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Ten Variations of Teak Wood

Teak wood is a popular choice because of its long-lasting properties and water resistance. Currently, it is among the most expensive types of wood on the market. Let’s look more closely at this popular sort of wood!

An examination of the trees themselves, as well as features of the species of wood and grain quality, will be covered in this article. We’ll also look at the many uses for this lovely wood.

When it comes to teak, there are several methods to use it. Teak is among the most highly prized exotic woods for outdoor teak furniture, which is why it is so expensive. Aside from the use of teakwood for outdoor teak furniture and wood boards for garden and indoor furniture, this kind of wood can be found in cabinets and frames.

Teak is a Beautiful Wood

Close-up of teak trunk in the forest.

Plant species Tectona grandis is a member of the Lamiaceae family. This tropical tree is indigenous to countries like Sri Lanka, Thailand, and Bangladesh in southern and southeast Asia. Where growing conditions are similar to those of these countries, it is possible to find teak plantations.

Leaves

Trees such as teak are seasonal. This suggests that when the winter months approach, their leaves will begin to change hue and fall off. The leaves will return in early spring when the weather warms up.

Leaf length may exceed 17 inches, and the ovate/elliptical shape is typical of a teak tree. Its leaves are large, papery, and often covered in a downy layer on the underside. They’re a bright green color.

Bark

This tree’s bark is a warm brown with a grayish tinge. V-shape and little fissures characterize the surface. Trees get more textured as they mature.

Flowers

Tiny white, extremely fragrant, and pleasant-smelling teak tree blossoms grow in dense, dense clusters. Branch tips are where these flowers appear. They provide a new depth to the teak tree’s attractiveness.

Changing Patterns of Development

It is one of the fastest-growing tropical hardwoods, and teak is no exception. More than a century of their existence has been recorded, and during that time, they have grown to a height of up to 40 meters (130 feet).

The stems of these trees are very long and thin. Around midway up the tree’s trunk, the tree’s limbs begin to form and spread outward. Shade-giving crowns are common in this species.

An Overview of Teak

Close-up of teak tree with green foliage against the clear sky.

Many people have heard of teak trees, mostly because of the high-quality wood they produce. Leather-like aromas have been attributed to freshly milled wood. Because of its high oil content, teakwood is well-known for its great tensile strength. Fine-grain is another reason for its popularity.

In terms of weather-resistant applications, teak wood is the best option. Ring-porous teak wood is known for its strong grain. Moisture content affects the density of the wood. At 15%, it generally weighs 600kg/m3.

As the tree grows older, the heartwood (which is the very center of the log) of the teak changes color from yellow to brown. It has a few patches that seem to be black in color.

From colorless to light yellow-brown, the sapwood (the outer layer of the log encircling the heartwood) has a wide range of hues. When looking at heartwood, it’s easy to tell what it is.

This wood is very tolerant to staining, painting, sealant, and other finishing treatments. Manual or mechanical operation is possible. Termites and other insect pests don’t bother it.

Due to its exceptional quality, genuine teak or old-growth teak is rather expensive. Due to its very long lifetime, it is often utilized as recovered wood.

Teak Wood’s Countless Uses

Close-up of a teak wood deck in a sailboat.

Because of its strength and water resistance, teak wood is an excellent choice for a wide range of projects. In instances where the wood may be subject to considerable weather damage, its increased oil content, fine grain, and strength make it a great option.

Because of its exceptional resilience to the weather, teak is often used in marine woodwork. Railing, decking, trim for cabins, and other items for shipboard use are all made possible via the use of this material. In addition to masts and rudders, teak wood is a good choice.

For outdoor teak furniture, teak wood is a popular choice since it is weather-resistant, water-resistant, and sturdy. Rain and sunshine have no effect on it. Even under terrible weather circumstances, it may endure up to 70 years (it can also withstand exposure to UV rays due to outdoor placement.

