It's only natural that homeowners should look for natural materials when choosing furniture for the garden, and durable, beautiful teak is an increasingly popular choice.
It's not just teak's good looks that have made it a favorite choice for outdoor furniture and accessories. Teak is one of the most durable woods known to man. The life span of furniture made from other types of wood such as cedar, redwood and pine pales in comparison to the 75 to 100 years that teak has been reported to last.
Additionally, these types of wood need to be treated with a preservative if you want them to last a few seasons. With high-quality teak furniture, there's no need to worry about varnishing or sanding the furniture to make it look good and hold up. It only needs to be washed annually to remove sap, pollen and mildew.
Those who prefer the look of teak in its original golden brown state rather than the silvery grey that outdoor teak becomes as it ages will need to clean their furniture more rigorously with specialized teak cleaners.
Others may consider oiling, varnishing or sealing their teak furniture if they plan to use it indoors.
It's important to note that there are differences in quality within the family of teak wood. Here are some tips from Jeremy Smith, president of Wood Classics, a New York-based manufacturer of fine teak furnishings:
• Make sure that the furniture you are looking at is genuine teak, not those promoted as "teak-like" or "as good as teak."
• Consider the grade of teak and the construction methods used to produce the product. Is your furniture free of sap, pits, and open knots? Are screw holes recessed and pegged to prevent rust and staining? If so, you have a quality product.
• Next, consider style, which has expanded significantly from the traditional Adirondack style many people associate with teak. You can now get teak couches and chairs and loveseats that recline. Teak furniture can also be customized with matching pillows.