Memorial Benches Why Our Teak

Teak (Tectona), is a genus of tropical hardwood trees in the family Verbenaceae, native to the south and southeast of Asia, and is commonly found as a component of monsoon forest vegetation. They are large trees, growing to 30-40 m tall, deciduous in the dry season.

The name teak comes from the Tamil word Thekku

Cultivation and Uses

The timber is used in the manufacture of outdoor furniture, boat decks, and other articles where weather resistance is desired. It is also used for indoor flooring and as a veneer for indoor furnishings.

Teak is easily worked and has natural oils that make it suitable for use in exposed locations, where it is durable even when not treated with oil or varnish. Teak cut from old trees grown slowly in natural forests is more durable and harder; teak from young trees grown in plantations is more prone to splitting and water damage, however kiln drying allows for sustainable, plantation-grown teak to perform nearly on par with old-growth teak.

Teak is used extensively in India to make doors and window frames, furniture and columns and beams in old type houses. It is very resistant to termite attacks. Mature teak fetches a very good price. It is grown extensively by forest departments of different states in forest areas.

Teak is used to make outdoor furniture, boats, and other things which require resistance to the elements. Teak is used for outdoor furniture because of its natural durability in extreme weather conditions and because of its relative rarity. Being more expensive than most other woods, teak furniture has become something of a status symbol. Not only is it common for a teak bench, chair, or table to last 70 years standing out in the elements, it is also common to pass down such furniture to future generations as an heirloom.

In places and seasons where eating outdoors is common and pleasant, it is common to find wooden dining tables and chairs in gardens, backyards, deck areas, patios, pool yards and sun rooms. Teak is an excellent material for this application, because it will not be broken down in the sun like plastics, it is less prone to the elements like other woods, it is lighter and cooler than iron, and will not easily bend or break like tubular metals.

Benches are perhaps the most common use of teak other than marine applications. Found in parks and shopping districts, benches need to be weather resistant, which is why teak is a popular material for benches.

Staining and Preserving

Teak does not need to be protected. It is a unique wood that if left in its natural state, is virtually maintenance-free. Teak can be left outside year round, surviving even the most extreme weather conditions. Therefore, teak is often considered the gold standard for outdoor furniture.

Over time untreated Teak furniture which is exposed to the sun will patina and turn a silvery grey colour. This process is cosmetic and does not harm the strength or quality of the wood. If you would like the bench to retain its original colour, we suggest the use of a Golden Care Teak Protector. Click here to purchase the protector and find out more.

Teak is protected by its own natural oils that migrate to the surface of the wood and make the wood virtually impervious to water. As such, the use of varnish, water sealers, and oil on Teak furniture is not recommended. Products such as varnish and polyurethane will peel and chip and are difficult to remove without vigorous sanding. Oiling teak will not prevent the wood from greying and often results in mould and mildew growing on the furniture (which usually shows up as black dots or patches). Removing mould and mildew on the surface will require washing the furniture with bleach and soap followed by sanding.


To clean weathered teak, we recommend using Golden Care Teak Cleaner. Click here to purchase the cleaner and find out more. This product is easy to use and will produce dramatic results.

First remove the piece from any finished surface or remove any items that might be affected by the cleaning process. Golden Teak cleaner may affect grass, plants and some types of pavements. Always wear rubber gloves and eye protection when using a teak cleaner. Cover the ground under your working area before cleaning.

Using a hose, wet the wood thoroughly. It is best to work on a small area at a time, overlapping each area and working from top to bottom. Apply cleaner with a soft cloth or sponge. Allow to soak for 3 minutes. Scrub the base with a Scotch Brite pad or a soft bristle brush in the direction of the grain. Finally rinse the area thoroughly with water, the teak should appear obviously lighter and cleaner. If any stains remain repeat the process. The wood will lighten further as it dries.

Teak cleaner will remove teak oils, food stains, the residue of varnish, and teak sealer. Any solid surface coating like varnish must be removed before using a cleaner. Never use a brass brush or a pressure washer to clean teak, these methods will scour the soft grain of the wood causing a rough and splintery surface. Never use steel wool to clean teak because it will produce rust spots in the wood. Brass wool is acceptable but a Scotch Brite Pad is the best tool to clean teak.

Once the grey pigmentation and stains are gone and the furniture piece is dry, sanding any roughness of the grain can make the furniture seem just like new again.