Buying outdoor furniture has become an important part of the styling process of your home. Outdoor furniture is now purchased with the same considerations as indoor furniture plus the added concern of being able to withstand the harsh elements. The manufacturers of these outdoor furniture collections has to work with only the best raw materials to ensure the durability, style and quality is consistent with what our clients expect. But, in a market flooded with products that do not last, it can be challenging to ensure that you buy right the first time.
Here are three questions we have narrowed down that will ensure you are on the right track when making your purchase:
1. When you are looking at buying any wooden outdoor furniture, the first thing you want to know is what kind of wood is used.
In our opinion, no other wood except for a dense hard wood with a closed cellular structure will withstand the harsh outdoor environment. Some outdoor furniture manufacturing companies have opted to go for hardwoods like balau or white oak. A grade Teak is an exceptionally durable hardwood, resistant to moisture which is why it is often used in the very harsh environment of boating. This makes it hard wearing, highly resistant to rotting and almost impervious to the effects of sun, rain, frost or snow.. It will weather to a beautiful silver grey when left untreated which we highly recommend.
2. Once you have established that a suitable hardwood is used, ask about the drying process of the wood. Has it been kiln dried to a humidity of about 8-12%?
The features of premium grade teak are a straight grain structure, the absence of knots, splits or cracks and an even overall colour. Kiln drying ensures that moisture which can cause warping is removed properly and stabilises the wood to ensure it won’t become unstable once exposed to the elements.
3. Lastly, we recommend checking whether you will need to continually oil or treat your furniture.
The novelty of continually treating your furniture quickly wears off. Left to age naturally outside, teak will gradually change to a soft, silver-grey as the pigments in the surface layer of the wood begin to fade away. After the first few exposures to water, you should also expect the surface grain to rise slightly. When opting for Teak wood, you are able to allow your teak furniture to weather naturally and simply clean thoroughly once or twice a year.
Because teak is a naturally oily wood, it is not possible to paint or varnish. Any paint or varnish applied will not adhere properly to the surface and after a short while will start to peel off.
If you wish to retain the golden-brown colour of new teak a Teak Sealer can be applied. Application of Teak Sealer will not affect the strength or longevity of the furniture in any way, just its appearance. If you however decide to use a Teak Sealer, you will have to maintain a regular maintenance programme as Teak Sealer needs to be regularly re-applied to provide continuous protection.