Best wood for outdoor furniture
One of the fastest-growing categories in the North American furniture industry is outdoor living. This comes as no surprise to those of us who moved to Puerto Vallarta to escape cold winters. Unlike having only a few months of warm temperatures, when you live south of the border, you can enjoy the outdoors year-round.
Our harsh climate means that the outdoor furniture you select for your home in Mexico should be different than what you select for back home. Here, your outdoor furniture must withstand intense, direct sunlight, extreme humidity, salty, ocean-air and termites. What might work in Minnesota or Calgary is unlikely to hold up in Puerto Vallarta.
Since homeowners in Vallarta spend most of their time outdoors, spending more on outdoor furniture here makes sense. First, consider that it makes sense to invest more on outdoor furniture since you will be using it daily. Second, to get the best value, it makes sense to get outdoor furniture that is made with materials that last the longest in this environment. It costs more up front, but with quality you only cry once.
Why does good quality outdoor furniture cost more? The main reason is due to the higher quality of materials used to manufacture the furniture. Materials that avoid sun fade, do not rot and are insect-repellent are more expensive. This translates to a higher retail cost.
One of the best materials for outdoor furniture is teak wood. Teak, or teca en Espanol, is a tropical hardwood. Although this tree species is native to south-east Asia, you can also find many teak plantations in Latin America.
Teak wood has properties that make it an excellent option for outdoor furniture chair and sofa frames and tables. It is one of only a few wood species that has a high natural oil content. This makes it more termite resistant. It also means it is less likely to dry out and crack or split. Teak wood's dense fiber and tight grain make it less likely to absorb water, so it does not rot. It also is highly resistant to fungi and mildew.
No surprise then that teak wood has been used for over 2000 years, most frequently 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, and window frames.
In addition to being tough and resilient, it is also beautiful. It has a rich golden-brown grain with a few natural imperfections - just enough to give character. You can choose to let your teak wood furniture age naturally, and it will transform into a beautiful weathered-grey piece. Those who love coastal décor themes will love this naturally aged look.
The natural golden-brown color can be maintained 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 procedure is simple. Just apply teak oil with a soft cloth and leave to dry.
Taken care of properly, teak furniture can last a lifetime. Should you tire of your furniture and want to change it for something new, it generally holds its value.
When shopping for teak furniture, be wary of any items marketed as "teak-oiled" or "teak-covered." These are alternative options that do not offer the same benefits as genuine teak. Since it is difficult to know just by looking whether the item is natural teak or a teak-alternative, always buy your teak furniture from a known and trusted retailer or brand. Ask for warranty information to ensure the item you are purchasing is genuine teak.
If you are looking for durable outdoor furniture, insect resistant, long-lasting, with minimal upkeep, teak is a great solution. Taking in to account its benefits and that you are using it twelve months a year instead of three or four, it is well worth its additional cost.
Do you have questions about furniture and décor for your home in Vallarta? Join our Facebook Group: Mexico Furniture and Décor, or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.