Having a yard for the kids to play in

Having a yard for the kids to play in

Reclaimed Teak Furniture: A Primer

Wyatt Patterson

Teak is native to the islands of Indonesia, where it has long been regarded as a remarkably useful and versatile wood. It is, indeed, pretty remarkable: it's one of the strongest woods in the world, as well as one of the most resistant to rot, fungi and mildew. There are plenty of places in Indonesia where as a result almost everything has been built from it for centuries; homes and other buildings, boats and various fishing-related apparatus, railway cars, even shipping containers. As time moves on a lot of these structures are being replaced by ones made of metal, which means that huge quantities of reclaimed teak are now coming out of Indonesia.

Why Reclaimed Teak?

There are plenty of excellent reasons to choose reclaimed teak furniture:

  • It's better for the environment. By choosing reclaimed teak, you're giving an old piece of wood a new lease of life--rather than causing a new tree to be felled. That's not the only way reclaimed teak will help you help the planet, though: it's also such a strong and durable wood that you'll have the same piece of furniture for many years--perhaps even generations.
  • The pieces it creates are truly unique. Reclaimed teak furniture is gorgeous; some of this wood (especially former boat wood) has traces of paint and old markings left on it, giving it a gorgeous mix-and-match style that looks amazing in any warm, Bohemian setting. Even completely plain reclaimed teak has a gorgeous warmth and depth of colour to it that you'll never find in newer wood. Your new furniture will likely be beautifully worn-in with nicks and marks that tell a story; every piece of reclaimed teak is a work of art, and there's a depth of history to it that's beautiful to look at and pleasing to think about.
  • You'll save a bit of money. There's no denying that teak is an expensive wood; quality comes at a price, and high-quality teak is never found for cheap. By buying reclaimed teak, however, you'll be able to get a piece of Grade A teak for much less than it would cost new--making this an affordable proposition for a lot of people who would never generally consider teak furniture for their home.

Making Sure You Get The Real Deal

With reclaimed teak furniture experiencing such a surge in popularity, there are inevitably ripoffs and knockoffs appearing all over the market. There are two main things to look out for when you're searching for reclaimed teak furniture:

Wood that isn't reclaimed. It's true that Grade A teak is generally cheaper when it's reclaimed--but it's still more expensive than commercially produced teak of grades B and C. This means that there are a few manufacturers out there selling cheap, new teak and trying to pass it off as reclaimed. Look out for phrases like "reclaimed look" and "recycled style", and don't hesitate to ask where the wood was sourced from before you buy.

Wood that isn't teak. There are several woods that look quite a lot like teak to the uninitiated, and the one you'll most commonly find being used in "teak" furniture is nyatoh. When correctly treated, the two woods can indeed look very similar--for a while. Over time, nyatoh will prove itself to be much weaker and far less resistant to damp, mildew and termites than its cousin. It's a great deal more prone to bending, warping and splitting, too. Before you buy, double-check that your teak really is teak--you'll thank yourself for it in years to come.

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About Me
Having a yard for the kids to play in

I knew that the moment we bought a house with a decent yard I'd be ready to start having kids. I loved playing outside as a kid and since we've been in this house I think the kids spend nearly as much time outside as they do outside. That lawn has seen my babies crawl, my toddlers start walkings, the kids kicking balls around and playing chasey all afternoon. Keeping the lawn soft and green is so important to me as it let's us spend all that time outside. I'm always looking for ways to make it feel and look soft and green.