top of page

Not all Teak is Created Equal for Outdoor Furniture

Kingsley Bate St. Tropez Chairs and Essex Dining Table
Kingsley Bate St. Tropez teak chairs and Essex teak dining table

When shopping for outdoor teak furniture, keep in mind there are significant differences between teak wood grades; these differences determine how long your furniture will last and look overtime. Do not sacrifice performance with a lesser teak grade, this is not where you want to skimp! Inevitably you will pay more in the long run by prematurely replacing your outdoor furniture. Also, be aware that some chain retailers tend to sell poor quality teak treated with chemicals to make the teak appear superior then it really is. Therefore, ask the retailer about the manufacturer’s teak grade and sourcing before making a purchase. Specifically, is it "Grade A teak" that has been sustainably sourced? To go one step further, ask the retailer to verify the manufacturer claims with product literature or website.

Three Grades of Teak Wood — What’s the Difference and What Makes Grade A the Best Choice for Outdoor Furniture

Grade A Teak: Highest quality teak milled from the center of mature teak trees (40+ years) whereas wood is the densest and most uniform. In addition to its extreme hardness giving teak strength and longevity; Grade A teak is naturally oily to further withstand degradation, making it virtually weatherproof and insect-proof. Characterized by its honey color, quality teak becomes naturally silver-gray over time as it ages without degrading performance. Referred to as “patina” many people favor this silver-gray natural finish over the new warmer look. However, if you prefer a warmer hue to patina, teak can easily be rejuvenated to look new with little effort. This is why Grade A teak is the most sought-after wood material for outdoor furniture. Learn about caring for teak here

Grade B Teak: Milled further toward the outer tree section where the wood grain is looser and contains fewer natural oils; resulting in a weaker less resilient wood than Grade-A teak. In addition to poorer performance, Grade B often has inconsistencies ranging from uneven color, asymmetrical wood grain and even knots that are often concealed with chemical coatings applied by the manufacturer, this significantly affects the patina process and durability overtime.

Grade C Teak: Cut from the outer tree section where wood grain is the widest and lacking natural oils, instead it contains an undesirable sap - this is why it’s also referred to as “sap wood”. Due to the outer tree section still growing, Grade C teak is soft and porous, resulting in premature rot and warping when used for patio furniture. In addition to its poor performance, Grade C teak has drastic variances in color and grain making it undesirable for quality patio furniture retailers but often sold at chain retailers.

Gloster premium Grade A Teak
Gloster premium Grade A Teak

The Bottom Line

Even if the outdoor furniture looks great in the store, if it’s not Grade A teak, you’re taking a risk by purchasing lesser grade teak furniture. This will inevitably cost you more in the long-run than if you purchased Grade A teak outdoor furniture from the start.


bottom of page