Teak Wood | Teak Uses, Advantages, Disadvantages, and Cleaning

Introduction

Teak is a hardwood tree species. Teak wood is known for making high-quality outdoor and indoor furniture. It has a great appearance and natural insect and decays resistance properties. Its properties make this special hardwood wood. It is mainly found in Asia, But it is in demand and used worldwide for external and internal applications.

The heartwood of teak wood is golden or medium brown, While softwood is creamy white. Teak wood has straight grains with minimum or small knots. Therefore, this wood is strong and it is the favorite wood of all. 

Teak is a fast-growing tree. It is ready for harvesting in about 20 to 25 years. At this age, It achieves about 25 meters in height. In the beginning, it grows very fast, later it slows down a bit. For its healthy and good growth, it needs a suitable environment.

#Teak
Wood Color Golden or Medium brown, Teak wood color dark over time.
Tree Height100-130 ft (30-40 m) 
Found atSoutheast Asia and Latin America.
Uses of TeakOutdoor, indoor furniture, cutting boards, flooring, and boat decks.
FinishingTeak has great finishing properties.
WorkabilityIt is easy to cut and shape. Great workability properties.
TypesHardwood
Availability It is easily available in Asia regions
DurabilityIt is extremely durable. Due to the durability, it is used for Boat Making and outdoor applications.
Properties of Teak

Teak Wood Uses

Teak wood furniture
Teak wood furniture

1. Outdoor and Indoor Furniture

Teak wood is popular in North American and Asia for wooden furniture projects. It is a great choice for outdoor furniture because It has high oil content, high tensile strength, and tight grain. Teak can withstand bad weather and can remain durable for many years with low maintenance.

If we talk about teak grain pattern and texture, which is very important for any furniture. No doubt, Teak gives a very beautiful dark appearance with straight grain. Which attracts everyone.

2. Boat Building

To make a better boat, wood waterproofing and stability are very important. A boat has to stay in contact with saltwater for a long time. In this case, teak wood proves to be better. Teak wood has been used for a long time to build a waterproof boat. 

Teak has a relatively low shrinkage ratio, So it changes very little even after exposure to water and sunlight for a long time. It is a good choice of boatmaker due to its great properties.

3. Decking

Teak is known for its great durability and water resistance. A deck has to withstand bad weather and continuous moisture. In such a situation, it is very important to have durable and waterproof wood. Teak wood has all the characteristics that are required for a durable deck. By the way, no wood is 100% waterproof. But we can say teak is more suitable for moisture than many hardwoods.

4. Plywood 

Teak is used for plywood and decorative veneers. It is quite expensive but suitable for marine applications. Decorative veneers are mostly used for living rooms, office space, and gyms and spas. 100% natural Burma Teak wood is used to make teak ply. Teak plywood is more expensive than common plywood.

Advantages of Teak Wood

Teak wood boat
Teak wood boat

1. Aesthetic Appeal

Teak wood has great aesthetic appeal. Its rich golden brown attracts everyone and the color darkens over time. Teak wood furniture also feels great to the smooth touch. This smoothness is achieved due to its natural oily surface.

2. Great decay Resistance

Teak wood naturally decays and termites resistant. Its heartwood is rated as highly durable wood. Therefore teak wood is widely used to make boats and boat bodies.

3. Waterproof

Teak has a high oil content and extremely tight grains. Due to the natural oil on the surface of the wood, It does not allow moisture and water. So wood does not absorb moisture.

4. Heavy and Dense Wood

Heavy and dense wood is considered stronger and better. The average Dried Weight of teak is 41 lbs / ft3 (655 kg / m3). If we talk about Janka’s hardness of teak wood, then it is 1,070 LBF (4,740 N). 

5. Durability

Durability and stability are other great qualities of teak wood. Because of which it is being liked a lot. Teakwood contains a high content of silica. Which protects the wood from the effects of weather and insects. The age of furniture made of teak wood is about 80- 100 years, If it is taken care of regularly then it is durable for even more years.

The age of furniture made of teak wood is about 80- 100 years. If it is taken care of regularly then it is durable for even more years. 

