When it comes to luxury outdoor furniture, Grade A teak is king.
Indigenous to only four countries in the entire world — Thailand, India, Burma, and Laos — this beautiful timber has a silky smooth feel, and is particularly valued for its durability and water resistance.
Because of excessive, unsustainable logging over the past century, natural teak forests have practically disappeared everywhere except for Burma. However, in Indonesia, there are plantations strictly managed by the government to harvest teak for manufacturing, and that teak is then reforested and government-regulated.
Java, Indonesia is the biggest exporter of teak today, and 80% of all teak is grown on plantations — with demand for teak growing at an estimated rate of 10% per year.
However, not all teak is created equal. Grade A teak is premium and one of three grades of teak used when making furniture.
The reason Grade A teak is superior is because the teak tree has to grow for at least 45 to 50 years to fully mature before it’s harvested. This gives the tree time to produce a heavy oil concentration that spreads to all parts of the wood and bonds it, making it water-resistant. Plus, only the heart of the tree is used, so there are no imperfections.
Grades B and C teak are harvested just after 10 to 20 years, which doesn’t give the tree enough time to produce enough oil to make it waterproof. There are a few countries that have experimented in rotating their crop only after 25 years, which has resulted in smaller diameter logs, lighter coloration, and a wider grain — inferior quality wood.
Inferior teak wood is everywhere, and the most common impersonator is an exotic hardwood called Nyatoh. It’s not as durable as teak, isn’t resistant to termites, and has the tendency to split and warp. Other woods that have the same characteristics as Nyatoh include American Cherry, African Mahogany, Japanese Oak, Southern White Pine, American Walnut, and Western Red Cedar.
That’s why Indu+ only uses sustainably sourced Grade A teak for all of our cooking products, and it’s critical that you do your homework on types of teak and who’s selling what.
Real teak is durable, weather-resistant, and easy to care for, which is why it has been commonly used to build boats for hundreds of years. And with teak’s unique characteristics, it also happens to be the perfect material for luxury outdoor furniture like Indu+ mobile kitchens.
Grill Island - Indu+
- Macho, Macho Wood. Teak is an extremely durable hardwood, one of the strongest in the world, which is one reason we use it for Indu+ cooking products. In addition to the natural oil that helps seal the wood, teak is great for hot, sunny places because it does not absorb heat. If treated right, your teak furniture could last for over 20 years.
- Swiss Army Knife of Furniture. Today, there are all kinds of outdoor products made out of teak — from dining tables to benches, storage containers, Adirondacks, and sun loungers. And depending on your taste, teak can feature several styles, from natural to painted, stained, waxed, or varnished. The versatile look also means that teak easily matches with any other appliances or furniture you have on your patio.
- Natural Immunity. Unlike other types of hardwood, teak has a natural resistance to rotting and termites. In fact, not only is teak the wood most resistant to termites, the critters actually have a higher mortality rate eating teak than eating nothing at all. The high oil content also prevents corrosion of any metals that may come in contact with the teak, like metal.
- Low Maintenance. If you’re tired of constantly cleaning your outdoor furniture, teak is the choice for you. Even if left uncovered it requires minimal maintenance, and the natural weathering can transform the teak into a silvery gray. However, if you want to keep the silky feel and warm, golden-brown wood tones, keep it covered while outside or store it inside.
- Value-oriented. The value you get with teak furniture is unmatched — and we’re not just talking about how much you spend. Think about how durable it is, which means it will last you countless outdoor seasons. It’s also a special material — aged for over four decades — that not only brings style but comfort into your backyard.
As mentioned earlier, teak has two states. New pieces of teak will have a golden brown color, while naturally, aged teak will turn a silvery gray.
To naturally age your teak, leave it outside in the sun for about 9–12 months and wait. Aged teak is a popular look for patios, and it requires no maintenance. However, if you want to keep your teak furniture a honey brown color, you’re going to need to follow a few easy steps to maintain it.
When teak is new, the natural oils give it a polished look, but over time this oil evaporates. While the piece is still just as durable, it will start losing its color if you don’t treat it.
It may be tempting to use teak oil to maintain your furniture, but outdoors, that oil can grow moldy and make the furniture greasy. Instead, use a teak sealer, which is a specially blended mix that creates a water-based shield that not only keeps the teak looking fresh but can also prevent stains from seeping into the wood.
We have also found that paraffin oil works well, especially for Indu+ outdoor grills. Apply it using a soft cloth, to which a little of the oil has been added in advance, and allow the oil to soak in for 20 minutes. Then remove any excess with a dry cloth. Do this regularly to keep your teak looking fresh and spotless.
However, stains happen to the best of us, so if you get one, you can use a plastic-bristled brush with some soap and water. For tougher stains, add a small amount of bleach to a water-based mix. Before cleaning, dampen the surface with clean water and apply the cleaning solution with a soft cloth or sponge. Then let it soak into the wood for 10–15 minutes.
Clean the surface using a sponge, and avoid metal scrubbing pads, metal brushes, or rough sponges that can scratch the wood’s surface. When finished, lightly rinse it with clean water.
With its super-durability, versatile style, and natural beauty, teak is an investment that will last a lifetime, and there’s no better choice for your outdoor space.