The majority of door customers have probably heard about the more accessible wood materials like oak, pine, mahogany, etc. But there are one species that people call the king of timber – teak.
This type of wood has been on the homeowners’ list for quite some time, and there’s a good reason for it. The robust, dense, and hard-wearing timber offers the perfect traditional look for every home.
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For the fans of Mid-century modern or the craftsman style, teakwood exterior and interior doors are a go-to element of their design—no wonder why the industry professionals always advise property owners to bet on this ultra-dense entryway component.
Read on to learn more about teak and the different types of teakwood doors.
What is Teak Wood?
Teak is a famous deciduous tree native to the tropical regions of Southeast and South Asia, but it’s also common in African plantations. The large hardwood has a yellowish heartwood, mostly whitish sapwood and grey to greyish-brown branches that let out a specific leathery smell. It produces high amounts of natural oils that provide excellent water resistance and pest repellent properties.
Due to its excellent robustness and density, teak is one of the most valuable wood types. In the door industry, customers often pick teak wood as their exterior door material of choice.
As there are various original and mimicking species, the quality of the teak may vary. Generally, you’d see teak in the door and window manufacture but also in the construction industry, specifically for the production of frames, beams, columns, furniture, etc.
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Which is the Best Quality of Teak Wood?
Teak trees are widespread and well-known around the world for their material of exceptional quality. Typically, the core of the log is yellow, while the outer area is white to pale yellow-brown.
As the tree ages, the heartwood becomes darker. The hard and ring-porous texture of the wood offers an excellent density of around 600 kg/m3, depending on the moisture content. The age of the tropical tree determines the quality of the material produced from it.
Firstly, this is the highest grade teak on the market. It comes from the heartwood of fully matured trees of 30 years old and up and has extreme density. Moreover, the very same golden-brown-colored material is rich with natural oils that serve as protection from harsh weather conditions and insects. Perhaps, the higher quality teak would require you to spend a large chunk of your budget because Grade A teak makes up for only a fifth to a quarter of the entire log.
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A less dense, but still relatively good, Grade B teak wood is more affordable than its counterpart. This type of wood comes from the outer heartwood and is lighter in color. Because it contains less protective oils, the surface lacks the shine that Grade A teak possesses. The lack of optimal protection requires special treatment to help the material withstand extreme outdoor conditions.
Perhaps, this is the lowest quality teak wood. This inferior timber comes from the sapwood of either mature or immature tree logs. The amount of natural oils is very little or none at all. The colour is often uneven, and the surface is prone to wear and tear. If you’re looking for an exterior door, don’t buy one with Grade C teak. The wood has no protective oils and is highly unsuitable for any outdoor furniture.
You can’t expect much from this Grade, as it’s far from close to Grade A. Besides, it will make for a very short lifespan even after regular treatments. All in all, it’s inexpensive but worthless Grade.
What are the Different Types of Teak Wood?
A lot of people believe that the tropical teak tree is native only to the southeastern region of Asia. Contrary to popular belief, some varieties grow in Central Asia and South America too. Here’s more about the different types of teak wood around the world.
Burmese teak has long been the champ in its category. The tree grows more than 50 years old to produce the best quality teak out of all species. It features a golden-colored texture with evenly distributed grains. The abundance of natural oils further enhances the material’s durability.
Indonesian teak, also known as Asian teak wood, has a lifespan of about 30 years. Of course, its produce is not as dense as Burma teak wood, but it still holds up to its own with the number one spot of best plantation teak in the world. This type of teak is mostly light brown and has grains of higher width with a high amount of protective oils.
African plantation teak
For homeowners looking for a lower-priced alternative to Indonesian and Burmese teak, African plantation teak will save you a massive chunk out of your budget in the upfront. But that’s if you have low expectations. This type of timber has a slightly shorter growth time – 15 to 25 years. That makes for a small oil quantity, thus making the material less durable. The teak is very light brown and has widely-distributed grains with lots of sound knots.
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South American plantation teak
Similar to its African counterpart, the South American plantation teak trees provide low-quality wood and inferior aesthetic properties. The two types are almost indistinguishable, and people often mistake them.
Apart from the plantation species, Indian teak can stand up to its Burmese variant. The native Indian tree produces a very similar product to Burma teak, but due to the high demand, the international market has nearly depleted its Indian teak wood supplies.
Surprisingly, there’s a better alternative to Burma teak, and it is Thailand’s teak wood. Thai teak has the best characteristics of all species thanks to the exceptional weather conditions in its homeland. Unfortunately, the Thai government prohibited the tree logging an endangered species due to overexploitation. As of now, there’s virtually no supply of this type of wood in the international market.
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In terms of qualities, cumaru is quite similar to the original teak. Still, the color and texture are a bit different – Brazilian teak is reddish-brown and has different grain arrangement from the original. The Brazilian teak is robust, mainly because of the ample natural liquids. They guarantee excellent protection against extreme weather and pests.
