Teak: Sustainable, Strong and Stylish

Thanks to classic styling and durability, Summer Classics’ teak furniture is more popular than ever.

Teak Furniture

“To say that teak is having a resurgence in outdoor furniture is an understatement,” says Summer Classics founder and CEO Bew White. “It’s a timeless material that homeowners and designers value for its classic beauty.”

Summer Classics employs traditional craftsmanship and timeless designs—and, we carefully select the highest quality teak available for our products.

“All teak is not created equal,” says Bew. “I’ve heard people say they have bought teak and will never buy it again. But that’s because they bought a lower grade product without realizing the difference.” Just like varying grades of fabric, some teak is better than others when it comes to longevity. At Summer Classics, we use the best teak we can buy and it makes all the difference in the lifespan of our furniture.

Similar to growing grapes for fine wines, teak quality is based on weather, soil content, and how old the trees are when they are harvested. “When you buy teak, you need to ask where it comes from. The quality of teak is all about where and how it is grown,” says Bew. “We buy plantation-grown teak from Indonesia. It’s sustainable and it offers double (or more) the longevity of Latin American-sourced teak.”

What makes Indonesian teak better? It’s slower growing, the trees are older before they are harvested, and the Indonesian government regulates the industry to ensure it produces top-quality materials and jobs remain local. Older-growth trees also means stronger wood. “When you look at a piece of teak furniture, notice the slats,” advises Bew. “The thinner the slats, the cheaper and younger the teak. The age of the tree makes a difference in the overall quality and strength of the product.”

Because of the larger trunk size, Summer Classics is able to create slats using carved, not steam bent, pieces from the heartwood of the tree, also known as Grade A or marine-grade teak. To further strengthen each piece, and because there is a natural elasticity in the wood, the furniture is joined with mortise and tenon construction using old world craftsmanship and modern technology.

Teak Furniture

Croquet Teak Collection

When choosing a Summer Classics teak furniture collection, if traditional is what you seek, take a look at Croquet or Haley. Croquet’s deep seating recalls indoor furniture and showcases tailored lines. The Haley collection features a classic lattice back design reminiscent of European garden furniture.

Teak Furniture

Haley Teak Collection

For modern lines, look to Avondale or Coast. Avondale’s streamlined, mid century design in teak showcases plush upholstery. Coast combines clean contemporary lines with Batyline® sling upholstery.

Teak Furniture

Coast Teak Collection

Each teak furniture collection easily mixes with other Summer Classics lines to create an outdoor look that is completely individual to you. No matter what your style, Summer Classics has a look you will love—and, thanks to top quality materials and construction—a look that will last.

10 Things to Know About Teak Furniture:

1. Teak is a tropical hardwood in the birch family. Forest trees can reach 150 feet tall. Leaves are reddish-green with rough skin. The tree sheds its leaves during the dry season. Its heartwood is naturally brown to dark gold in color.

2. Indonesia considers teak a national resource and has strict replanting laws. When each log is harvested, it is bar coded and goes through a selection process to ensure sustainable practices.

3. The finest teak is “slow growth” and is rated to last 30 years or more. Younger teak is weaker and more likely to deteriorate in a few years or less.

4. Slat size on furniture is a sure indicator of how old a tree is. The larger the slats, the older the tree, which means a better quality wood.

5. Teak is one of the only materials that can be used untreated outdoors. A high oil and natural rubber content prevents rot and pest infestation.

6. Teak is naturally high in water content. Kiln drying prior to furniture construction is a necessary to prevent warping. Summer Classics dries its timber in a kiln for 4 to 8 weeks, reducing the moisture content from 50% to 12%.

7. Teak naturally expands and contracts. The finest teak furniture is constructed with mortise and tenon joinery in lieu of screws or nails to allow for movement.

8. Teak’s classic silver patina is a result of the effect that UV rays have on the wood’s pigment. This is a natural barrier against the sun and weather.

9. Don’t want to wait on the sun to turn your teak silver? Summer Classics offers a pre-silvered “weathered” finish by wire brushing and sandblasting that will allow it to accept an oil-based silver stain.

10. To maintain the original wood teak color, Summer Classics offers a cleaner and sealer with amber stain for keeping a freshly-milled look.