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What are the Different Qualities of Teak Wood?

By Norma Jean Howland
Updated May 16, 2024
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Teak wood is one of the strongest, most durable hardwoods in the world. The wood has a high oil content which gives it a natural resistance to rot and protects against insect infestation. Teak is also known for its ability to withstand almost any weather, which makes it a popular choice for boatbuilding. The oil in teak not only protects the wood, but also gives it a dark golden color and an earthy aroma. Teak wood tends to be a popular choice when it comes to outdoor furniture since it can usually endure temperature extremes without the use of preservatives.

Boat builders often use teak wood. Since the oil in the wood serves to repel water, the wood can be used for many different parts of the boat. The fact that teak has a natural resistance to rot makes it a popular choice for the upper deck which can be repeatedly exposed to salt water at sea. Teak wood can be found in many parts of a boat, from deck railings to ladders. For boat decks, the wood is sometimes stained, painted, or treated to keep the color vibrant.

Outdoor furniture and decks are often constructed of teak wood. This kind of wood can usually be left outside year round and has been known to last outdoors for 30 years or more. If left unfinished, the wood will change color over time from a golden hue to a silver-grey tone. To retain the original golden color, the wood should be treated with a sealant.

Teak wood is not only for outdoor use. It can be used for many indoor projects, from furniture to flooring. This kind of wood can also be found in almost any area of the house, including bathrooms and saunas. Since the wood is highly water resistant, it can be used for sauna seats and shower mats. Teak is also used for intricately carved furniture because its thick fibers tend to make it an easily sculpted wood.

Since teak wood is usually grown on plantations in places like Thailand, India, and Indonesia, it is expensive. The teak tree is one of the tropical hardwood birches in the Verbenaceae family. The trees can grow to over 150 feet (45.7 m) tall and live to be about 100 years old.

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