Why is teak wood expensive? You bet your bottom dollar it is! Sort of. Teak is one of the most expensive woods in the world. But does that mean you should avoid it altogether?

In this post, we’ll look at the cost of teak wood and some of its benefits. Stay tuned for our full guide on everything you need to know about teak wood.

Is Teak Wood Expensive?

Yes. Teak is one of the most expensive types of wood available due to its many qualities and unique characteristics. With a high density and rich texture, teak is often used for furniture, flooring, and other large-scale construction projects. However, despite its hefty price tag, there’re several benefits to choosing teak.

What is Teak Wood?

Teak is a tropical hardwood that’s native to Southeast Asia, it is also referred to as Tectona grandis. It’s a dense wood, which makes it perfect for outdoor furniture. It’s also resistant to rot, pests, and water damage.

These qualities make teak a desirable wood for furniture, but they also make it one of the most expensive woods on the market.

Where is Teak Wood from? 

Teak is native to four countries – India, Thailand, Laos, and Burma. However, natural teak forests have vanished in the past century in all these counties save for Burma due to unsustainable and excessive teak logging.

Fortunately, teak continues to grow in plantations in Latin America, Africa, and South and Southeast Asia. Teak comes from plantations managed by the Indonesian government, owned by Perum Perhutani, which sits on the island of East Java.

Here is How to Identify Teak Wood.

Why is Teak So Expensive?

Teak is so expensive because of the law of supply and demand. Teak is a scarce resource with high demand. It’s prized for its durability, stability and strength, as well as its natural oil content which resists rotting. Teak is ideal for furniture construction, shipbuilding, flooring and even carving.

Various factors contribute to the high price of teak wood. Let’s delve into the each deeper:

  • Competition-  Because teak is such a high-demand wood, there’s a lot of competition among furniture manufacturers, which helps drive up the price.
  • Exchange rates-  Since teak is grown in Indonesia, it has to be exported, which means that exchange rates also contribute to its high price.
  • Sustainability-  Due to the high demand for teak wood and the unsustainable logging practices that have resulted from this, there’s a lot of pressure on plantations to ensure that they are sustainably managed and that they replant trees when they are harvested.
  • Inventory- Because teak is such a popular wood, furniture manufacturers often have limited stock on hand, increasing the teak’s prices.
  • Seasonality- The cost of teak also fluctuates with the seasons, as some times of year are more popular for buying outdoor furniture than others.
  • Tract size- Teak plantations are often large and can take years to harvest, which increases the cost of wood.
  • Teak tree size and quality- The size and quality of the trees also affect the cost of teak. Large, high-quality trees will be more expensive than small, lower-quality ones.
  • Origin and age of the lumber- The origin and age of the lumber also play a role in the cost of teak. Older, more established plantations will often charge more for their wood than newer ones.
  • Teak variety- There’re many different types of teak, and some are more expensive than others. The most common and cheapest type of teak is plantation teak, while the most expensive is old-growth teak.
  • Processing cost- Processing teak wood also contributes to its high price. Teak has to be milled, kiln-dried, and then finished before it’s ready to be used, and all of these processes add to the cost.
  • Transport cost- The cost of transport also contributes to the high price of teak, as it has to be shipped from Indonesia to wherever it’s going to be used.

Now that you know the factors that determine the high price, let’s find out how much does teak wood cost?

How expensive is teak wood?

Teak wood is expensive, costing around $10 per board foot. However, its strength and durability make it a popular choice for furniture, flooring, and boatbuilding. Teak’s natural oils also make it resistant to pests and rot, making it a valuable resource.

People prize teak more than either pine or oak. This is because of the rubber and the natural oils found in teak. Even though most teak trees have oils that protect them, teak retains its oil even after processing.

The oils protect the wood from drying and rotting, a problem that affects older wooden furniture. These natural oils also protect the wood from parasites and fungi that may destroy the wood.

These properties make teak perfect for outdoor furniture. Over time, the wood turns to a silver-grey color from honey brown. This means the wood is water-resistant.

While teak may be more expensive than other woods, its durability and natural weather resistance make it worth the investment.

Outdoor teak furniture will last for years with minimal maintenance, making it a wise investment for anyone looking to make their backyard more beautiful and functional.

