Many outdoor teak products look the same in pictures and even in the showroom, but all teak is not created equally. Differences in both raw material and craftsmanship will separate quality teak wood from the imitators. It not take long in the real world to see which products were made to last a lifetime and which were not.
Quality outdoor teak furniture should be made from grade A teakwood. Here a some things to look for:
– Country of origin: The best teak in the world comes from Thailand. The trees are indigenous and native to the soil. Teakwood is not indigenous to Indonesia where much of the mass produced products are from. Ask your salesperson, and if they don’t know, this is a bad sign
– Age of tree: All of the trees used by Atlanta Teak Furniture’s partner factory are 40+ years old, allowing for denser wood and more natural oil content. Many of the products on the market use trees half as old.
– Look for knots: Knots are the weakest part of the tree and should never be used. If you see knots in the wood, this is a sure sign of inferior raw materials.
– Color: Most teak will start off honey brown color. Premium teak should not be stained or colored when new. The deeper and richer the original color, the more natural oil in the wood.
– Look for mortise and tenon joinery: This is the strongest type of joint and is used in most quality outdoor teak furniture.
– Kiln drying: The best raw materials are kiln dried to 8-12% moisture content or less before the product is manufactured. Many mass producers skip this step because is is very time consuming if done properly. This process will reduce the amount of shrinking and expanding the wood will do.
– Look for separation where pieces come together. You should not see any cracks or space between pieces in the showroom. If you can, this is a bad sign, as these will only get worse over time.
– Stains, Colors, Protectors: Brand new, quality outdoor teak furniture should never come stained, colored or pretreated with protectors. If someone is trying to sell you this as a benefit, run the other direction. There is no need for any of this if quality raw materials are used.
Here are some examples of inferior products:
In this photo above, you can see the nail heads at the joints. Not only are the nails visible – poor manufacturing in itself – it is a sign that mortise and tenon joinery is not used. You can also see much separation between pieces, showing inferior wood.
In the above image, you can see cracks where knots in the wood used to be. Also, nail heads and what look like wood filler being used to try to hide spaces.
Now an example of quality teak outdoor furniture from Atlanta Teak Furniture:
The above photo is an example of quality grade A premium teak furniture. No visible nails. Mortise and tenon joints. No cracks or separation.
Read our other blogs and visit our website to learn why teak from Thailand is the best and how not all teak furniture is created equally.
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