Comparing Other Wood to Teak
Teak wood is the standard that all other woods are compared, and because of the high demand for Teak, many sellers will use such terms as better than Teak, Teak like wood, or stronger than Teak for a fraction of the cost.
We all want to find that great deal, pay as little as possible for a item, and in short come out ahead on most products that we buy. This desire to get the best deal possible sometimes clouds our vision so that we do not pay enough attention to what we are actually buying. This sometimes leads to our being let down when we discover that what we have purchased is not what we thought we were buying.
This holds true when you purchase outdoor furniture. Teakwood is the standard that all other woods are compared, and because of the high demand for Teak, many sellers will use such terms as better than Teak, Teak like wood, or stronger than Teak for a fraction of the cost. However, if you read further into the advertisements, you will usually discover that the product is crafted from woods such as Shorea or Eucalyptus.
Shorea trees are a genus of the family Dipterocarpaceae, which has approximately 600 species and found mainly in tropical lowland rainforest.
Countless marketers advertise Shorea wood as being related to Teak. However, Teak is of the genus Tectona Grandis of the family Verbenaceae. Saying Teak and Shorea are related is like saying, that a spruce tree is related to a magnolia tree. Granted they both are evergreens, but that is the only commonality they share. The spruce belongs to the genus Picea of the Family Pinaceae and the magnolia belongs to the genus Magnolioideae of the Family Magnoliaceae.
The Shorea genus has approximately 360 species. Weve listed some of the more common names that are being marketed by many marketed as teakwood like, to unsuspecting consumers.
Balau is a heavy hardwood. Almon, which is also know as white luan. White Meranti, Dark Red Meranti, and Yellow Meranti are light hardwood. There are approximately 360 different species of Shorea genus. These woods are beautiful and make gorgeous indoor furniture, and decorative artifacts. These woods can even be used for outdoor furniture. However, they are not teakwood, and when used outdoors these woods have to be protected.
The Eucalyptus genus contains over 300 species. Eucalyptus is an excellent wood that has been used for windbreaks, fuel, building supplies, and in some countries as food sources. However, if this wood is not seasoned properly prior to being used in manufacturing is will split, crack and chip. Because Eucalyptus contains such a heavy volume of water, that when it is dried, it is reported to shrink as much as 34%.
Eucalyptus, when used for outdoor furniture can be finished with high quality penetrating oil, stain mixture to take on a Teak-like appearance. However, to maintain the look, the furniture has to be cleaned and resealed on a regular basis. Eucalyptus furniture can also be painted.
When shopping for outdoor furniture, you have to make sure you know what type of wood the furniture is made from and precisely what you are purchasing. Don’t be taken advantage. If you want the beauty of teak wood, as well as the durability of Teak, then you have to purchase Teak. Teak wood is resistant against weather damage, termites, beetles, fungus, and wood rot. If you purchase an alternative wood, these woods do look beautiful and will hold up if you properly maintain them. However, you must keep in mind that these woods are not Teak, they are not stronger than Teak and will not last as long as Teak if they are not treated.