Eucalyptus vs Teak for Outdoor Furniture

Eucalyptus vs Teak for Outdoor Furniture

Both wood and teak are tropical hardwoods which vary in price, quality and durability. Teak is well known for its outstanding longevity, luxurious grain, and elegant golden appearance.

A good set of teak furniture can last a lifetime, whereas eucalyptus needs to be treated to maintain its aesthetics. Yet, high quality eucalyptus outdoor furniture comes with more variation of grain patterns and colors than teak, rivalling the durability when well treated.

Eucalyptus vs Teak for Outdoor Furniture Comparison

Here we’ll be taking you through a comparison of eucalyptus vs teak for outdoor furniture, pointing out the advantages and disadvantages of both, while also highlighting quality aspects to keep in mind when shopping.

Eucalyptus Outdoor Furniture Overview

Eucalyptus is a tree which is abundant across the world, translating to sustainable growth programs. Even without being treated, eucalyptus outdoor furniture is known to last an average of 25 years. After treatment it will last even longer.

Thanks to the widespread cultivation, eucalyptus outdoor furniture is far more affordable than teak, with the sacrifice of a shorter lifespan. Here’s a look at the advantages and disadvantages of outdoor furniture made from eucalyptus.

Eucalyptus Advantages

  • Affordable
  • Lightweight
  • Harvested Every 3 to 5 years, eucalyptus is sustainable
  • Resistant to insects and rot
  • Stackable furniture designs available

Eucalyptus Disadvantages

  • Susceptible to shrinkage causing cracking
  • Requires treatment to prevent damage
  • Ground cover needed

A great tip for eucalyptus outdoor furniture owners is to treat the wood annually. Use a water-based acrylic sealant and you will be awarded a lifespan which comes near to that of teak. This will also help with the one major drawback of eucalyptus, cracking in the cold.

During harsh low temperatures. Eucalyptus has been known to splinter and crack. It takes extreme cold and prolonged exposure, but it is a risk even when your eucalyptus wood is treated. Therefore, owners of eucalyptus furniture living in cold climates, typically store their furniture indoors for winter.

Customers in the United States should ensure that any prospective eucalyptus outdoor furniture carries certification from Forest Stewardship Council. This guarantees that the wood has been sourced sustainably and will bring the added benefit of affordability thanks to the responsible harvesting of wood from managed plantations.

Teak Outdoor Furniture Overview

Teak contains more oil but is less dense than eucalyptus wood. This translates to lighter furniture which is easier to move around.

Given the fact that both types are heavy enough to withstand strong winds, the choice is one of mobility. A solid eucalyptus patio dining set’s center table can easily outweigh cast aluminum and even cast iron. Here is a brief look at the advantages and disadvantages of teak outdoor furniture.

Teak Advantages

  • Excellent resistance to insects
  • Highly water resistant – will not rot
  • No need to store indoors during cold weather
  • Lifespan – can last a lifetime
  • Does not require treatment
  • Sustainably grown
  • Outstanding dimensional stability
  • No ground cover necessary

Teak Disadvantages

  • Not stackable
  • Portability lowered by weight
  • Can be costly

After being kiln dried, teak will retain its oils for well over 100 years without any form of treatment. Grade A teak can be extremely expensive, but it is an investment which will last a lifetime.

It is so weather resistant that it is used in boat building and marine applications. Even after years in the sun and rain, your teak outdoor furniture will still look great. It will not rot, even after extreme exposure to rain for prolonged periods.

The natural oils within teak are an insect repellant. They also ensure that your furniture needs very little polishing. You will also find that teak has a much straighter grain pattern than eucalyptus wood, granting rich golden-brown color which changes to an attractive silver grey over time.

When oiled regularly, teak will hold its golden color, instead of fading. The change in color is not, however, an indication of degradation of the wood. Teak retains its density and composition even when changing color.

Outdoor Furniture Key Considerations

When shopping for a set of good outdoor furniture, stay vigilant of products and sets which are marked as “treated with teak oil.” Any furniture sold as such is most often manufactured using a low-cost wood and then finished with teak oil. It will quickly lose its color, weathering down to a ragged appearance in just a season.

Eucalyptus furniture can however be treated with teak oil to add a richer color and bolster its longevity. Doing this yourself after purchasing a set is highly recommended, regardless of if you are buying teak or eucalyptus, but don’t buy anything which is simply “treated.”

Wooden outdoor furniture needs to be securely manufactured regardless of which type of wood you choose. It is best to avoid furniture which has been glued together only. Construction needs to exhibit the use of pegs, dowels and screws, supporting the glued sections.

A good quality set of outdoor furniture should not only use a durable wood such as teak or eucalyptus, it needs to also come with UV-resistant, comfortable cushions. Many high-end furniture sets do not come with any cushions, so when purchasing them separate make sure that they are a match to the long-lasting composition of your set.

Given that outdoor furniture sustains prolonged exposure to the elements, a cheap, standard set of cushions will need to be replaced in no time, while a good set will last for years.

Which is Best for Me, Eucalyptus or Teak?

If you are looking for patio furniture which is going to be placed outside and stay there, with minimal maintenance, then opt for teak. It is also one of the only types of wood which can be placed directly on a patch of earth without any ground cover.

Thanks to the abundance of well-retained natural oils, the seepage of moisture from the ground poses no problem at all. If you are not constricted by a tight budget, then it is highly recommended that you choose teak over eucalyptus, but if you do get a set of eucalyptus furniture, then be sure to keep it clean and treat it at least once per year.

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