Not all woods are created equal when it comes to year-r […]
Not all woods are created equal when it comes to year-round outdoor performance. Only a few varieties, out of the hundreds available, are durable enough to withstand drenching rains or the harsh rays of the sun.
For a piece of Wood Outdoor Furniture to stand up to the ravages of nature long term - even in a relatively mild, balmy climate - it must be made of a wood with some natural resistance to rot and insect infestation.
Chemical compounds offer the first rot-resisting solution. Some woods, such as redwood, cypress, and the cedars, contain these chemical compounds that bugs, bacteria, and other agents of decomposition find offensive, so they look for their meals elsewhere.
Physical barriers account for the second form of rot resistance. Woods such as white oak and black locust feature structures called tyloses that fill the pores of the wood, preventing moisture, and the decay-causing creatures that thrive in moisture, from getting into the wood in the first place.
Whether chemically or physically, the result is the same - these woods stand up to the elements, season after season.
The king of durable woods, teak will hold up long enough to pass down to the next generation. It needs no maintenance (aside from the occasional light sanding or cleaning to remove surface dirt), is dense and straight-grained, and will not warp or crack over time. Because of its high mineral content, teak resists rotting even in the wettest conditions. Over time, the surface of the wood will weather to a beautiful silver-gray patina.