Another good imitation of real teak is the African teak, also called iroko. This wood has excellent water resistance and durability, but it looks nothing like the real deal. Nevertheless, it’s an excellent substitute for teak wood for exterior doors and other wood constructions.
South American teak
Also referred to as garapa, the South American teak has high density and durability. Even though it’s not real teak timber, it can deceive the buyer with its golden-brown color and wavy wood grains.
More popular as golden teak wood, this Chinese timber doesn’t come from a teak tree. The name of the species is black locust wood, and its similar looks make it the perfect substitute for teak wood. Frankly, it’s almost impossible to distinguish between Chinese wood and real teak. What’s more, it’s nearly half the price of its prototype.
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Why is Teak the Best Wood Door Material?
When choosing interior and exterior doors for a home renovation, it’s natural for the buyers to search for the highest quality material for their money.
If there’s a list of the top 3 wood door materials, teak should be in there. By now, it’s evident that there are more than a few reasons why teak is so popular among wooden doors all over the world. Here’s a further explanation:
The first thing guests and visitors see in a home is the doors. As you may know, the first impression is essential, and that may be a good enough reason to go for a charming and elegant exterior door.
In such cases, teak wood is the perfect fit for the purpose, as this material possesses an exceptional appearance and texture. The somehow rhythmic alignment of the fibres and knots blends seamlessly with the deep Burnt Sienna, Maroon to Burnt Umber shades.
Furthermore, you’d be amazed at how durable such beautiful wood can be. Arguably, teak provides some of the best strength and resistance properties on the market. This feature has made teak wood a preferable option in furniture and main door-making.
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One of the best characteristics of teak is its density. This perk makes for excellent insulation that efficiently preserves the temperature inside. Installing a high-quality teak door will ensure your home doesn’t lose excess temperature during the winter and doesn’t heat during the summer.
Homeowners often grow tired of their doors bloating. The inability to shut your entryway correctly can cause quite an annoyance, and the reason is mainly because of the ill-seasoned wood material. Buying a well-seasoned timber like teak wood will ensure your main entrance will withstand the weather and maintain its original form, so you don’t struggle with the same issue again.
Moreover, with teak wood, you’ll be free of various pest attacks. You’ll no longer have to fear termite infestation. Because the wood processes natural oils in its filaments, many insects steer clear from teak. This advantage is exceptionally beneficial for the longevity of the material.
When speaking about sustainability, teak timber is hands down one of the most robust door woods. Perhaps, that’s why it’s so popular in the construction of ships, bridges, and other heavy-duty projects.
Thanks to its outstanding properties, hardwood is ideal for outdoor furniture. It can sustain all types of weather, successfully resisting both alkaline and acidic substances.
What’s more, the oil content in the wood serves as natural protection against rot or decay. You won’t have any problems protecting your house from various weather conditions like rain, wind, sunlight, etc. Unlike traditional wood species, teak provides optimal resistance against moisture thanks to its high oil concentration.
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What’s better than strong and durable wood? That’s right – a high-quality wood that goes well with other materials. Typically, combining wood with metals like iron or copper can be detrimental to timber.
With teak, it’s not only possible to combine them, but pairing the hardwood with other materials will give your door a natural sheen and elegant appeal. As a result, you’ll enjoy a sleek piece with latches, handles, bars, and other accessories to fasten and lock the door without worrying about damaging the teak.
Another great advantage of teak wood is its brilliant workability. In other words, manufacturers and artisans rever hardwood because it allows for smooth and delicate carving, cutting, and sawing.
The feature enables retailers to offer a wide range of teak wood doors, most of the time, with a high-quality aesthetic appearance. All in all, such doorways are easily customizable to complement any interior and exterior design.
Low maintenance and long lifespan
Last but not least, all properties combined make for a long lifespan with little to no maintenance at all. You probably wonder how that’s possible. Well, the natural oils maintain the structure of the wood sturdy and reliable, which prevents the possible damage of the material. As a result, teak can last nearly a lifetime, with only minimal maintenance!
Is Teak Wood suitable for Exterior Doors?
When choosing a wood door for your home, you’d be amazed at the charm of teak French, single, double, or Dutch doors. The material makes for a genuine classic appeal ready to fit in any interior style. Moreover, you can experiment with multiple-panelled or glass-panelled doors.
Thanks to its outstanding properties, teak can transform successfully into virtually any kind of door and home design. Its water resistance provides natural protection against extreme temperature fluctuations without any risk of warping or cracking.
What’s more, the material is immune to pests like termites as well as rot, earning it a place among the most durable woods. To keep it in perfect condition, all you need is to polish it regularly. These facts are more than enough to make teak wood one of the most preferred wood materials for exterior doors.
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