Long treasured for the rare beauty of its grain and golden hue that eventually weathers to a distinctive silver, teak has a unique appeal among all hardwoods. Thanks to its high oil content, teak is extremely dense and virtually impervious to water and all types of climatic conditions. Quality teakwood can resist heat, cold, wind and rain like no other hardwood. It even has an amazing ability, when in contact with metal, to prevent rust. Not surprisingly, teak is prized for uses from yacht building to heirloom furnishings to flooring and decking. No wonder teak is globally acclaimed as one of the world’s most valuable hardwoods.
But for all its accolades, teakwood comes with a number of caveats as well. All teak is not equal.
As you shop for teak products, be on the alert for manufacturers’ cost cutting measures. Watch for low grade, light weight teak crafting short cuts and inferior patchwork joinery, all of which will diminish the longevity, the value, and the enjoyment of your purchase.
And don’t buy “conflict teak” products or teak that’s been logged from the natural forest illegally, or produced without regard to human rights or the environment. Funds from such teak sales are often used by dictatorships to finance repressive regimes in developing countries. Do your research and make it your condition of purchase, as a responsible, caring, consumer, to know how and where the teak you buy was produced. While irresponsibly produced teak may appear to be cheaper, its true cost to the environment and humankind is a price that none of us can afford to pay.