A deciduous hardwood tree indigenous to Indonesia and Southeast Asia, teak is extremely dense-grained and highly resistant to rot, warping, shrinkage and swelling. Its high natural oil content acts as a natural preservative to the wood, so it can be left outdoors for decades. The first outdoor teak benches were made of recycled decking from old sailing ships. Many public parks in England are furnished with such teak benches, some of which are nearly a century old. Teak is more expensive than other woods, but because of its durability, remains very popular, especially teak patio furniture.
Teak patio furniture can be seen anywhere that eating outdoors is common and pleasant. Teak dining tables, chairs, benches and even planters, can be found in gardens, backyards, deck areas, patios, pool yards and sun-rooms. Teak does not break down in the sun like plastic, and is less prone to decay from the elements like other woods. Teak patio furniture is lighter and cooler than iron, and will not break easily like tubular metals. Teak is also very smooth to the touch and does not splinter.
Teak patio furniture that reclines, like chaise loungers, is particularly well liked. These furniture pieces are usually heavier, too, so have two or more wheels for transport from place to place. Adirondack chairs are popular teak patio furniture. Comfortable with their high backs, contoured seats and wide armrests, they are popular with outdoor cafes and bistros because they offer seating without the need for a table.
When most people think patio furniture, they envision the traditional table, four or six chairs and a garden umbrella. In teak furniture, the ribs of the umbrella are also teak, providing wind resistance, and again, less decay from the elements. Tables can be round, square or rectangular, and chairs range from simple folding chairs to padded armchairs.
Teak patio furniture offers more than the traditional umbrella table and chairs, however. Deep seating, known for large cushions and similarity to living room furniture, is often made from teak, and found in warmer climates where the outdoors is almost considered another room. Couches, love seats, ottomans, loungers with side trays, are just a few of the other items offered. Rockers, side tables, complete bistro style dining sets and outdoor bar furniture are also available.
Teak patio furniture does not need to be protected and left in its natural state is virtually maintenance free. Over time, it develops a silvery gray patina that can be left alone or can be revived to a warm honey glow with a light sanding or the application of a little teak oil. Teak patio furniture is also "green". The manufacture of teak wood products is significantly more energy efficient than metal or plastic furniture fabrication. In other words, putting resin or cast aluminum furniture on your deck is not necessarily a better alternative for our environment. There is really no other wood that has the same unique set of properties as teak. Thus, teak patio furniture is the gold standard for outdoor living.