THE TIMELESSNESS OF TEAK

One of the fastest-growing categories in the North American furniture industry is that of outdoor living. Industry reports consistently show annual increases in gross sales and revenues for outdoor furniture. This year, with many people spending more time at their homes due to COVID, retailers of outdoor furniture are having difficulty keeping up to the demand.

Consumers spend differently when they purchase outdoor furniture. They tend to invest two to three times more on their outdoor furniture than on indoor furniture. Since consumers are spending more of their time at home and outdoors, this trend makes sense. If you plan to be outdoors more than indoors, why not invest in furniture that you are going to use the most? This rings true in Puerto Vallarta as well. Most of us find ourselves living outdoors on our terrazas, patios and decks. Today, it is growing more common to see homes in the Bay of Banderas with not only an outdoor dining set, but also an outdoor sofa set and coffee table. Some are even expanding their entertaining outdoors with an eight-seat sectional where they can stretch out around a fire pit table.

The reason why people are spending more on outdoor is not because they are buying more furniture for outside. Materials used to manufacture outdoor furniture tend to cost more than those used to create indoor furniture. Materials that avoid sun fade, do not rot and are insect-repellent are more expensive. This results in a higher retail cost for the furniture.

 Although outdoor furniture is available in many materials, there is one material that is considered the favorite – teak wood. Teak, or teca en Espanol, is a tropical hardwood. The teak tree species is native to south-east Asia. Today, however, you can find many teak plantations in Latin America.

Teak wood has properties that make it an excellent option for outdoor furniture. It is one of the only wood species that has a high natural oil content which makes it termite resistant. It also makes it less likely to dry out and crack or split.

Teak wood's dense fiber and tight grain make it less likely to absorb water and rot. This is important because it makes it more resistant to fungi and mildew.

No surprise then that teak wood has been used for over 2000 years in boatbuilding. Some of the most beautiful boats in the world are made from or have teak wood components. Teak wood is also used for cutting boards, countertops, indoor flooring, window frames in addition to furniture.

Surpassing all its other benefits is that it is beautiful. Teak wood has a rich golden brown grain with a few natural imperfections - just enough to give character. You can maintain the natural golden brown color with regular teak oil treatments. Although some people opt to do treatments every 3 to 6 months, this is not necessary. Most people find that they only need to treat the wood once per year. The treatment is simple. Just apply teak oil with a soft cloth and leave to dry.

Alternatively, you can choose to let your teak wood furniture age naturally, and it will transform into a beautiful weathered-grey color.

Taken care of properly, teak furniture will last a lifetime. Should you tire of your furniture and want to change it for something new, it generally commands a good resale value.

When shopping for teak furniture, be wary of any items marketed as "teak-oiled" or "teak-covered". These are alternative options that will not offer the same benefits as genuine teak.

Since it is challenging to know just by looking whether the item is genuine teak or a teak-alternative, always buy your teak furniture from a retailer or brand you know and trust.

Ask for warranty information to ensure you have time to ensure there are no issues. Most warranties for outdoor furniture such as teak are about one year.

If you are looking for durable outdoor furniture, insect resistant, long-lasting, with only minimal upkeep, teak is a great solution. When you take all this into account, teak is well worth its additional cost.

Do you have questions about furniture and décor for your home in Puerto Vallarta?

Whether it is what material to buy or where to find it, I am happy to help. Email me at furniture@solutionsmexico.com or post on my Facebook Group: Mexico Furniture and Décor.