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How do I Choose the Best Teak Chairs?

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  • Written By: Matt Histand
  • Edited By: C. Wilborn
  • Images By: Anyaberkut, n/a
  • Last Modified Date: 09 September 2016
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Teak wood should always be a top choice when looking for the best in outdoor furniture. Teak chairs specifically represent some of the finest outdoor furniture crafted today. When choosing a chair, there are a few important things to consider: the age of the teak used in construction, how the chair is assembled, the hardware that accompanies each style, and whether or not the chair is made entirely from teak versus teak veneer or teak substitute.

While teak is among the most expensive woods in the world, it is easy to understand the attraction. Teak furniture has a popular golden brown finish, which turns silver-gray as it ages. The wood contains naturally occurring oil that deters insects and makes it antimicrobial. It is also not affected by extreme weather conditions like other woods, so exposure to cold, rain, or heat will not rot, split, warp, or buckle a teak chair.

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Teak wood is in high demand and priced accordingly. That's why it is important to know what kind of teak wood has been used to make the chairs. The older the tree from which the teak is taken the better, with ten years as the standard. Always be sure the teak chairs are made from solid teak and not teak veneer, which is plywood with a thin layer of teak laminated to its surface. Also be sure not to be confused by "teak substitutes" such as Iroko, a lower-cost African hardwood that is popular in Europe and has some properties that are similar to teak.

Be sure to consider the care with which the teak chairs are assembled. Look for mortise and tenon construction, the centuries old technique to connect angled joints. This method uses a male end, called the tenon, and a female hole, called the mortise, to secure two pieces of wood together. The joint can be either open ended or hidden, and is usually secured using glue, a dowel, or wedge. Quality teak wood chairs should not only have mortise and tenon construction, but also a tight fit with no noticeable gaps at the joints.

The final consideration when buying teak chairs is the hardware. A wide variety of styles are available, from recliners, bar chairs, and Adirondacks to folding chairs, chaises, and arm chairs. Some of these styles have hardware, such as brass fittings, support arms, and wheels and axle. While most will have quality hardware, in some cases lesser-quality items are used to reduce the overall cost of the often expensive furniture. With much of buyer’s focus on the wood, hardware is sometimes neglected, so make sure to inquire about specific details, such as whether the brass fittings are solid or plate, and if the wheels are rubber or plastic.

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