to mold or mildew, especially if your teak furniture is in an enclosed or moist area. If your teak furniture is in shade, or an enclosed area, it will fade more slowly.
There are also teak treatments that offer the same results as oiling, without the risk of mold or mildew. In full sun, oiling or treating the teak once or twice a year will help preserve its color and prolong its life.
Cleaning teak is easy. Just brush off any debris and use a mild soap in lots of water with a bristle brush to scrub the teak. Rinse it well and let it dry in the sun.
At one time, the demand for teak was a major cause of deforestation in natural teak forests. Old-school plantation teak didn’t have the same color or quality as old-growth, “natural” teak. Today, it’s easy to find FSC-certified plantation teak that rivals old-growth teak. Sustainable plantations practicing slow-growth methods produce stunning woods that are also kind to the environment and respect indigenous peoples.
Armed with proper information, it’s easy to decide if sustainable teak outdoor furniture is right for you. Of course, you could also look at outdoor furniture made from recycled milk jugs.