Windsor Teak Imports
What You Should Know About Teak
Teak is a very hard, closely grained wood that is high in natural oils. These three properties combined together, is what creates this wood's legendary endurance, truly making teak the King of woods, best suited for outdoor use that is extremely resistant to water and humidity.
There are several factors to consider when buying teak furniture.
1) Make sure that the teak furniture you are buying is made from Grade A premium Teak and not from inferior teak like woods such as Shorea, Eucalyptus, Cedar, Jarrah, etc. Also, there are three (3) grades of teak that are commonly used when making furniture. They are grade A, B, and C. Grade A teak is by far the most superior in quality and here is why:
For teak to become Grade A the teak tree has to grow for at least 45 to 50 years to fully mature before it is harvested. This length of time gives the tree time to produce a very heavy oil concentration, allowing the oil to spread to all parts of the wood, bonding the wood and making sure that nothing penetrates the wood.
B and C grades of teak are harvested just after 10 to 20 years. This results in a lack of oil in the tree, which will give the timber a much shorter lifetime since water will be able to penetrate into the wood.
Another important feature of Grade A teak furniture, is the fact that nothing but the heart of the tree is used. But that is not so with Grade B and C teak furniture and the presence of knots, often covered by heavy oiling, will be noticeable.
2) Indonesian Teak is the most eco-friendly teak furniture in the world. Why? In Indonesia, there are teak plantations strictly managed by the government to harvest this wood for the sole purpose of manufacturing, which is reforested and government regulated. If you are familiar with the Rain Forest Alliance and Friends of the Earth, you will be interested to know that the only teak product they certify is Indonesian Teak Furniture.
3) Quality craftsmanship is another mainstay of all Windsor Teak Imports teak furniture. We offer machine-made mortise and tendon joints that provides maximum dependability along with solid brass or stainless steel fitting. And all of our wood is solid pieces of heavy weight teak for these compositions. Some retailers will offer a lighter construction of teak at a reduced cost, but this type of construction does not offer the longevity and reliability of heavier constructions. 4) Finally, the teak must be Kiln-Dried before construction to an optima moisture content of 8% to 12%. Not air dried and not sun dried, but Kiln-Dried. This allows the furniture to dry to the core and reduces cracking, splitting and warping for decades.
TEAK CARE & CHARACTERISTICS
Teak is a natural product, and can be left outside in the elements year round. Teak will mellow to a graceful silver patina, which is stunning, if left in the sun. If you decide that the silvery color is not for you, you can bring teak back to its natural color by using a teak cleaner along with a "light" power wash. You can also oil your furniture with “teak oil” from time to time, or use a Teak Protector finish such as Golden Teak Protector.....this is water based , biodegradable and last 4 x's as long as teak oil....see our "Optional Teak Finish" guide for more information on this.
Also, since teak is a natural product, the wood breathes and reacts to variations in the moisture content of the air. The timber may expand or contract and some cracks or separation of seams may appear and sometimes the same cracks or separation of seams disappear several weeks later. This is quite normal especially in the first 2-4 months but rarely do they affect the strength or performance of the item since manufacturing tolerances have compensated for this movement.
For cracks or separation of seams that don't disappear and you want to get rid of or for splits in the wood, you can do the same that the teak factories and we also do at our warehouse.......use a good wood glue and fill them in. The teak factories recommend either Gorilla Glue or TiteBond Premium glue.....our preference is the TiteBond because when it sets up in 8-12 hours... it expands the least and dries clear. A business card or paper clip can be helpful sometimes in pushing the glue in small cracks. Sometimes a clamp can be used in this process depending on where the crack/separation/split is....A little sanding with fine sand paper (150 grit) may be needed afterwards to sand away the excess glue that set up and expanded. After this process, that part of your teak furniture will actually be the strongest part of the furniture piece.
How To Remove Mold and Mildew from Teak. While teak wood contains oils that will help prevent mildew buildup, the wood is still vulnerable to this.....based on a few factors such as humidity, proximity to plants/vegetation and other airborne contaminants. These contaminants can attach to dirt, leaves and other debris on your furniture and can penetrate the wood. How To Clean the mold from your Teak. #1Rinse the furniture with your garden hose to remove the dirt and debris . #2 Clean the teak with a detergent, bleach, and water solution. Mix 1/4 cup of bleach with 2/3 cup of laundry detergent in a gallon of water. Apply the cleaner to the wood with a bristle brush, and scrub the affected areas in the direction of the grain to remove the dirt and mildew. You may have to repeat this to get desired results..or even use a fine grit (150) sandpaper. #3 Rinse the furniture thoroughly with your garden hose and set furniture in the sun to dry fully. Keeping the teak furniture in the sun is also very helpful since the sun prevents mold and mildew growth.
We do recommend cleaning teak furniture from time to time with a good wood cleaner or simply hot, soapy water.
Ken Glass inspecting a TeakFactory in Indonesia