Green Lifestyle

Published on July 1st, 2013 | by Guest Contributor


The Durability and Sustainability of Teak

Teak is a hardwood indigenous to the south east of Asia. Teak trees take a long time to mature and so they can live for approximately a hundred years. Most of the usable wood is harvested from the trunk of the tree. The timber is particularly noted for being hardwearing and durable. The oils that are present within the wood mean that it is protected from the elements, including pests.


Teak has been utilised for shipbuilding for a hundred and fifty years. It is a very strong wood, and has a low shrinkage ratio, which makes it perfect for ship building. It is also resistant to rot, mould and mildew. It is good for structural work, such as framing or planking, but it is also worked easily and can be finished beautifully, making it just as applicable to decorative work. As it is such an oily wood, teak doesn’t need a finish, but it can be enhanced with a varnish. As teak weathers naturally it changes from a honey brown colour to a silvery gray; with a varnish it turns to a deep glow.


Teak works beautifully as outdoor furniture. Its natural durability means that it can endure extreme weather conditions for a long time, making it perfect if you want garden furniture that is low maintenance. Teak garden furniture can come in many forms, from dining sets to benches and even umbrella frames. The oils in the teak, which are present even after the wood has been harvested, means that it is resistant to rot, insects, mildew and even rust from when it comes into contact with metal. When in contact with water, the wood doesn’t warp either. Teak is also used for indoor furniture and is often also used for flooring.

If you purchase furniture made from plantation teak, it can be considered environmentally friendly as it has an extremely long life time. Many companies buy their teak from sustainably managed plantations, as it is harder to guarantee sustainable practices if you purchase so called ‘natural’ teak.



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