What is the best teak garden furniture?

Bramblecrest Chedworth 8 Seat Dining Set with Kuta Table lifestyle 1 1200x600
Bramblecrest Chedworth 8 Seat Dining Set with Kuta Table

Why is teak ideal for garden furniture?

Teak is by far the most popular choice for garden furniture, for a number of good reasons.

Teak is incredibly durable and able to withstand any kind of weather well:

  • The integrity of the wood will not be harmed by UV rays so it can sit in the sunlight quite happily
  • Good quality teak is high in natural oils and rubber which repel water so it will be right as rain in a downpour
  • With some other woods, water ingress expands during a frost, causing cracks in your furniture. As high quality teak is impervious to moisture it can be left out in the cold: frosts, snow, hail and icy blasts present no problems for teak
  • Teak is a hefty wood, so it is less likely to get blown around in gusty gales than some lighter materials
  • Teak’s natural oils also prevent pest, mould and mildew attacks

Teak that has been left outdoors in all weathers should not begin to rot for at least 20 years. This watertight durability and rot resistance is why it is highly prized by the boatbuilding industry.

What is teak?

Gaining an understanding of where teak comes from will help with appreciating from where its properties derive.

Teak is a dense and close-grained tropical hardwood which comes from the Tectona Grandis tree. It grows in South and South East Asia. Teak is a tall tree which lives for around 100 years and grows to around 50 metres high.

The teak tree takes around 20-25 years to reach maturity and be ready to harvest. After the tree is purchased, the teak is cut into slabs in a mill, graded and dried to remove moisture. Removing moisture is the most important part of the preparation process as moisture causes wooden furniture to crack.

Finally, it is made into furniture and sanded smooth. Repeatedly.

What types of teak are there?

Teak Grades table
4SO Accor 6 Seat Dining Set with Alto Table 450x450
4SO Accor 6 Seat Dining Set with Alto Table
Bramblecrest Vilamoura Rectangular Modular Sofa Set
Bramblecrest Vilamoura Rectangular Modular Sofa Set
Hartman Singapore Rectangular Corner Platform Set 450x450
Hartman Singapore Rectangular Corner Platform Set

Nine things to consider when buying the best teak furniture

1. Durability: Teak is a very dense and close-grained wood which is high in natural oils and minerals. harder than white pine, chestnut, poplar, cedar and mahogany. Grade A teak represents excellent value for money because although it costs more than other teak to purchase initially, it lasts so much longer that it ends up costing less in the long run.

2. Warranty: High quality furniture companies will offer excellent warranties on teak products. When a manufacturer is prepared to offer a promise that a product will perform well for several years, you can be certain you are buying a good quality product.

Hartman Garden Furniture and Bramblecrest both offer 3-year warrantees on their ranges that incorporate teak, whilst 4 Seasons Outdoor and LIFE Outdoor Living offer 5 year warranties.

In fact, is not unusual for well-made Grade A teak furniture to last upwards of 50 years. Did you know that some of Britain’s teak park benches are over 100 years old and still going strong?

3. Construction: High quality teak will be hand-made with sturdy joints. Glued joins on cheaper furniture may become gappy and appear misshapen over time, whereas hand made sturdy joints will meet properly. In contrast to cheaper joins, quality joints don’t suffer damage over time.

4. Sustainability: In the past teak and other wood harvesting had a poor reputation for logging. Now all the teak used in collections made by LIFE Outdoor Living, 4 Seasons Outdoor, Bramblecrest, and Hartman is sustainably sourced for peace of mind.

5. Colour: When it is new, teak is a lovely natural warm honey colour. Over time, exposure to sun and moisture mellow the surface to beautiful sliver grey patina. This is a perfectly natural process and is not damaging the integrity of the wood in any way, it is evidence of the wood building up its natural defences.

If you wish to bring back the honey colour of teak wood, this can be done by cleaning it down with a product such as the Life Outdoor Living Teak Cleaner and applying Life Outdoor Living Robust Teak Protector.

6. Designs: Consider the type of teak that you like the design of. These days it is possible to purchase teak in a variety of styles and the material is flexible enough to suit both traditional and modern garden designs.

Teak garden furniture can either be solid, constructed from strips of teak, or be slatted. Both types can suit contemporary designs, although traditionally, slatted teak furniture was popular. See the 4 Seasons Outdoor Scandic 4 Seat Dining Set with Derby Table for an excellent example of a contemporary slatted teak table. This table features an instant light grey finish, contributing to the Scandi vibe that characterises the set.

The most contemporary high quality garden furniture makes a design feature of mixing the natural warmth of teak with the sleek lines of powder coated aluminium frames and dark coloured fabrics for an up-to-date aesthetic. A great example of this style is the Hartman Singapore Rectangular Corner Platform Set.

7. Adding to it: Consider that you might like to add further items from a range further down the line. If you are buying a lounge set that incorporates teak this year, you may like to add a similar dining set at some point down the line. You can be assured that items from a high-quality garden furniture company will co-ordinate well with the colour and style you have selected.

8. Covers: most garden furniture companies don’t recommend that you cover up high quality teak both during the Summer and Winter months. Teak is perfectly able to withstand the British weather without being covered and in fact teak is at its best when allowed to breathe naturally. Otherwise, moisture trapped beneath the cover can promote mould and mildew growth, attracted by teak’s natural oils. If you absolutely have to cover teak, then always make sure that periodically, on dry days, the teak is uncovered to be allowed to breathe.

9. Synthetic: They say that impersonation is the sincerest form of flattery. Teak has become such a style story for outdoor spaces, that there are now products mimicking the appearance of natural teak, so you can get the teak-look with other materials. Hartman’s Dubai, Sorrento and Vienna ranges all feature Tuscan Ceramic Weathered Teak Tempered Glass tabletops – perfect for dining and drinking around.

4SO Scandic 4 Seat Dining Set with Derby Table 1200x600
4SO Scandic 4 Seat Dining Set with Derby Table

So the very best teak outdoor garden furniture should be durable, eco-friendly, comfortable, of high quality and have the beautiful natural warmth of real wood. It should also reflect your own style, whether you treasure a traditional take on things or are seeking something bang up to date.

For information on other materials used in outdoor furniture, see our blog on this subject: What are the best materials for high quality garden furniture?

Whatever teak furniture you decide upon, if you have any questions or queries about outdoor garden furniture, don’t hesitate to contact our Outdoor Living Team either in-store at Gates Garden Centre, contact us on 01664 454309 or shop online for home delivery or collection from our Leicestershire store.

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