Prices of teak wood: Is Teak Worth it?

Yes, teak is worth the price. Its durability, natural weather resistance, and minimal maintenance make it a wise investment for anyone looking to make their backyard more beautiful and functional.

If you’re looking for high-quality outdoor furniture that will last for years, teak is the way to go. Yes, it’s more expensive than other woods, but its quality is unmatched.

Teak Wood: Sustainability Vs Quality

When it comes to outdoor furniture, there’s a lot of debate about teak wood. Some people argue that its high price tag is not worth the environmental cost, while others argue that the quality of the wood makes it worth the price.

So, which is it? Is teak wood sustainable or not? The answer is both yes and no. First, teak wood is not a sustainable resource if sourced from old-growth trees, as these trees are becoming increasingly rare.

However, teak wood can be sustainably sourced from plantations. In addition, many plantation owners have adopted sustainable practices, such as replanting trees after they are harvested.

So, if you are considering buying teak wood furniture, it’s important to do your research and make sure that the wood comes from a sustainable source.

At the end of the day, whether or not teak is worth the price depends on your values and priorities. Environmental concerns will trump quality for some people, while others may be willing to pay a premium for the highest quality wood.

In either case, it’s important to be informed about where your teak wood furniture comes from and what impact your purchase has on the environment.

Related: Acacia Wood vs Teak Outdoor Furniture

Beware of Imitation Teak

Thanks to its durability and natural weather resistance, teak is a popular choice for outdoor furniture. Unfortunately, many imitation types of teak are available that look like the real thing but don’t have the same quality or sustainability.

If you’re looking for high-quality teak outdoor furniture, it’s important to do your research and get the real thing. Many outdoor furniture companies use terms like “teak-like wood” or “teak-esque” to describe their products, so be sure to read the fine print.

How to Know Whether Teak is Genuine

You should ensure that your teak is genuine. Here are some tips:

Scientific name

The scientific name for real teak is Tectona Grandis. If a company cannot provide the scientific name for the wood, they’re using. Likely, it’s not genuine teak.

Color 

The genuine teak will be a rich golden brown color. If the wood you’re considering is a lighter brown or gray color, it’s not genuine teak.

Grain pattern 

Genuine teak will have a distinct and regular grain pattern. Imitation teak may have a similar look, but its grain will be less defined. 

Texture 

Genuine teak will be smooth to the touch. If the wood feels rough or splintery, it’s not genuine teak.

Smell 

Genuine teak has a strong, distinct smell. If you can’t detect any smell, likely, the wood is not genuine teak.

Price 

While there may be some variation in price depending on where you buy your teak furniture, true teak will always cost more than an imitation. So first, consider the lower price.

Weight  

Genuine teak is significantly heavier than its imitation counterpart. So if the furniture you’re considering feels unusually light, it’s likely not genuine teak.

Water resistance 

One of the main reasons people choose teak is its water resistance. Genuine teak will be more resistant to water damage than imitation teak.

Durability 

Teak is known for its durability, and genuine teak will be much more durable than imitation teak.

Advantages of Teak Wood

There’re many advantages to using teak wood. Here are some of the most notable:

Aesthetic appeal

Teak has a beautiful, natural appearance that can enhance the look of any home. It also has a golden brown color that will likely age gracefully.

Great decay resistance

Teak wood is extremely durable and resistant to decay, perfect for outdoor furniture. This feature makes it a great material for making boats. It also resists pests.

Versatility

Because teak is so versatile, it can be used in various applications, including construction, flooring, paneling, and furniture.

Eco-friendly

Thanks to its sustainability and minimal environmental impact, teak is considered an eco-friendly choice. So, if you’re looking for beautiful and sustainable furniture, teak may be the perfect choice for you.

Waterproof

Teak is naturally resistant to water, making it ideal for outdoor furniture like patio tables and chairs.

Easy to care for

Teak is relatively easy to care for and only requires occasional cleaning and sealing to keep it looking its best.

Durable

Teak is one of the most durable woods on the market, making it a great choice for high-traffic areas like kitchens and bathrooms. Teak can also withstand harsh weather conditions.

Related: Can you Stain Teak?

