What Does A Grade Teak Actually Mean?
Just like different cuts of Beef; Fillet, Rump and Brisket, timber used for Teak Garden Furniture is graded from A to C; A being the most expensive to buy at source and C being the cheapest.
A Grade Teak, the Fillet cut in the world of Beef, is taken from the mature heartwood section of the tree which has the highest concentration of natural oils. It is these natural oils – rubber and silica that repel the water and give the timber its resilience to Mother Nature. As only about 20% of a 60 year old tree can be used for A Grade, the market price can be as much as 12 times more expensive to buy than C Grade Teak.
In general, A Grade Teak will be a rich orange colour and when touching the timber you will be able to feel the smooth natural oily finish. The timber will have very few flaws and no knots which increases its natural strength. This is used to manufacture the best Teak Garden Furniture.
B Grade Teak, the Rump cut in the world of Beef, is taken from the outer heartwood section of the tree. With a lighter concentration of natural oils, the colour becomes lighter and the natural shine from the oils is less. The long term resilience to Mother Nature is significantly reduced. Imperfections and knots are present which reduce the timbers natural strength.
C Grade Teak, the Brisket cut in the world of Beef, is Wood is taken from the outer heartwood section of the tree. Here the concentration of natural protective oils is at their least and higher concentrations of moisture are present. This is known as sap wood and is commonly characterised with white streaks, knots and imperfections. The strength of these timbers are at their weakest and longevity lowest. This Wooden Garden Furniture should be avoided at all cost.
Tricks Of The Trade
Many factories in Indonesia apply a chemical to lower Grades of Teak that changes the white sap timber colour to appear to be a darker, higher grade timber. Initially, this is very hard to identify but after a few months, the chemicals dilute and you can be left with light purple streaks and obvious colour differences.
Buying a Teak Garden Furniture that has already been treated. Lower Grades of Teak can be made to appear better by applying a stain or coloured oil. Grade A Teak has naturally high levels of oil so does not need any treatment.