Disadvantages of Teak Wood

1. Expensive

Teak is an expensive species. The reason for this being expensive is its high demand and slow growth. teak can only be harvested at a minimum age of 20-25 years. It is found in large quantities in some areas of Asia. Where its price may be slightly lower. But due to the high cost of transportation for another country, Its price increases.

2. Required Maintenance

Teak wood needs maintenance (If you use it in outdoor applications and inclement weather, needs regular maintenance. It all depends on the environment). So that its beauty remains intact. But still teak wood requires less care than many other hardwood species.

3. Workability

Working with all hardwood lumber is not easy. Especially wood that has a high density. Due to the high density and hardness of teak wood. It can be a bit difficult to work with them. Curving also requires sharp-edged tools. Sometimes pre-drilling is required for the nail and screw.

Gluing is not easy due to the natural oily surface. To overcome this problem, it may be necessary to wipe the wood surface with solvent before gluing/finishing.

How to Use Teak Oil On Outdoor Furniture?

Use Teak Oil
Use Teak Oil

Teak oil is a type of finishing oil for wooden furniture. It revives the color of the surface of the wood and gives a warm and rich look. It contains mineral oil, tung oil, and linseed oil. But does not contain oil from the teak tree.

If the weather is good in your area. Then you will probably spend more time with outdoor furniture. Therefore maintenance of outdoor furniture is necessary. Teak wood needs regular care and maintenance.

Teak oil can be applied to any wood. But experts recommend applying on teak wood. Because then it gives a much better result. This is the process of applying teak oil.

Step 1: Select Good Teak Oil

There are many teak oils available in the market but not all are suitable for your furniture. Always get a reliable product that is healthy for your furniture.

Step 2: Use Teak Cleaner Before Teak Oil

The teak cleaner should be used before applying Teak oil. Because the outer furniture has layers of dust and moss that need to be cleaned. Rough sand and later fine sand can be used to remove these dust layers. A soft bristle brush can also be used if there is not much dust. 

Use a teak cleaner to clean the dust properly. Give enough time to clean, because it is a very important process. Like, it is necessary to wash before applying lotion on the body and face. Make sure the surface of your furniture is clean and smooth before moving to the next step.

Step 3: Apply Teak Oil

After cleaning the furniture properly, it should be left for a few hours so that it dries well. Now You can apply teak oil after drying. You can use a rag or brush made for oil-based products to apply teak oil.

Do this work carefully and take your own time. Apply well in the cracks and corners of the furniture. We are going to do it twice. Keep a gap of 30 minutes in the second coat.

After the first coat of teak oil, Wait for 30 minutes. then apply Second coat oil in the same way. 

Types of Teak Wood

Types of Teak
Types of Teak

Although many species of teak are found, there are few which are in great demand all over the world. 

Some teak species are Burma teak (the real teak wood), Asian teak wood, South American teak wood, Indonesian teak wood, African teak wood, Philippines teak wood, plantation teak wood, Thailand teak wood, Indian teak wood, Malaysian teak wood, and many more. Some of them are real teak and some are not.

1. Burma Teak

Burma teak is the most famous and great teak species. It is preferred worldwide for its natural golden color and fine straight grain pattern. Burma teak is native to the forests of Burma and Myanmar.  Burma teak takes about 50-60 years longer to prepare for harvesting.

2. Thailand Teak

Thailand teak has great strength and grain quality. It’s growing very well, So Sometimes is not easily available due to the high demands. Thai teak is native to Thailand. It is supplied worldwide from Thailand, Thailand Teak timber contributes well to Thailand’s economy.

3. South American Teak

South American teak is very stable and durable. It is preferred because of its water-resistant and decay-resistant properties. Like another teak species, South American teak contains natural oil which keeps insects and other termites away. Its rich golden brown color makes it look better.

4. Indian Teak Wood

Indian Teak is native to India. It is popular for its smoothness, durability, and rich appearance. It is found in the old jungle of India. But some people cultivate it to sell it in the market on cultivated land. However it does not grow very well as it grows in the forest, It needs well-draining soil.

5. African Teak Wood

African teak wood is well known for stability, durability, and resistance to termites and water. But it is not as durable as Burma teak or Indonesian teak. African teak wood has a light brown color with dark streaks.

