December 30, 2015
When we think about outdoor furniture, we think about how well it can hold up under the daily pressure of weather. Objects you leave outdoor become subject to the unpredictability of mother nature. Dust, moisture, sunlight, bugs, and more can affect whatever you leave outside. Manufacturers and designers make furniture specifically to deal with the outdoors, usually by utilizing certain materials such as plastic, acrylic, or wood. With regard to the latter material, many designers have looked to teak wood as a top choice for outdoor furniture. The gold color, durability, and naturally occurring rubber and oils that preserves the wood all make teak wood a great material to work with when constructing contemporary outdoor furniture.
With the soaring demand for teak wood for furniture comes the rising price of teak. Since many people desire teak wood, it goes without saying that the price will rise up with it. This means that any furniture made of teak wood will hold value for many years. Placing teak wood furniture in your outdoor space not only makes it functional, but makes your space seem more valuable and suitable. Due to its weight, if you move often, teak may not move as easily.
The soaring demand for teak wood furniture may cause some concern for the availability of teak wood. Only certain types of trees produce teak wood, most of which originated in South and Southeast Asia. In the early days of using teak wood for furniture, constant harvesting of teak wood led to a supply shortage that affected the local ecosystems and communities. Through extensive conservation efforts, the supply of teak has climbed back up, as have the sustainability of teak wood. When searching for teak wood, look for FSC-certified (Forest Stewardship Council) teak because this certification means that the teak comes from a plantation whose techniques fulfill a rigorous set of FSC requirements.
When looking at teak wood furniture, take a look at the wood finishing options. Typically, teak wood comes in three finishes: natural/unfinished, sealed, and preweathered. When the teak wood has full exposure to the outdoors, the wood turns a natural silver/gray over time. If you plan to obtain multiple pieces of teak wood furniture, buy them all at the same time so that they will end up the same color. Go with preweathered teak wood furniture if you prefer it to already have this color, which will not fade away since it already has. If you prefer its more natural golden color, get the teak sealed to obstruct the weathering process. Keep in mind that sealant wears off over time, so consult with your vendor about maintenance.
For those that prefer the natural color of teak wood, using a sealant can only do so much. In addition to sealant, vendors may recommend oiling the teak wood. Protective oils will also help to preserve the teak wood. However, oil can attract mold and mildew, an issue that any outdoor furniture faces. Teak wood furniture that will spend much time un the shade or under a roof will not fade away as quickly compared to teak wood furniture that will sit out in the sun. For those who decide to oil their teak wood furniture, the furniture requires oiling once or twice a year.
Speaking of yearly maintenance, teak wood furniture owners will need to clean the furniture at least once a year to remove dust, dirt, and stains since the wind can only do so much. For simple maintenance, simply use an all-purpose cleaner solution and bristle brush. However, to deal with stains, you will need a special teak cleanser from a hardware vendor. To deal with scratches, you will need to mildly sand the blemish.