2015 Teak Furniture Purchasing Guide
Known for its natural beauty and elegance, teak is one of the most popular types of wood for furniture making. When shopping around for teak furniture, choosing the right product can be difficult, specifically because most retailers sell it at smaller prices. There are many aspects pertinent to decision-making you must consider when looking for teak furniture, especially if you want to spend your money on items of the highest quality.
Check out our buying guide below to learn how to shop around for teak furniture Singapore has to offer:
1. Semi-machine VS Handmade
When buying teak furniture, one of the most important aspects to consider is whether the item is machine-made or handmade. As you have probably guessed, semi machine-made furniture is best when it comes to quality and longevity, as joints and components are machine-made to fit perfectly and guarantee the best structure. This ensures that your furniture will not rely on glue that holds together the components, which makes each piece more durable. Although the quality depends largely on the raw teak wood used, the skills of the person making the furniture is also an important factor to dictate the quality of the end product.
Handmade furniture among all these 3 are the most expensive simply because this requires the most skill, time and dedication. Handmade wood furniture is fitted together using traditional woodwork joints, which have been proven to be more long lasting than modern day manufacturing methods. Wood filler is used in all wood manufacturing, and this is used as a result of the quality of the original timber such as knots and imperfections and has little to do with the construction of the furniture piece.
2. Know the Grades of Teak
When shopping around for teak furniture, choosing the right grade of teak is of paramount importance to the quality and longevity of your piece.
Grade A – Grade A teak furniture is made of the mature heartwood section of the teak timber, sporting a uniform “warm honey” colour, closely grained, and oily to the touch. Grade A furniture is the best of all three grades available, but also the most expensive to produce, with prices over 12 times higher than grade C furniture.
Grade B – Grade B teak furniture is made of the semi-mature heartwood section of the teak, with a lighter duller colour that has greater variation as compared to grade A. The grain of grade B teak furniture is uneven, not as oily as grade A teak, and has slightly less of a shine once sanded. Some small knots are acceptable on grade B teak furniture.
Grade C – Grade C teak furniture is manufactured using sapwood from the outer sections of the log, which is much softer than the heartwood. The teak is patchy, with a high contrast in colour (light/dark), and has little protective oil content. Furthermore, grace C teak furniture is usually very easy to damage, but also the cheapest to produce.
3. Kiln-Drying Is Essential
Another factor important to decision-making is kiln-drying. The moisture content of teak furniture affects the behavior of the wood as it dries, and a high moisture content will oftentimes result in warping, cracking, shrinking or splitting. Teak must be dried to a maximum of 12 percent in order to stand the test of time, otherwise it will get damaged during a very short amount of time. Furthermore, kiln-drying ensures that teak furniture can survive in humid environments, hence ensuring you of better longevity.
Before you purchase teak furniture in Singapore, make sure that you carefully consider the factors mentioned above to ensure that you will be buying furniture of the highest quality. Look for manufacturers that sell furniture at reasonable prices, and stay away from bargains, as they may not be of the optimum grade.
Cheryl Lim writes for Scanteak – a renowned brand that sells beautifully designed and lasting teak furniture in Singapore and around the world. At Scanteak, we pride ourselves on over 40 years of crafting Teak, a prized tropical hardwood, into furniture of timeless, classic designs. Our Scandinavian ideology maintains that furniture should complement our lifestyles, so that we’ll always have time for the things that truly matter – friends, family, and feeling at home.