Teak is a tropical hardwood that comes from old-growth trees. Rich in natural oils, it’s long been one of the top choices in furniture design, and outdoor furniture in particular. Reclaimed teak comes from wood that was harvested years ago so it’s an eco-friendly choice. Often salvaged from old bridges, buildings and wharves, once the planks are recovered, they’re restored. Old vanishes, nails, finishes, dirt and weathering are removed and sanded back and the timber is ready to be given new life as furniture, complete with a rich coat of oil or stain. Here are 5 benefits of reclaimed teak timber and why we love it so.
Recycled timber is the most environmentally friendly choice of hardwood. As no trees were cut down to source it, recycling timber helps to prevent deforestation and reduce our carbon footprint on the planet. Additionally, reclaiming perfectly good lumber means less waste-wood from demolitions ends up in landfills. Greenpeace states that recycled timber is the most preferable timber source.
Our reclaimed teak is sourced from Cirebon, a historic port city in West Java, Indonesia, where it is salvaged from old buildings, schools and jetties. Some of the planks are up to 100 years old. The knots, rings, knicks and imperfections are a part of each piece’s rustic beauty and character, which can’t be achieved with fresh lumber. Each piece of furniture is unique and has its own story to tell.
Timber becomes stronger with age. Exposed to the weather, temperature fluctuations, baking sun, salt spray and rain, wood expands and contracts over the years, resulting in a material that is much more dense, durable, robust and less likely to warp, bend or split. For this reason, recycled timber is often preferred over fresh lumber.
Teak has a high natural oil content, which works as a preservative. It is also highly resistant to insects, moisture and decay, which makes it ideal for outdoor conditions. This is a very important factor when purchasing furniture for your deck or patio. You want pieces that will look good and be practical, yet also endure the seasons.
Reclaimed teak is an extremely durable hardwood and requires minimal maintenance. Over time, it will weather naturally to a silver-grey patina, which can be left or sanded back if you prefer the honey hue. Either way, it doesn’t affect its durability or longevity if left under a cover or pergola. If your reclaimed teak will be left in an exposed area, you should seal it upon arrival and then seal or oil it again a couple of times a year to keep it looking its best.