  • Railings on the deck
  • Decorative items for use both inside and outside the home.
  • Wooden boards of teak (This looks a lot like red oak)
  • Organizing Shelves
  • In addition, cutting boards and other work surfaces
  • Window and door framing
  • A teakwood bench (outdoor or indoor)

Growing Pattern

A detailed description of Tectona grandis was published by Carl Linnaeus the Younger in his publication Supplementum Plantarum in 1782. Harold Norman Moldenke reported four new variants of this plant variety in his journal Phytologia that year, in 1975. There was a distinct difference between each kind. In Harold’s opinion, this species was found in the following varieties:

  • The species Grandis f. canescens had heavily canescent undersides (hairy).
  • The leaves of Grandis f. pilosula showed a variety of morphologies.
  • The underside of leaf larger veins was hairy in the Grandis f. punctata cultivar.
  • A yellow Tomentose hair coated the bottom of the leaf of Grandis f. tomentella.

Types of Teak Wood

Round teak wood stumps with rings and grains.

Teak wood comes in a variety of forms. When shopping for solid wood furniture pieces or hardwood flooring, consumers may get overwhelmed by the variety of possibilities.

Burmese teak, Asian teak, Indonesian teak, Chinese teak, African teak, Golden teak, South American teak, Philippine teak, plantation teak, Thailand teak, Indian teak, and Malaysian teak are only a few of the many varieties of teak wood available.

To the untrained eye, teak wood seems to be a single species. In order for you to be acquainted with the kids the next time you’re at the market and even recognize them simply by looking and touching them, we’ve listed them below.

Classification Based on Botanical Genus and Species Names

There is a slew of wood species available that look and feel a lot like teak. Only Tectona grandis, also known as Burmese teak wood, is real teak wood. For example, Robinia or black locust wood, which resembles golden teak wood, is really Robinia or dark locust wood.

Classification Based on Growth and the Geographic Location

Old-growth forests in South Asia are where you’ll find true teak. Teak harvested from plantation woods is known as teak plantation wood. This design is becoming more popular since genuine teak wood is becoming increasingly difficult to come by.

Categorization Based on Grade

An old teak wood stump with dark hue and mature rings.

According to grade, the species of teak wood varies. To ensure the long-term viability of wooden structures and furnishings, teak wood is rated according to its quality.

Quality teak

Class A teak wood is the highest quality of teak. The heartwood of a fully mature tree is used to extract lumber of this quality. It has a continuous golden-brown hue that makes it immediately recognizable. It has a lustrous, oily surface with fine granules.

With a heavy concentration of essential oils, Class A teak wood is very hardy and resistant to the elements. They protect it from the elements and keep out pests. Because it only makes up about a fifth to a 1/4 of the whole log, it’s rather expensive.

Class B of Teak

Grass B teak comes from the heartwood of the tree. It makes up between one-quarter and one-third of the log. Consequently, it costs less than class A teak. It’s a subtler hue. The wood is lacking in luster and grain consistency. Natural teak oil is included in a very small amount of this product. It isn’t weather-resistant and has to be protected from the elements.

Class C of Teak

However, despite its lesser quality than teak, it is still superior to other types of wood. Outer limbs and trunks of mature trees are used to make the lumber… (sapwood). It lacks any natural oils whatsoever. There are noticeable differences in coloring.

Due to its fragile nature, it is easily destroyed. It is not recommended for outdoor use due to the lack of essential oils that protect it. Despite its low quality, it is not suitable for use inside. Grade B teak isn’t nearly as long-lasting or elegant as grade A. It’s a good value for the money. With regular preventative treatments, the life expectancy is short. ”

Ten Varieties of Teak Wood in Accordance to the Origin of the Wood

Teak wood comes from a variety of countries, and the following table lists the origins of each kind:

1. Burmese Teak Wood

Burmese teak wood with grains.

Scientific Identity: Tectonic Grandis

This wood is found in countries in Latin America, Africa, and the Southeast Asian Region

Height: 100-130 ft

Janka Hardness: 1,070 lbf

It’s a unique old-growth tree found only in Myanmar and Burma. Their average life expectancy is about 50 years. It is the best quality teak wood available in the market at the moment. A beautiful grain pattern and a higher proportion of teak essential oils make it golden in color. Teak wood of this kind is the most long-lasting.

The heartwood has a gold or medium brown hue that darkens with time. In either case, the grain will be wavy rather than perfectly straight. In addition to its inherent gloss, the material offers a textured feel.

Ships, patio furniture, veneers, and other small woodworking items are often made from Burmese teakwood because of its weather-resistant qualities.

