How to Identify Teak Wood Furniture

Teak is one of the most luxurious, rich woods available in home furniture and gives off a special look and feel to a modern, chic home. Teak is well known for its durability and natural weather resistance which makes this beautiful hardwood the perfect furniture choice for outdoor use. Teak has a special grain, colour and feel to it, but is often imitated so identifying it can be made easier if you follow these few simple tips.


Teak is a south East Asian wood that has been known for centuries as one of the most durable woods for many conditions. The Dutch made their ships out of it because of its natural waterproofing and dry rot resistance. Maybe it is for this reason alone that the price of teak furniture is costly compared to other woods, but if treated well, teak outdoor furniture can last literally a lifetime, compared to a few years with other woods.

Teak has a natural oil and rubber within the grain of the wood itself. Unlike other tree sap and natural oils that get dried out and dispatched from the grain when it is felled, cut and used as furniture, teak can retain a lot of these natural oils and rubbers which allow it to retain its weather-proofing qualities much better than other, less resistant woods.

Natural Resistance to Weather

The natural oils contained in the teak wood grain also help with resistance to dry rot, which is one problem that many woods succumb to over time. Teak simply has a natural ability to resist many types of issues that would eventually destroy other types of wood, making it the perfect choice when it comes to teak outdoor furniture.

7302525 - wooden garden bench

If you consider that there are many other types of wood that are used for outdoor furniture, you will need to weather treat them on a regular basis with water proofing oils and treatments that will add to the cost of the furniture upkeep over time. With teak, you will be saved this effort and might actually save some money by choosing this impressively resistant material in the first place.

Identifying the Real Teak

There are often two types of teak available that vary in quality and weather proofing abilities. There is the wood from the centre of the teak tree which is called the heart, and the wood from the outer layers of the tree which is known as sap wood. The sap wood is less weather proof than that of the heart wood teak, as the inner layers of the teak tree will retain more oils and rubber than the outer layers.


As some teak furniture is more expensive than others, you will want to identify the best teak available before you purchase.

When the teak is brand new, it will give off a rich honey colour which after being outside a while will gradually change to a silvery grey colour. This is a natural process as it is a natural product, so don’t worry about the wood rotting or going bad.

The sap wood variant of teak will be a yellowish white colour compared to the heart wood golden brown. The colour may also depend on the species of the wood and where it came from as Burmese teak has the rich golden hue that it is famous for. Other heartwood teak has a browner colour.

Ingrained Fingerprints

teak straight grain
Teak Straight Grain

The grain of teak is a simpler identifier to spot as the grain is often the result of the cutting method used in production. Teak is often cut in the same direction to give the best lengths of wood from a single tree. The grains found in teak are often the result of plain sawing, which makes for very long grains, or straight grains along the wood.

These grains are one of the most notable features in teak, so along with the honey-brown colour, look for the long or straight grain pattern and you will be able to identify your teak amongst other similarly-coloured woods.

Teak makes for the best outdoor furniture for a number of reasons. Not only is it one of the most weather resistant woods available today, it also has one of the most uniquely coloured which fits in perfectly with any garden. Some woods are made for the indoors, but teak isn’t one of them.

Weather proofing, beautiful grain and stunning colours is why teak is the best choice when it comes to furnishing your garden with luxury seats, teak outdoor benches and tableses and tables to enjoy your garden the whole year around, no matter what the weather is like.


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