Teak Wood Furniture in Austin: Before You Buy
Reclaimed Teak Wood Furniture in Austin
Before You Buy
Imagine this: you're on the hunt for furniture. Not just any piece will do; you want something that's timeless, durable, and easy to maintain, so you decide to go with a solid wood piece. You do a little bit of research. Come to find out, there's a massive amount of different types of wood to choose from. It's a little overwhelming! No worries, though, we've got you covered. This article is part of our series on the woods and techniques we use here at World Interiors, detailing everything you need to know before you buy. A little education goes a long way when choosing furniture for your home, especially if you are looking for something stylish, but that has the quality to last. Keep reading...
Imagine this: you're on the hunt for furniture. Not just any piece will do; you want something that's timeless, durable, and easy to maintain, so you decide to go with a solid wood piece.
You do a little bit of research. Come to find out, there's a massive amount of different types of wood to choose from. It's a little overwhelming!
No worries, though, we've got you covered. This article is part of our series on the woods and techniques we use here at World Interiors, detailing everything you need to know before you buy. A little education goes a long way when choosing furniture for your home, especially if you are looking for something stylish, but that has the quality to last. Keep reading...
Teak Wood: One of the World's Rarest Species
The wood of choice for our trendy and functional crank tables is Teak wood. Teak, scientific name Tectona Grandis, is a tropical hardwood species from the family Lamiaceae. It's native to the vast rain forests of South and Southeast Asia, specifically Burma, India, Laos, and Thailand. Nowadays, teak grows in about 40 different countries throughout tropical regions throughout the world, including Africa, Central and South America, and the Caribbean.
For teak wood to reach its maximum durability, it must be harvested from mature, "old growth" trees. These trees have been typically around for about 200 years. Over the past few centuries, the lumber industry has depleted these old growth forests, causing teak wood to become one of the rarest and most expensive woods in the world.
We at World Interiors recognize the depletion of teak as an issue of extreme importance and take steps to responsibly obtain the teak we use for every piece of furniture we produce. We'll discuss how we go about this further into this article.
TEAK IN HISTORY
In the 1700s, the traders of the Dutch East India Company in Indonesia began to recognize the value of teak due to its natural non-slip surface, amazing durability, water resistance, and decay resistance. This led to the Dutch electing to use it as the wood of choice for their naval vessels, allowing these ships to sail longer and farther than those of other nations. These teak wood ships, named Dutch East Indiamen, made the Netherlands an economic power that rivaled that of England and Spain.
Eventually, the rest of Europe caught up with the Dutch, albeit in the 18th century. These European sailors and merchants finally discovered the Dutch's secret shipbuilding material after establishing trade ports in India and China. They quickly replaced their traditional oak hulls, whose structural properties were now inferior, with the superior teak. This naval upgrade exists through the present day, as the tough teak is still ranked as a favorite for boat decks and trim.
One of our signature custom live edge tables
Teak Wood's uses
In addition to the incorporation of teak into nautical activities such as ship and boatbuilding, this hardwood has been used for many other products and structures.
density & hardness
The Janka Hardness rating for Teak wood is measured to be 1070 pounds of force (4,740 Newtons). Despite its hardness being relatively low compared to other hardwoods, such as Hickory that has a Janka rating of 1,820, its high silica content makes up for it, blunting traditional woodworking tools because of this. Teak wood instead requires carbide-tipped blades when cutting it. Its density comes in at 41 pounds per cubic foot.
Teak wood's grain is usually described as straight, though it is sometimes wavy or interlocked. It has a naturally course texture and low luster.
Teak's heartwood is often characterized to be a golden or medium brown. Over time, the wood will darken in color.
the gold standard of lumber
Teak is considered to be the "gold standard" for decay resistance. This is because of its oil retention. While all woods contain oils that protect the tree (think maple sap or tea tree oil), teak exceptionally retains these oils and its rubber even after being felled and processed. It is even more rot resistant than the highly prized Mahogany! It is also very resistant to termites, though moderately resistant to marine borers and powder beetles.
WHY WE USE TEAK WOOD
We use Teak lumber for a three main reasons: it's highly durable and lightweight, it has a unique texture, and its color is absolutely captivating.
As previously stated, Teak wood is considered the "gold standard" of decay resistance. Its high silica content and superb oil retention naturally protects the wood from the outside forces of daily use, and is proven to last centuries with little maintenance .
Teak is one of those most lightweight hardwoods. This opens up so many possibilities with altering form and function. This is why teak is our wood of choice for our crank tables, as the crankshaft can easily support the weight of a teak slab with a smooth action for lifting and lowering.
Like the sailors of old and new have noticed, teak wood has a course texture. This created a non-slip surface for them, keeping on-deck injuries low. For us, this unique texture gives every piece its own flair as well as protecting cups, plates, and other tableware and decor from sliding.
The grain coloration of teak creates some truly delightful dining tables, charming chairs, and many other fascinating pieces, such as this industrial coffee table.
Teak also darkens with age, giving an wonderful weathered look as time passes.
A Teak tree plantation. Source: https://www.treeplantation.com/teak.html
As previously stated old growth teak is one of the rarest species of wood in the world due to its depletion over centuries of exploitation by the lumber industry. While plantation teak is now being grown, it is extremely expensive due to the worldwide demand for teak drastically outweighing the supply from these few plantations.
Our mission is to provide sustainably produced furniture to you at an affordable price. This is why we elect to use reclaimed teak for the production of all our pieces.
So what is reclaimed teak? Reclaimed teak is teak wood harvested from old, unused structures. Due to teak's natural decay resistance and durability over eras, this wood has the same quality that freshly-cut teak does. This gives each and every piece even more stories to tell as well! By recycling this teak, we ensure that the world's forests can recover, and we can continue providing you with quality furniture for a price that won't break the bank.
Wood Care: Tips For Maintaining Your Teak Wood Furniture
It's important to note that this is a living, breathing piece of furniture. For a longer lasting piece, proper maintenance is vital! For a piece that can truly stand for generations, consider these tips:
Check Out our teak wood furnishings!
All pieces stocked and shipped from our store in Austin, TX.
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