Tectona grandis, known to you and me as Teak, is a type of hardwood that is well suited to the manufacture of outdoor and garden furniture and is subsequently very widely used in the manufacture of high-quality pieces. The wood, although durable and hard, is only moderate in its heaviness and has pretty moderate in its stiffness too.
That’s pretty much why when viewed in finished pieces it looks as if it shouldn’t really be outside as garden furniture, because the appearance of the wood doesn’t look too durable, when in fact it actually is. Add a little varnish and that pretty much changes everything though, unless you seek to avoid what can be an unnaturally glossy look.
That makes for just one way of making sure that the wood used in your teak garden furniture is indeed real teak wood, but it’s certainly not an all-inclusive test that yields definitive results from which to draw an absolute conclusion. Here are more ways to make sure your teak garden furniture is indeed real teak…
Sourcing from a reputable supplier
If you’re a hobbyist or a craftsman and you build or assemble the garden furniture yourself, you’ll already be familiar with the need to source your wood from a reputable supplier, as part of the process of ensuring it’s real teak. Don’t just rely on the stated region from whence the wood is sourced to associate it with being teak, even though we all know where it generally originates from as a common source (e,g, Myanmar, which is why it’s sometimes referred to as Burmese wood, India, Central America, Indonesia, etc.). Teak trees can thrive in some other parts of the world too, for that matter, such as parts of Africa and other Southeast Asian countries apart from Indonesia and Myanmar…
A tell-tale sign is its cost relative to many other hardwoods, but be careful not to have the wool pulled over your eyes by shady suppliers who only really label it as real teak wood.
Even better, sourcing completed pieces from a reputable retailer
An even better way of making sure the teak wood garden furniture you’ll be proudly displaying and using in your garden is indeed made of real teak is to source the completed products from a reputable retailer. What makes a reputable retailer?
There are many factors, one of which is their track record and history, with another one being that of their specialisation level. A garden furniture manufacturer that specialises in luxury teak furniture, featuring that as part of their branding, for instance, is one which you can definitely rely on to ensure it is indeed real teak wood used.
Some teak characteristics to look out for
A common test to see if your teak is real is dropping a drop of water on it, in which case if it’s real teak the water will be absorbed much slower than its fake equivalent. Real teak wood also has a very distinctive natural oily scent, which is pretty pleasant and naturally repels insects and pests, and it’s also pretty dense but only moderately heavy in weight.