What is Teakwood, exactly?Summer House Patio | Summer House Patio


teak patio furniture

Teakwood is one of the most valuable natural building materials for outdoor patio furniture. It is a dense, fine-grained hardwood that comes from the Tectona grandeis trees, which are native to South and Southeast Asia. 

Teak is initially a golden color when it is harvested. It has a smooth texture and a smooth grain. As the wood weathers, it becomes a soft silver-grey color. Thanks to its naturally high oil content, this wood is extremely durable, offering a material that’s virtually rot and termite resistant, even if untreated. 

Where is Teakwood Made?

Teakwood is made from teak trees (also known by Tectona granis). These tall, deciduous trees were only found in four countries in South and Southeast Asia.

  • Burma
  • Laos
  • Thailand
  • India

These areas have been ravaged by excessive logging practices that are not sustainable. These countries have lost nearly all of their teak forests, except for Burma. Teak thrives in tropical climates that promote healthy growth. 

Teak plantations are possible in this area thanks to dedicated teak growers

  • South and Southeast Asia
  • Africa
  • Latin America

How fast and big can teak trees grow?

Teak trees can reach 50 meters in height and can live up to 100 year. The larger the tree, the more it will live. The bigger the tree, the more heart wood — or high-quality teakwood — can be harvested.

Teak is one of the fastest growing tropical hardwoods. It grows at a rate about half an inch per daily!It still takes 25 years to mature a teak tree. This means that teakwood farmers may only harvest one percent of the trees they have planted.

What is Heart Wood? 

Not all teakwood can be considered equal. In fact, teakwood is generally separated into two main categories: ‘heart wood’ and ‘sap wood.’

As the name suggests, ‘heart wood’ comes from the heart of the tree — its innermost rings. This is the highest-grade teak, and it can only be found in older trees with a larger root network and wider trunk.

‘Sap wood’ is harvested from the outer rings of established trees and young teak trees that have been harvested early in their growing cycle. Sap wood is used to make tea patio furniture, which is usually less expensive because it takes teak trees so long to develop heart wood. 

This lower-grade wood is less expensive, but it is also less durable. Containing less oil and offering less density, it’s more prone to cracking, rotting, and infestation. 

How difficult is teakwood to make?

Janka Wood Hardness Scale is used to measure the wood’s hardness. This scale measures how much force is required to embed a.444 inch steel ball into wood. Teak can be rated using the Janka Wood Hardness Scale between 1,000 and 1,155. This is significantly harder than most commonly used woods, such as:

  • White Pine
  • Chestnut
  • Poplar
  • Cedar
  • Mahogany

What makes teakwood so durable?

Teak has been one of the most durable materials for centuries.


Further Reading