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Is It Really Teak Wood? Caveat Emptor! (Part One)
This article contains a plethora of information and would be difficult to take in all at once. For that reason, I have broken this article into two parts.
“Caveat Emptor” is Latin for “Let the buyer beware”.
If you have Teak wood outdoor furniture, there is very little you will need to do be ready for spring and summer gatherings to begin. If you purchased “teak oiled” or “better than teak wood” outdoor furniture, you may be in for a big surprise.
There are several outlets that are selling wood outdoor furniture using phrases like, “Teak oiled wood furniture”. Teak oiled means just that: the wood that the furniture is made from has been oiled with Teak oil. Period. It is not Teak wood as many of us who may have purchased it would have hoped to believe.
Part of the problem is that we are all looking for the “deal”. We want to pay as little as possible for high quality items so badly that we often overlook or don’t look at all at what we are actually getting for our money.
What does “Teak like” furniture mean? Does that mean that the wood has a high silica content like Teak wood? Does it mean that the wood will weather all the natural elements and last 75-100 years left outdoors, like Teak wood will? What exactly does it mean?
Look at this verbiage on any number of websites or in any number of stores and you will see it. Some of these outdoor wood furniture pieces that are the “GREAT DEALS” are made from a wood called Nyatoh, not Teak. It is sold as an exotic hardwood and many outlets and advertisers call it a wood which wears and behaves like teak? Go on to E-Bay and you will find sellers who are advertising it as “stronger than teak wood”. In fact, that is not true.
Who are these marketers trying to kid? Guess what, they are trying to kid us all. Marketers are very good at putting spins on things to make us, the buying public, think one thing, and because we did not pay attention, it turns out to be something completely different.
Where are many of the consumers getting these great deals and purchasing their “Teak like” outdoor furniture? It is reported that many of these wood outdoor furniture sets are being purchased from big chain department stores located in each and every town across the United States, as well as local grocery and drugstores, and on the internet.
Take a look at Nyatoh versus Teak in one area of wood measurement: Durability. Nyatoh wood is generally rated as Class 3, nondurable to moderately durable, and has a low resistance to termite attack. Its sapwood is liable to powder-post beetle attack. Other woods more familiar to us with this similar durability rating are: American Cherry: African mahogany: Japanese Oak: Southern Pine: American Walnut: and Western Red Cedar, just to name a few.
Teak woods durability is classified as Class 1, Very Durable. Woods in this class include Ebony: Iroka: Makore: and Opepe to name a few. And this is just one area of measurement we are looking at, (just as a side note, class 2, which is Durable, contains familiar woods like American Oak: Balau: Sweet Chestnut: Cedar: Ekki: and Karri woods to name a few).
Nyatoh wood is protected with oil. Once treated, this wood should consistently be treated each year to maintain some protection from the elements. When it comes to Nyatoh wood, the consumer must pay particular attention to sufficiently oiling the “joints” where the protection is needed most. If water gets trapped in the joints of this wood, wood rot will begin.
There is absolutely nothing wrong with Nyatoh wood at all. It is being fashioned in very similar styles of other high quality outdoor furniture. If you are looking for the deal, make this purchase. Just be aware of what it is you are really buying. It is NOT Teak wood. You will need to maintain it differently than you would Teak wood and you may need to replace it more frequently just as you have your previous outdoor patio furniture.