Whenever I’m preparing to make a big purchase I can hear my father’s voice in my head reminding me that you get what you pay for. My current project is shopping for some furniture for my new house and I am really partial to teak wood. I inherited my love for teak furniture directly from my father. I remember helping him wash and seal our outdoor teak furniture whenever it was losing its luster. He would brag about how long he had it and that it would still be around after he was gone. Now it’s my turn to own some of my own. I’ve done my research so I know that teak furniture comes in three different grades. The quality of the teak can be determined by whether it is grade A, B or C. Grade A teak furniture is often referred to as the heart of the tree or “heartwood” since it is crafted from wood cut right from the center of the teak tree. When you are looking at teak furniture that is grade A, you are looking at furniture made from the wood of a tree that is at least 40 years old. The heart of the teak tree produces the finest cuts of wood. Wood cut from the heart or center will have a higher concentration of resin making it stronger than the lower grades. Grade A teak furniture will also have a higher resistance to water and wood eating insects due to a higher content of silica than lesser grades. These premium cuts of wood will have a very close grain and a beautiful honey brown color. The downside to grade A teak furniture compared to the lesser grades is the cost. Just remember that you do get what you pay for. Grade A teak will stand the test of time and maintain its beauty. Grade B teak furniture is crafted from wood that is cut from the layers just outside the heart of the teak tree. The wood in these outer layers has less oil content and more of an uneven grain. Grade B wood may have black streaks and small knots and a lighter color than premium cuts. If you purchase teak furniture that is grade B, it will most likely come to you fully assembled as manufacturers try to hide the fact that their furniture is crafted from this lesser teak wood. Quite often your grade B teak furniture has been created by a combination of hand crafting and power saws. Obviously grade B teak furniture will be less costly than the higher grade.
Grade C teak furniture is typically crafted from wood cut from the outer sapwood of the teak tree. Wood from the outer portion of the teak tree tends to be softer. The wood is still growing so it still has water channels running through it preventing it from hardening up like the center of the tree. Teak furniture made from grade C teak will likely be full of flaws. This portion of the tree contains stains, knots and uneven grains. Grade C teak is definitely the least expensive of the three which appeals to many consumers. Of course I'm shopping for grade A teak furniture and if I purchased the lesser quality my father would likely disown me. I know that if I pay more now, I will get highest quality of pieces that will hold up and maintain their beauty. Teak furniture made with grade A wood has that beautiful golden color that I have come to admire and the tight grain is resilient as well as beautiful. My teak furniture shopping adventure will begin with a teak dining room table and chairs. I have my eye on a beautiful hand carved set made exclusively from grade A teak. Later, I hope to purchase some outdoor teak furniture as well. Teak is the perfect choice for outdoor patio furniture as it is extremely durable and highly resistant to weather damage. I happen to like the weathered grey look of teak furniture left outdoors without sealant. It’s a lovely backdrop for the calming blue of the cushions I’ve already chosen. However if I can convince my father to come help me seal MY teak furniture; perhaps I’ll reconsider letting mine go grey.