2. Teak Hardwood from Indonesia

Teak wood logs from Indonesia.

The Scientific name is not available

Grown in Indonesia

Height: 100 ft

Janka Hardness: 980 lbf

Teak wood from Asia is sometimes known as Asiatic teak wood. Authentic Indonesian teak, as with Burma teak. It takes about 30 years for the kind of teak wood to develop. In terms of plantation teak wood, it is one of the best globally.

The quality of Indonesian teak is lower than that of Burmese teak. Wider grains, more organic teak oils, and solid knots are all found in this kind of wood. The color is a light brown with a tinge of gray.

3. Plantation Teak Wood from Africa

A forest of teak trees in Africa.

Scientific Name: AfromorsiaElata

Grown in Central Africa

Height: 160 feet

Janka Hardness: 1,070 lbf

A teak plantation in Africa is known as African plantation teak. Due to its slow growth rate, teak has a limited concentration of its own natural oils. Teak hardwood from Burma or Indonesia, on the other hand, is much more durable than plantation teak wood from Africa. It has a fairly light brown color. A broad gap separates the wood’s grains. Knots may be heard vibrating in the fabric.

It’s a thick, heavy wood, but it’s quite strong. Additionally, it is used for boat building, wood joinery, and decorative veneer work.

4. Teak Hardwood from Plantations in South America 

Teak wood plank from South America.

Scientific name is not known

Grown in: South America

Height: 100-120 feet 

Janka Hardness: 970 lbf

Teak from plantations in South America is, as the name implies, teak that has been cultivated on South American soil.  This wood has a similar grain arrangement, color, and teak oil content to African teak. The two types of teak wood are so similar that it’s difficult to tell them apart.

5. Indian Teak Wood

Giant teak tree in Kerala India.

Indian Teak Wood 

Grown in India

Height: 100 feet

Janka Hardness: 1,070 lbf

In terms of teak wood, Indian teak is among the most sought-after. Indian old-growth forests are home to this species. Although the grade of India’s teak wood is equivalent to that of Burma teak wood, there is almost no availability of Indian natural wood available on the global market owing to high demand in India.

Because of the trees’ ability to evolve into old-growth teak, this wood is highly prized. In the end, you get a beautiful tint, solid wood that is loaded in rare oils, and magnificent furniture.

6. Teak Wood from Thailand

Man hands carving a Thailand teak wood timber.

Grown in Thailand

Height: 90-120 feet

Janka Hardness: 1,100 lbs

The quality of Teak wood found in Thailandis superior to that of Burma teak wood. That’s right! Due to the exceptional growth circumstances for teak in Thailand, the wood from this country is of the highest quality available everywhere. As a result of the overexploitation of Thailand’s teak wood, the government has designated it a threatened species and placed restrictions on its harvest. Therefore, Thailand teak wood cannot be purchased anywhere else.

7. Teak Wood that Comes from Brazil

Slim teak trees in Brazil forest.

Grown in South America

heights ranging from 50 to 80 meters

Janka Hardness: 3,540 lbf

Cumaru is the official name for Brazilian teak wood, but it is also commonly referred to as ipe. Authentic teak wood does not come from this wood from South America. It is a species indigenous to Brazil.

It is extremely hard, substantial, water-resistant, and long-lasting. It is water and pest-resistant because of the heavy proportion of essential oils in this plant. The grain pattern is slightly distinct from that of real teak wood. Instead of being golden brown, Brazilian teak has a reddish-brown tone to it.

8. Teak Wood that Comes from Africa

African teak wood turned into an expansion table.

Growing Region: Africa

Height: 100-120 feet

Janka Hardness: 1,000 bf

Teak from Africa is not real teak. Actually, it’s referred to as iroko. African teak is a tough, water-resistant wood that can withstand a lot of abuse. Unlike real teak wood, this is nothing like it. Nearly no knots and well-spaced grains are to be seen. Degradation and damage have little effect on its resiliency. Outdoor furniture and wooden buildings commonly utilize it in lieu of teak wood.

9. Teak Wood from South America

Close-up of South American teak wood planks.

Grown in: South America

Height: Varies:

Janka Hardness: Varies

However, despite the fact that this kind of wood is known as garapa, it is still often known as teak wood. It’s made of heavy-duty materials and will endure a long time. Wavy wood grains give it a rich brown color.

