If you are deciding on what type of furniture to have in your home or yard, you may have thought that you want the best. In the minds of many that means teak wood. But how do you know if a piece of furniture is really teak furniture?
Since teak wood is a very expensive wood, there are some unscrupulous people who would try to pass other pieces of furniture off as teak, in an effort to take your money. Therefore, it is important that you know how to tell the difference between real teak furniture, and a fake, before you make a purchase.
The Feel of Teak
The first thing you need to know about teak wood is that it does not feel like other woods. Sure, it is as hard as wood, but once you put your hand on teak wood you may be able to tell the difference between it and other wood types. The most obvious difference is that unlike other woods, teak does not splinter. If you rub your hands across the surface of a piece of wood you should be able to quickly tell if it’s a fake. The first splinter you get in your hand will be a quick indication.
The Smell of Teak
The next thing that may help you tell if a piece of furniture is real teak furniture or not is the smell. Many things have a distinct smell. Leather in a new car is a good example of one of those scents that you know is the real thing as soon as it hits your nose. In the case of teak furniture, you will smell a very light fragrant smell, coming from the wood. It’s an earthy smell, but one that is different from other freshly cut woods. Teak gets this smell from the oils that are heavily embedded in the wood.
The Color of Teak
Teak wood is unlike other woods in that it can change its look substantially with age. Most woods change as they age only if you offer an outside stimulus. For example, a dark wood may lighten if you leave it in the sun day after day. That is not the wood changing on it’s own, but rather the rays of the sun having a bleaching effect on the wood.
Teak is different. No matter what type of environment you have it in, teak will change its colors, unless you stop it. If you leave it in the sun, the colors of teak wood will change from soft browns and oranges to silvers and white, almost in the way a person may get white hairs are they grow older. On the other hand, teak that is left in the shade, or kept inside, will change to darker browns and oranges over time. Either way, you should be able to identify teak wood by the beautiful grains in the wood.
Normally, teak furniture from a manufacturer is what it says it is, but if you are looking to purchase from a private sale or antique shop, it is best to know the characteristics of the wood to make sure you are getting the real thing.