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Why Buy Teak

MYTHS & FACTS

 

Teak is undeniably the best wood for outdoor use. There is a reason real teak has been the long acknowledged elite wood for fine luxury yachts and the finest gardens worldwide for centuries. We’ve listed some of the most popular misconceptions here. If you have any questions about teak, feel free to contact us at 800-982-3880, or via email at customerservice@arthurlauer.com.

 

Myth:  Yellow teak, African teak or other kinds of teak, are just as good or are better than regular teak.

Fact:  There is only ONE teak -  Tectona Grandis. Other woods may call themselves teak substitutes or take on misleading names such as African Teak or Yellow teak, but none are the true teak – Tectona Grandis.

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Myth:  There are other woods that are just as good as to teak.

Fact: There are other wood types that are used in outdoor furniture, including Shorea and Eucalyptus. The problems with both of those are that there are a number of different species under each name, and their qualities can vary widely with respect to durability and color. If you purchase furniture made from either Eucalyptus or Shorea, it may last years, or it may last just one season.

Myth: White Oak is a Comparable wood to Teak.

Fact: White oak is a fine wood, but not necessarily for outdoor furniture. First, white oak is about 50% heavier than teak. Second, unfinished white oak will split (the ends of the wood) when subjected to weather and its grain will raise and become rough. Imagine sitting on a piece of old barn siding. Finishing white oak will eliminate these first 2 issues, but that finish must be sanded 1-2 times per year and reapplied every year the furniture in in use. True inspired outdoor living means experiencing life, beyond the responsibilities and boundaries that typically confine us. Having to finish your furniture year in and year out, 1-2 times per year, can be very confining.

 

Myth:  Teak requires a lot of maintenance.

Fact: Teak requires very little maintenance. Left to its own devices, teak will weather naturally to a beautiful soft silver-gray patina. The only maintenance needed is a yearly cleaning to wash away pollen, stains an airborne contaminants that may have settled on the furniture. When teak is stained, it does require maintenance. The stain will need to be re-applied about every 12 – 18 months, depending on the stain type and environment.

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Myth:  Teak furniture is smooth to the touch when new and will remain that way.

Fact:  Many companies will try to mislead people by sanding their teak furniture down to a fine polish. Their goal is to impress customers with the glass-smooth feel of finely sanded teak. However, after only a few weeks the grain of all furniture will open up and provide the coarse natural feel of wood. Thus customers are charged a premium for the act of sanding, but they cannot derive any long-term (or even medium-term) benefit from it.

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Myth:  Teak furniture manufacturers are responsible for deforestation of the rain forests.

Fact:   Despite the claims of some furniture manufactures teak is not a rainforest tree. First found naturally growing in what was formerlly called Burma, teak was planted across a wide section of the former British Colonies on plantations where the vast majority of quality teak is still grown to this day. We purchase only plantation grown teak of First European Quality. Some also claim that old growth teak takes 1,000 to 2,000 years to grow back, when in fact some of the oldest known teak tress are but 300 years old. Ideally, plantation grown teak is harvested at the age of 30-50 years.

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Myth:  Teak furniture manufacturers are responsible for the deforestation of natural teak forests.

Fact: Arthur Lauer and any other reputable teak furniture manufacturer buys only sustainably harvested teak. For each tree that is cut down, one planted. The countries from where we buy our raw teak have very strict government controls over the sustainable harvesting of its richest resource. We work very closely with the mills to ensure that we are not harming the natural environment in any way. Oftentimes, companies can sell teak at very low prices because the teak is illegally harvested and purchased on the black market or is harvested too young in the 15 to 20 year range before it has a chance to develop that dark rich golden color most prized.

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Myth: Making furniture from teak is harmful to the environment.

Fact:  Making furniture from teak is environmentally friendly for several reasons:

            ● First, furniture made from most woods is environmentally friendly because the raw material grows naturally and is renewable. For example, the ore for metal furniture must first be mined -- using large amounts of fossil fuel and electricity as well as permanently stripping the earth of these natural resources. Then metal must be transported and processed again and again, further utilizing non-renewable energy sources. Finally, after a number of steps and the use of significant amounts of power, the metal stock is ready to be made into furniture. On the other hand, teak grows naturally out of the ground and needs no reprocessing. It is simply harvested and milled before it is ready to be used in the furniture building process.

● Another reason teak use can be considered environmentally friendly is because of the careful way in which it is harvested. Because of the high demand for this incomparable wood, the countries that grow it have been very vigilant in its care. Some countries grow the teak naturally in forests and set up strict rules and policies for logging to ensure its longevity. While other countries have set up teak plantations that grow the teak as a crop specifically for harvesting.

● The scraps that are produced from making teak furniture can be used as fuel in pellet stoves.

● Certain types of outdoor furniture – metal, plastic, resin and some woods, are not durable. They process to produce such products needs to be repeated again and again.