Teak’s Many Praises

Teak’s Many Praises

One of the main pieces of carpentry we’re asked for time and time again is quality teak furniture. A favorite around Bermuda it’s hard to not talk its praises from time to time.

A tropical hardwood species placed in the family Lamiaceae, teak is well known for its durability and status. Being more expensive than other woods it is sought after due to it’s long lasting properties and many uses. Not only is it common for a teak bench, chair, or table to last 70 years, it is also common to pass down such furniture to future generations as an heirloom.

Teak is used for many projects such as outdoor furniture, boats, and other things, which require resistance to the elements. Teak’s high oil content, high tensile strength and tight grain make it particularly suitable where weather resistance is desired. It is also used for cutting boards, indoor flooring, countertops and as a veneer for indoor furnishings.

The commonly named “Muskoka” chairs (the comfortable high backed chairs with wide arm rests and contoured seats) are by far the most popular teak furniture, however they’re actual name is Adirondack chairs. You’ll see many around the island and a number of them in our showroom.

There are many reasons to go with teak. First of all it is particularly valued for its durability and water resistance. The resin in teak typically has an oil that is highly water resistant. This content alone can protect the teak from decay, insects, and bacteria. At the same time, the combination of unique Teak tree content and thick fibers make it easier to cut and then later sculpt into pleasing forms.

Furniture made from teak can remain outdoors in any climate year round, and can be left unfinished or protected. There are three general options for teak finishes: natural/unfinished, sealed and pre-weathered. When exposed to the elements, teak naturally turns a silvery gray over time. If you like this look, all you need to do is sit back and enjoy your teak furnishings; they’ll begin to gray within a few months. Or buy your teak already pre-weathered. This makes it easier to decorate your space, as the color you bought it will be the color it stays.

While there are a lot of amazing properties to teak and it’s low maintenance appeal there is some upkeep you have to do from time to time. Teak furniture needs to be cleaned at least once a year to remove dirt, dust and stains. This is something you can do yourself with a diluted household cleanser and a bristle brush. Ask your vendor which detergent you should use based on the finish you’ve chosen.

There are probably a lot more reasons for why we love working with this type of wood but we’ll leave it up to our clients to decide. A traditional type wood to work with to last for years it’s not surprising we see it all over the island.