Due to its similar applications, look, and quality, it is sold as teak wood. However, since it isn’t made from genuine teak, it’s far more affordable.

10. China’s Teak Wood

China's teak wood with light hue and grains.

Grown in China

Height: Varies

Janka Hardness: 1,155 lbf

Golden teak wood is a name given to Chinese teak wood, which is also known as teak wood from China. It isn’t constructed of teak, yet it looks like it. Black locust wood, or Robinia wood, is the proper name for this species. As a result, it is used as a substitute for real teak wood.

Its grain pattern resembles that of real teak wood, and it’s rather beautiful. It’s made of high-quality materials. Even experts have trouble telling the difference between real teak and Chinese teak. Genuine teak wood costs more than four times as much as this alternative.

As you’ve already seen, the term “teak” covers a wide range of different wood species. An effective way to entice the customer into a purchase is to provide a lower-cost option.

Teak Wood Preserving Technique

Carpenter hands oiling a teak wood table using brush.

You should keep in mind a few things if you possess indoor teak furniture, outdoor furniture, or teak flooring. There are ways to prolong the life of wood, despite the fact that it is quite durable!

  • The teak wood is protected from degradation by the heavy proportion of organic teak oils in the wood. Teak wood, on the other hand, may become gray when exposed to direct sunshine. The natural color of teak wood may be preserved by applying marine or spar varnish to woodwork and furniture. UV rays from the sun are responsible for the discoloration of the top layer of teak wood. Therefore, this would prevent this. Polyurethane varnishes are inefficient because they lack UV protection.
  • Teak oil, a lacquer and tung oil mixture, is the finest way to maintain your teak furniture. There are many people using it.

Regular cleaning of outdoor woodwork and furniture is necessary to prevent the growth of mold. The following solutions may be used to clean teak furniture:

  • Add a small amount of bleaching solution and a dollop of laundry detergent to a gallon of warm water.
  • 1 quart of warm water to 1 cup of vinegar (Srub your teak wood furniture thoroughly and then rinse it with clear water.)

Teak is a rare and expensive wood. Furniture made of Teak wood is a lot more expensive than other types of wood. Teak wood may be readily misunderstood if one has a thorough grasp of the different varieties of wood. We are certain you can confidently navigate the market after reading this comprehensive overview of the different variations of teak wood!

FAQs

Is it safe to use teak wood utensils?

Teak wood tools are extremely safe to use in the kitchen. They are also flexible and can be used when handling nonstick cookware! Wood that is durable and water-resistant means that the tools will not split or warp as easily when used in the kitchen.

If my cutting board is teak, can I use plastic on it?

A plastic cutting board is much less risky than a sharp knife when it comes to chopping food. A plastic or stainless steel knife won’t do much damage since teak wood is strong and durable enough to handle any kind of tool.

Is teak a pricey material?

Due to its high quality, overall aesthetics, and the rarity of the trees, this wood is rather pricey. Fortunately, there are alternatives that are less costly and more environmentally friendly that provide many of the same features!

Is teakwood water-resistant?

Wood made from teak contains a lot of oil. Its level of resistance to water and other types of weather damage is indicated by this fact. Water can’t penetrate the heartwood because the grain is close together.

Can you dye teakwood?

The answer is yes; teak wood can be dyed.

Staining this type of wood is a breeze. Since the wood’s natural beauty and brightness are worth protecting, it is recommended that a clear stain be utilized.

Is sealing teak wood really necessary?

If you want your wood product to last, you should seal it t after it’s finished. Because of its natural resistance to moisture, this wood does not need waterproof sealants.

The best teak for doors is what?

For a high-quality door, Burmese teak wood is often considered to be the best option. This door will not only look fantastic but will also last for many years to come.

What is the best place to get teak wood?

Teak wood from Burma is often considered to be the best in the world. Furthermore, it is said to be made of “genuine teak wood.” Some of the best old-growth teaks may be found in Burma.

Is teak wood a termite magnet?

The sapwood of teak is vulnerable to termites, but the heartwood is not. To construct furniture, we use the heartwood from within the trunk, whereas sapwood relates to the trunk’s outer layer. Termites, on the other hand, stay away from the heartwood.