6. Brazilian Teak Wood

Brazilian Teak Wood is also known as Cumaru. It is considered better for flooring because of its great hardness and weight. Its Janka Hardness is 3,330 LBF (14,800 N) and weight is about 68 lbs / ft3 (1,085 kg / m3). Having more hardness is less likely to cause scratches and dent.

Brazilian Teak Wood color is medium to dark brown and Grain is interlocked, with a medium texture. Due to the high density and interlocked grains, it is a bit difficult to work with.

Teak Wood Grade

Woods are divided into grades based on their quality. Lumbar with low knots and straight grain is considered high grade. While more knots and irregular grain are considered low grade.

Grade A Teak

Grade A teak is considered to be of the best quality wood. Because knots are rarely present. It has a straight grain which gives a uniform look. Grade A teak is taken from the heartwood portion. The heartwood is the middle part of the tree. Heartwood color is darker than sapwood and it is denser and stronger.

The price of grade A is more expensive than Grade B and Grade C. Grade A is used for boat, deck, and outdoor applications. Its color is darker and uniform compared to grades B and C.

Grade B Teak 

Grade B is the most commonly used grade. Its use is useful for outdoor and indoor applications. Knots are less common in grade B. Its price is affordable. The color of grade B is less dark compared to grade A.

Grade C Teak

Grade C is part of sapwood and an irregular grain pattern and more knots than grade B. It is mainly used for indoor applications or in a place where there is less possibility of moisture and decay. This grade is available at the lowest price in the market.

How to take care of teak wood?

teak outdoor furniture care
Teak outdoor furniture care

Teak is a very durable and stable wood species. But still, it needs some care. Using teak wood for indoor, Then you can do a gap of a few years in maintenance, But outdoor furniture requires regular maintenance. Here are some tips to care for your teak furniture.

1. Clean the Dust Regularly

Remove the leaves and dirt that have accumulated on the surface of the teak furniture with a brush. It is necessary to clean them regularly or else it starts spoiling the surface in the presence of moisture.

Use clean water and soaked cloth to remove moss and frozen dust. To clean it well, teak cleaner or a homemade solution of vinegar and warm water can be used.

Do not use any unknown or acid-based liquid to clean your teak. So that you can damage your furniture.

2. Protect Furniture From Direct Sunlight

Do not expose your outdoor furniture to direct sunlight. Although teak is a stable wood. But it changes its shape very lightly due to continuous sunlight and also loses its golden honey color.

You can change its location or you can cover it, to protect it from direct sunlight.

3. Protect from soil contact

Many types of insects and fungus are found in the soil. Which also spoils solid materials such as iron and steel. It can easily decay any wood. Although teak has higher decay resistance than many hardwoods. Nevertheless, it is possible to rot due to exposure to the soil for a long time.

To avoid this problem, you can use furniture pads for your furniture. Mainly furniture pads are used for hardwood flooring to protect the wooden floor from scratches and dents.

4. Protect Teak Strain

Use the teak protector to maintain the golden brown color of teak furniture for a longer period of time. The “teak protector” forms a layer between the wooden surface and the air. So that dust, sunlight, and insects are not directly in contact with the wood.

How to Identify Teak?

Teak new leaves
Teak new leaves

Tree

The length of the teak tree is about 100–130 ft (30–40 m) and the trunk diameter is about 3–5 ft (1–1.5 m) with grey to greyish-brown branches. Teak trees grow in good drainage soil.

Wood

The color of heartwood is golden or medium brown and sapwood light brown. However, the sapwood area in teak is very less. The teak wood has a straight grain and unfinished wood surfaces have a slightly oily or greasy feel due to natural oils.

Seeds

Teak tree is propagated mainly from seeds. Before planting teak seeds, It is kept soaked in water for 12 hours. Seeds germinate after 15 to 30 days. Its seed is dark gray and black and its length is about 1.2 to 1.7 cm.

Leaves

Its leaves are oval and its size is about 15–45 cm (5.9–17.7 in) long and  8–23 cm (3.1–9.1 in) wide. The color of the teak leaf is dark green. After drying it becomes light brown and falls from the tree.

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