As with most furniture buying decisions, buying outdoor teak furniture requires a bit of research and careful consideration before you invest. Below are a few of the most important considerations when looking for teak patio furniture (Source: Teak Patio Furniture by Terra Patio).
Teak vs. Teak Veneer or Teak Oiled – Outdoor teak furniture isn’t necessarily made from solid teak. If the furniture you are considering is labeled teak veneer or teak oiled, it is not genuine teak. Rather teak veneer is made from another type of wood with a thin layer of teak veneer applied to the surface. Teak Oiled refers to wood that has an “oiled” finish similar to that of teak.
Furniture Construction – Genuine outdoor teak furniture,such as teak patio bench and teak lounge chairs, is manufactured using various construction techniques. Pay attention to the quality of construction, particularly at the joints, as well as the quality of hardware. Mortise and Tenon joinery is ideal. With this type of joint, the wood is shaped and attached so that it fits tightly into another piece of wood which has been shaped to correspond. These joints are usually glued together for a tight and stable connection. Look for stainless steel bolts and hardware or wooden dowel fasteners. These items won’t rust or corrode. Avoid brass and copper fasteners as well as wooden screws which are likely to expand and contract with exposure.
Conscientious Considerations – Teak wood is a natural resource that, unfortunately, has a troubled history. Some countries have overharvested teak or use child labor. If you do not want to support improper or objectionable practices, you will need to do some research to make sure that the manufacturer is reputable.
While teak has a troubled past, many manufacturers of outdoor teak furniture use ecologically and socially responsible manufacturing processes. Do your homework, choose wisely, and enjoy a quality piece of outdoor teak furniture that you can feel good about!