What Is Teak Wood Furniture?

Picture of a round teak table with four matching teak chairs.

Teak Patio Furniture

Why Choose Teak Outdoor Furniture?

Considered the gold standard for all-weather wood decor, teak patio furniture stands above the competition in terms of desirability and price. If you’ve ever shopped for outdoor wood furniture, one of the first things you noticed is likely the variety. With sapele, red cedar, acacia and more on offer, it can be hard to know when a pricier option like teak is worth the money.

So what makes teak a smart investment? If it fits your budget, lifestyle and decorating tastes, this timeless option can hold up for years on your patio. Knowing more about the versatility, durability, beauty and easy care that make this wood so sought after can help you decide whether teak furniture is right for you.

teak 4 piece seating set

Cindy Crawford Outdoor Sofa Set in Teak

Should You Buy Outdoor Teak Furniture?

Unparalleled for style and substance, teak furnishings bring enduring beauty and all-weather toughness to your patio. But are they the best option for you? The answer might depend on your tastes and goals.

Choose Teak Patio Furniture for a Long-Term Investment

If your job allows you to live in the same place and have a well-established home, teak patio furniture offers a higher value for your money. Teak is always in fashion and can last for decades, rewarding your initial investment. However, those who often move for work or school might want more easily replaceable styles.

Teak Sectional Seating Set

Pick Teak Outdoor Furniture to Coordinate with Decor

Teak also works well as a neutral backdrop for ever-changing decorations. If you prefer to refresh your existing pieces with new accents and seasonal decor, teak outdoor furniture is perfect for you. If you like to replace your whole patio ensemble regularly, other materials might be more cost-effective.

Select Teak for Simple Maintenance

While all patio furniture requires some attention to stay in top condition, teak is relatively low maintenance. If you’re fine with spot-cleaning after spills, treating with protectants and cleaning your pieces about once a year, you can keep teak patio furniture outdoors year-round with little muss or fuss.

All-Weather Teak Seating Set with Sunbrella Cushions

What Makes Teak So Special?

Versatility

When it comes to outdoor furniture, everyone wants the perfect balance between good-looking and long-lasting. People prize certain woods, such as mahogany, for their stunning colors. Others value materials for their strength, like hardy greenwood. It’s rare to find both qualities together, which is one of the reasons why teak patio furniture remains popular even as design trends change.

Applications for Teak

One of teak’s handy traits is its water resistance. Most wood will swell and warp as it soaks up liquid. Outdoor teak furniture barely shrinks or expands as moisture decreases and increases, keeping chair and table joints stable. This property has made teak a favorite choice for shipbuilding and outdoor furnishings for over 2000 years.

Solid Teak Outdoor Dining Set with Trestle Table

Teak is also one of modern woodworkers’ most preferred types of lumber. This species is strong but still simple to cut, glue, polish and stain. Because artisans can work teak into an assortment of shapes and shades, it’s the ideal pick for wooden furniture that’s stylish as well as functional.

Variety of Teak Outdoor Furniture

The same properties that allow teak to handle harsh sea conditions make it more than tough enough to stand up to rain, snow and humidity on your deck. Outdoor teak dining sets will take a sudden downpour or drink spill in stride, and you can use teak chairs around the splash zone of your pool with confidence.

Teak Dining Set

Since teak is easy to work with, it creates endless options for patio decor. Teak tables, bar sets, bistro sets and sofas come in a range of finishes to suit your outdoor space, including natural, stained, waxed and varnished. Sets with clean lines and light hues complement a contemporary garden, while curvy silhouettes and warm stains add classic charm to a porch or verandah.

Teak Bar Set

Resistance to Damage

Like many tropical trees, teak produces wood with a high oil and rubber content to keep out moisture in a rainy climate. Teak oils act as built-in waterproofing and offer an array of benefits that help outdoor furniture last longer by preventing decay and repelling pests.

Is Teak Waterproof?

One of the most important elements of lasting patio furniture is its ability to handle changing weather. Rain and snow can be especially harmful over time, seeping into wood and breaking it down. One of teak’s best features is the natural oils that seal out moisture to prevent damage. While teak patio furniture is water-resistant rather than waterproof, it can last for years with proper care.

Pleasant Bay Teak Lounge Chair Set for Poolside Seating

Teak and Termite Resistance

Other woods, such as eucalyptus and shorea, are durable, but teak’s termite resistance is something special. Already made from a dense wood species, teak outdoor furniture often incorporates the particularly tough, hard-wearing heartwood at the center of the tree. Termites typically seek out easier food sources and leave teak patio furniture alone.

Beauty

While most all-weather materials claim some measure of durability, few can match the natural beauty of teak. This wood’s gorgeous grain, rich coloring and charming patina speak to its quality and provide many advantages when decorating a patio.

Tan Teak Outdoor Chat Set

Grain

Teak outdoor furniture has a tight, straight grain. Along with its appealing look, this pattern offers several practical benefits. Tight-grained woods tend to be heavy and solid, which ensures that your furnishings can withstand high winds. Straight-grained woods are also sturdier and stronger than those that are more irregular, so they’re ideal for tables, chairs and benches.

Color and Patina

Like the finest leather, teak patio furniture takes on a lovely patina that adds character to your decor. Untreated, fresh-cut teak has a golden-brown hue that turns an equally attractive silvery-gray over time. Simply sit back over the next few months and let your new teak furnishings start to silver, or apply a sealant to preserve their original color.

Outdoor Bar Table Set with Natural Brown Teak Finish

Maintenance

How Do You Keep Teak Furniture Looking New?

Thanks to their many natural defenses, teak seating sets and tables need only minimal outdoor furniture upkeep to look their best. In fact, with just a little care, teak can last for generations. To keep your pieces in peak condition, give them a thorough cleaning once a year plus a touchup after major spills. Cleaners and sealants designed for teak provide optimal results.

Choosing the Right Care Products: Teak Wood Oil and Teak Sealer

Two of the most common products in teak furniture care are oils and sealants. It’s important to pick the best tool for the job to get the results you want. Different products can help you protect teak’s color, accentuate its grain, keep out contaminants or make it last longer.

Teak Furniture Maintenance Products

  • Teak Wood Oil: To keep their outdoor teak furniture looking warm and rich, some people apply special oils. Teak oil gives the wood a beautiful finish and brings out its grain, but it needs regular reapplication. It’s also important to note that this product does not protect furniture from the elements. It’s all about your preference for the look and color of the wood.
  • Teak Sealer: The purpose of sealant and oil is different in teak furniture care. Rather than feeding the wood more resin, these products seal in natural teak oils to preserve color and keep dirt or moisture from causing damage. Most teak sealants also require only one application each year for long-term protection.