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Unique Teak: 12 Teak Facts That Will Fascinate and Inspire You

Posted by Jason Hoffman on

Let's take a moment to think about teak wood. What is it that you imagine? What are the images that come to mind? Maybe you imagine being in a comfy sun lounger resting by a swimming pool, or maybe even your grandma's old patio recliner nestled in the garden. For the boat fancier, you might imagine the beautiful golden shine of a boat's teak woodwork.  And if you're wild about plants and nature, you might even picture tall sweeping trees sprawled throughout the forest around you. You might even contemplate it's medicinal uses as a anti-inflammatory, diuretic, asthma preventative, or even its uses in promoting hair growth (Maybe I should mention this one to my dad!). 

The true beauty, elegance, and timeless appeal of teak wood can be found in all facets of the world around us. Teak has been a part of our environment on an individual and global level for centuries, and most of us don't even notice it. Other new materials, products, and styles come and go, and yet teak always remains. 

Teak is a wildly unique and fascinating material. Here are 12 interesting facts about teak that will catch you by surprise, and maybe even lead you to explore the world of teak on your own micro-adventure.

Unique teak:

  1. Teak protects itself!

    Teak secretes an oil to protect itself from the elements, including infestation, rot, fungus, and even fire. And the best part is that the oils last long after the life of the tree, which is why teak wood is the ultimate home furniture option.
  2. Teak reaches for the stars.

    The teak tree, known as Tectona grandis, can grow to be over 130 feet tall!
  3. Back to the roots.

    Teak is native to Southeast Asia, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, and Burma. However, it is becoming wildly popular to sustainably grow and harvest teak in South America for its many uses. 
  4. Power of the Hulk!

    Did I mention teak is incredibly durable AND water resistant? 
  5. The Black Pearl.

    Teak has been an integral material for boats since the pirate days! Teak has been used for ship building for centuries, and is highly desired for modern boat inlays and accessories.
  6. I am invincible!

    Teak doesn't crack, wrap, or turn black when in contact with metals. It's almost magical.
  7. Like fine wine, teak gets better with age.

    With teak, older trees reign superior. We're talking 40-80 years being the desired age for optimal strength of the wood, as well as size for harvesting.
  8. Nobody likes the word "moist."

    Before being cut into lumber, teak must dry for 1-2 years. Dare I say patience is a virtue?
  9. Empire and Sea Power.

    Teak helped lead Britain's rise in power. The British established a shipyard in Bombay, India to build ships because the location was close to a large source of teak trees. They chose teak for it's longevity. After 100 years of service, their teak ships would still retain frame and utility. To put that in perspective, 18th century warships were often built with English Oak which would only last about 25 years. Even modern steel warships only have a lifespan of about 50 years. Teak rules!
  10. Hey there, clever investor.

    Fact.Teak has outperformed the S&P 500 by roughly 50% since the 1980's,with a 5.5% value increase year over year.Not too shabby,eh?Not only is teak a great material investment,it's also a great financial investment.
  11. You're late for tea!

    Did you know teak is a member of the mint family? In fact, Teak bark was once commonly used to make tea. Many drank it for its ability to alleviate headaches, fever, and stomach pains. Even more interesting is the fact that other parts of the teak tree have unique medicinal properties as well. The leaves have antibacterial, anti-fungal, and anti-ulcer properties. The dried leaves were used to cure sore throats. And lastly, the wood in powdered form was used to remove internal parasites, or was often turned into a paste to treat dermatitis. 
  12. The Brady Bunch.

    Teak is in the same family as basil, mint, rosemary, sage, oregano, thyme, and lavender. That family is Lamiaceae (pronounced lay-me-ay-see-eye). I'd say those are some good genes!

See, now you're a teak expert! The fascinating history and qualities of teak just might shed some new light on those elegant gray furniture pieces in your backyard.

Don't have teak in your living space yet? Find the perfect, high quality teak furniture pieces designed for your living space at American Teak.

And while your surfing the web, consider taking your own mini adventure to learn something new about the world around you. And if you do, please share with us! We would love to hear about your adventure. Share your adventure on our Facebook page, or e-mail us at Info@AmericanTeak.com. Cheers!


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