Teak is one of the most popular wood options for outdoor furniture. It is an incredibly strong wood, and its natural oils make it exceptionally weather-resistant, which can make this material an excellent choice for your backyard furniture. However, this hardwood can be comparatively expensive to other material options. But, if you are looking for a piece of stylish outdoor furniture that can stand the test of time, you should consider outdoor furniture made out of teak.
This post covers some of the essential pros and cons of teak patio furniture that you need to know about before your next patio furniture purchase. Read more below to find out why this highly desired material is an excellent option for your outdoor space.
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What is teak wood?
Teak trees are a type of hardwood naturally found in south and southeast Asia in nations like India, Myanmar, and Indonesia. However, teak trees are also cultivated on plantations in Latin America and Africa. Teak is known for its high density, close-grain, high natural oil content, and its natural golden brown color. These characteristics have made teak a popular construction material for thousands of years. One of teak wood’s earliest and most popular uses was (and is) as a boat-building material.
Is teak a good patio furniture material?
Yes! This hardwood’s high density and natural oil content make teak outdoor furniture some of the best patio furniture available because of its natural weather resistance and high durability. Although this is a high-density hardwood and one of the most durable hardwoods available, it can be easily worked with to make many stylish outdoor furniture pieces.
Teak outdoor furniture options
The Pros and Cons of Teak Outdoor Furniture
#1 Pro: Teak is naturally weather-resistant
Teak furniture is naturally weather-resistant because of the high natural oils and close grain of the wood. Combined, these factors make teak exceptionally resistant to the damaging effects of moisture, the sun, pests, mildew, and fungus.
#2 Pro: Teak is highly resistant to water
Natural teak wood is a porous material. But what makes this a great wood for outdoor furniture is that it is highly resistant to damaging effects from moisture. The natural oils of teak protect the wood from moisture taking hold and causing it to shrink, swell, decay, or dry out. This high natural water-resistance of teak is a key reason this hardwood has been a very popular material in marine applications like ship and boat building. As a result, you will not see an outdoor furniture piece made of teak become brittle, warp, splinter, or break.
#3 Pro: Exposure to the sun will not degrade teak wood
Teak’s natural oils provide excellent protection from heat and UV rays. The oils prevent the wood from drying out over time which stops the wood from cracking and becoming brittle. Thus, you can put outdoor teak furniture in nearly any location in your backyard and feel confident that it will last season to season.
#4 Pro/Con: Teak will turn gray over time if not treated
The only effect the sun will have on teak will be the change of color in the natural beauty teak has from a golden brown color to a light, silver-gray color. This change of color is not a cause of concern though; this is a natural change that all teak will experience if it is not treated. The color change does not mean that the wood has lost its durability or weather resistance – it is simply only a color change. Some people may enjoy this color change, while others should regularly treat teak furniture to prevent the color change.
#5 Con: You will need to apply a teak sealant to keep the original color of teak
If you want your teak outdoor furniture to maintain its original golden brown color, you should consider applying a special teak sealant. Some may recommend using teak oil to protect the color of the wood, but a teak sealer will likely last longer than applying teak oil.
Additionally, if you need to restore the natural color of your teak furniture, there are teak cleaners that you can use to bring back the natural warm brown tones of the original teak wood. Usually, all that is needed is a light sand of the wood before applying the teak cleaner.
#6 Pro: Teak wood can withstand cold and winter conditions
A key concern for many outdoor furniture buyers is knowing if a piece of outdoor furniture will withstand winter conditions. Luckily, teak is one of the few outdoor materials known to weather winter conditions very well without any extra protection. The natural oils that protect teak from moisture and the sun also protect this wood from decaying or rotting from snow and cold. However, we always recommend that you cover or store any patio furniture, even if it can withstand wintery conditions, to minimize any chance of damage to your furniture.
#7 Pro: Teak is a very durable and sturdy wood
Teak wood is one of the highest density and sturdiest woods available. As a result, outdoor teak furniture is very hard to physically damage. Yes, under the right circumstances, teak can break. But, teak outdoor furniture is more than capable of enduring normal outdoor wear and tear. Under most conditions, teak can last up to 50 years.
Additionally, the high abundant natural oils in teak make it naturally resistant to pests and termites. Therefore, you don’t have to worry about any pests in your backyard destroying your beautiful teak outdoor furniture.
#8 Con: Teak furniture can be too heavy to move for some people
Teak is a high-density wood, which means this is a heavy wood. Using teak for outdoor furniture means that some teak outdoor furniture pieces can be quite heavy. If you need to move your teak furniture for any reason, you may need to help of another person or two.
#9 Pro: Teak can require little maintenance
Finally, teak can require minimal care if you don’t mind the natural weathering process of the wood changing from a honey brown color to silvery gray patina color. At most, you will need mild soap, water, and a soft-bristle brush to clean off dust and dirt. In some cases, you may apply a light sandy to remove water marks or other marks from the wood. Additionally, you can apply teak oil or teak sealant to keep the natural color of the wood intact.
#10 Con: Teak is often one of the most expensive patio furniture materials
One of the most significant drawbacks of teak for outdoor furniture is that it is often some of the most expensive outdoor furniture available. While you will likely be able to find teak pieces in what we consider the average range of High-Quality furniture, don’t expect to find too many pieces deeply discounted from this price range. However, the high price for teak furniture is warranted given the high durability and weather resistance of the material.
#11 Pro: Teak wood can be sustainably sourced
If you are looking for sustainable, eco-friendly outdoor furniture, you should highly consider teak furniture. Most of the teak furniture that you will find from outdoor furniture retailers and brands is FSC- certified. FSC-certified is a Forest Stewardship Council certification that signifies that the teak wood used in the outdoor furniture was harvested from a sustainably managed teak tree forest or plantation.
#12 Pro: Teak patio furniture can be found in many different designs and styles
Teak is an extremely versatile wood, considering its high density, close grain, and high amount of natural oils. As such, you will find that many manufacturers use teak for a wide variety of outdoor furniture pieces and that teak outdoor furniture comes in many different designs and styles. So, if you know teak is the right furniture material for your outdoor space, then you should have no trouble finding the right piece to match your taste preferences.
Teak Patio Furniture Collection Option
If you’re in the market for a new teak patio furniture set, you should definitely check out outdoor furniture from Neighbor. Neighbor offers excellent stylish and comfortable outdoor and patio furniture options for your outdoor living space. Patio furniture from Neighbor is made with high-quality materials of teak, Sunbrella, and quick-drying foam that is well-designed to withstand outdoor elements year in and year out.
Read our full review on Neighbor patio furniture here to learn how its patio furniture can be a great addition to your backyard.