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What is the best wood for outdoor furniture?

Wood has been one of the best-selling materials for outdoor furniture for years, and we completely understand why! Its stylish yet natural appearance blends beautifully with the rest of your garden. But what is the best wood for outdoor furniture? Which type of wood is weather-resistant? And which wood remains beautiful the longest? In this blog, we will tell you all about it!

The best wood dor outdoor furniture is FSC certified

When choosing wooden garden furniture, always opt for products made from FSC certified wood. FSC certified wood comes from responsibly managed forests and is not illegally harvested. By choosing this, you are directly contributing to the protection of global forests and creating a healthy environment for both humans and animals. Hence, the type of wood you choose for your outdoor furniture can truly make a difference!

Hardwood outdoor furniture

Hardwood is the most suitable material for outdoor furniture. It’s not a single type of wood but rather a collection of various types including oak, acacia, and teak. Contrary to what many people think, hardwood isn’t necessarily harder and heavier than softwood; the name refers to the way the trees reproduce. Hardwood originates from trees with protective seeds, whereas this isn’t the case with softwood.

This results in slower growth and a higher density for hardwood. Consequently, hardwood is better resistant to the various weather conditions. Therefore, garden furniture made from hardwood also lasts longer than furniture made from a soft wood type.

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Popular hardwood types

#5 Meranti outdoor furniture

Meranti is a hardwood species from Southeast Asia. Thanks to its natural oils, it’s highly suitable for outdoor use. You can confidently leave outdoor furniture made from meranti wood outside throughout the year. Under the most ideal circumstances, meranti can last around 25 years. However, the quality of meranti wood can vary significantly. Its colour, weight, and texture can differ quite widely.

#4 Oak garden furniture

Oakwood is a frequently used hardwood for garden furniture due to its hardness and attractive appearance. It falls under durability class 2, which means the wood lasts between 15 and 25 years. The downside of oak is its susceptibility to stains and discolouration, which can affect the wood’s appearance. Additionally, oak tends to split relatively easily, leading to (small) cracks.

#3 Eucalyptus outdoor furniture

Eucalyptus is a fast-growing hardwood species and therefore one of the more affordable hardwood options. With proper maintenance, it can last approximately 25 years. However, garden furniture made from eucalyptus wood tends to have a coarser grain than most other wood types. Additionally, it is more prone to warping, especially in warm and sunny environments due to the various weather influences.

#2 Acacia garden furniture

Acacia wood is a popular alternative to teak. It’s a durable hardwood that can last around 25 years with the right care. It is hardly affected by hairline cracks or spots when exposed to different elements, thanks to the natural oils in the wood. Acacia naturally boasts a beautiful reddish hue. However, this wood often has a more irregular pattern compared to other materials and tends to grow wider rather than taller. Hence, for long tables, planks are often glued together.

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#1 Teak garden furniture

Among all the options, teak is by far the best wood for garden furniture. It’s durable, strong, and resistant to wear and weather conditions. Teak contains natural oils that create a protective layer on your garden furniture. Additionally, teak warps the least among all wood types, and any hairline cracks that may develop over time are relatively small compared to other wood species. Teak belongs to the highest durability class and can easily last 25 years with proper maintenance.

The only downside of teak wood is that it’s relatively scarce, making it a relatively expensive wood type. Reclaimed teak is an affordable and more sustainable alternative. Hence, reclaimed teak gives previously used, high-quality materials a second life, eliminating the need to cut down new trees for furniture production.

Softwood outdoor furniture

Despite the fact that hardwood lasts longer, certain types of softwood are still commonly used for making garden furniture. Examples include pine, spruce, douglas fir, and scaffolding wood. Generally, these wood types are more affordable compared to hardwood outdoor furniture.

Pine and spruce are naturally not resistant to moisture. Therefore, they always need to be treated with preservatives before being placed outdoors. If this is not done, the wood can quickly start to rot, resulting in a short lifespan for your new garden set. Douglas fir is of slightly better quality than pine and spruce because it contains resin. This wood doesn’t require pre-treatment with preservatives. However, it is also a bit more expensive than pine or spruce.

Another type of softwood that is becoming increasingly popular for garden furniture is reclaimed scaffolding wood. This is spruce wood that was previously used in construction scaffolding. During its previous use, the wood naturally absorbed various liquids, acting as a form of impregnation. As a result, these wood pieces are better equipped to withstand sun and rain.

However, all types of softwood have a lower durability class (3-5) compared to hardwood. As a result, softwood is more prone to abrasion, warping, and quicker deterioration. Under optimal conditions, garden furniture made from spruce, pine, or scaffolding wood may last up to a maximum of 15 years.

Want to know more?

In this blog, we’ve laid out all the pros and cons of the most well-known types of wood for you, so you can determine the best wood for your outdoor furniture. Our advice is to opt for (reclaimed) teak if your budget allows, because teak garden furniture offers the longest-lasting enjoyment with minimal maintenance required.

If you have any questions or comments after reading this blog, feel free to contact us. We’ll be happy to assist you!


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