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Hardwood Teak

by admin • July 29, 2016 • No Comments

Hardwood Teak


Teak or Burmese Teak is scientifically  known as Tectona grandis.


VITAL STATISTICS: Tropical hardwood species. Trees grow to a height of 90 to 150 feet with a trunk of 6 feet to 8 feet.  The Asiatic teak may achieve a huge trunk circumference of 40 feet. Teak is native to Southeast Asia (Thailand, Burma and Burma, Laos, Cambodia, and Vietnam) but is now grown on plantations in parts of Asia, Africa and Central America. Because it can be harvested in as little as 10 years it is an ideal plantation species. As the forest grown teak becomes increasingly scarce and harder to find, plantations are a cost effective and sustainable solution.

DESCRIPTION: Teak naturally grows in groups among other tropical species. It is a very hard, heavy, strong wood, distinctively oily to the touch. The heartwood isyellowish, olive or light to dark brown. It has a Janka hardness of 1070 lb per foot. Teak has a high oil content, making it very durable especially against insects and moisture. When first cut, it is a tawny golden color streaked with dark brown and gold. It can have a leathery smell when freshly cut. The color lightens as it dries and can look white when it has been aged and sun bleached, as on boat decks.


SUSTAINABILITY: This wood species is not listed in the CITES Appendices or on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.


ADVANTAGES: The oil found in teak is a “natural preservative” making all applied treatments totally unnecessary. It is resistant to insects, fungus, and marine borers. Termites tend to avoid it generally, making it very sought after in tropical regions. Teak has a unique ability to prevent rust and corrosion when in contact with metal. This makes it invaluable in the shipbuilding industry and exterior millwork applications.


Uses for hardwood teak


Teak is an extremely valuable wood and is very desirable on the world market. It commands a high price due to scarcity and limited resources. Much of the naturally grown old world teak has already been harvested and plantation grown teak is now being produced. Teak finishes well and when stained can look like ebony or mahogany. Due to its oil content, pretreatment is, at times, necessary to ensure good glue bonding. Teak works well with both hand and machine tools. Because of the presence of silica in the grain ( up to 1.4%) it has a tendency to dull tools, but this can be overcome with proper tool usage. It is readily available as veneer and as lumber.


Teak is used principally in shipbuilding and in the construction of expensive boats and yachts. Because of its decay resistance, it is used extensively as exterior decking, millwork, trim and windows, and many marine applications. It is also used for garden furniture, park benches, and decorative items. Indoors it is used for flooring, tongue and groove ceilings, and paneling in luxurious offices. It is strongly associated with Scandinavian, Chinese, and modern furniture design and decorative objects.

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