Disadvantages of Teak Wood 

While teak has many advantages, there’re also some downsides to consider. Here are a few of the most important:

Cost

True teak wood is expensive, often costing several times more than an imitation product. So if you’re looking for budget-friendly furniture, teak may not be the best choice for you. For that reason, you may want to check out the battle of hardwoods, where we compare teak vs walnut.

Workability

Teak is a hardwood, which means it can be difficult to work with. Therefore, it’s important to have the proper tools and equipment to avoid damaging the wood when working with teak.

Availability

Since teak is such a popular choice for furniture, it can be difficult to find in stores. Instead, you may need to order your furniture online or from a specialty retailer.

Will Teak Become more Expensive in the Future?

There’s no definitive answer to this question, as various factors can impact the price of teak. However, it seems like the price of teak will reduce over time. Some potential factors that could lead to a decrease in price include:

Teak is currently overpriced

The current high price of teak is not sustainable in the long term, and the price will likely come down to a more reasonable level. As demand for teak increases, more companies are likely to start producing teak products.

This increased supply could lead to a decrease in price.

Cheaper alternatives to teak

There’re several cheaper alternatives to teak, such as eucalyptus and bamboo. These materials can be used to create furniture that looks similar to teak but doesn’t cost as much.

As more people become aware of these alternatives, the demand for teak is likely to reduce, decreasing the price.

Types of Teak Wood

There’re many types of teak wood. Here are the most common ones:

Burmese Teak Wood 

Burmese teak wood is one of the most popular types of teak. It’s known for its high quality and beautiful appearance. This type of teak is typically used in high-end furniture and flooring.

Indonesian Teak Wood

Indonesian teak wood is another popular type of teak. It shares many of the same qualities as Burmese teak, but it’s usually less expensive. Indonesian teak is mostly used in outdoor furniture and in making decks.

African Plantation Teak Wood 

African plantation teak wood has a similar appearance to Indonesian teak, but it comes from trees that have been cultivated for commercial purposes rather than naturally growing in the wild. It’s often used for flooring and paneling.

South American Plantation Teak Wood 

South American plantation teak wood comes from trees that have been grown on plantations in South America. It shares many of the same qualities as African countries’ teak, but it’s usually less expensive.

Indian Teak Wood 

Indian teak wood is a popular type of teak that’s often used for furniture, flooring, and window paneling. While it’s not as high quality as Burmese or Indonesian teak, Indian teak tends to be more affordable.

This makes it a great choice for budget-conscious buyers.

Thailand Teak Wood

Thai teak wood is one of the most popular types of teak. It shares many of the same qualities as Burmese and Indonesian teak, but it’s usually less expensive. Thai teak is mostly used in patio and deck making.

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FAQs

What is the average Teak wood price in the USA?

In the United States, the price ranges from $25-$28 per board foot. The price of teak wood varies depending on the region where it is harvested, the quality and thickness of the wood and the size and location of the purchase.

Is teak a hardwood? 

Yes, teak is considered hardwood. Though not as hard as some other woods, there are so many ways how to harden them, and still, be classified as such because it’s more difficult to dent or scratch than softer woods. Teak also has a high natural oil content, making it resistant to rot and decay. This combination of durability and beauty has made it one of the most popular woods for outdoor furniture.

What is teak wood used for?

Teak is a tropical hardwood prized for durability, density, and beauty. It’s typically one of the best wood for outdoor furniture, flooring, decking, boats, and other watercraft. Teak Wood is also used in architecture, for decorative purposes, and as a structural material. When used indoors, teak wood can add an elegant touch to any room.

Can you paint teak?

While it is possible to paint teak furniture, it is not recommended. This is because teak contains natural oils that help protect the wood from moisture and UV damage. When you paint over these oils, you seal them in and prevent them from doing their job.

Conclusion

So, is teak expensive? Teak is a tropical hardwood that is both costly and prized for its appearance, durability, and resistance to pests and decay. However, it is not the most expensive lumber in the world. That distinction goes to rosewood, which is often used in high-end furniture.

Teak holds up well in outdoor settings, making it a popular choice for decking and other landscaping applications. And because teak doesn’t warp or shrink, it’s ideal for flooring as well.

Next, read on: Why Is Cedar Wood Expensive?

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