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Best Wood for Outdoor Furniture: Complete Guide

Best Wood for Outdoor Furniture: Complete Guide

When purchasing your outdoor furniture, you want something that can withstand the elements and brave the test of time. That’s why finding the right outdoor furniture begins with identifying the type of wood used and its unique characteristics.

In short, what’s the best wood for outdoor furniture? The answer depends on regional climate, desired aesthetics, and wood composition, though certain options (such as teak and cypress) are typically top choices for outdoor furniture construction.

This guide will cover the best wood for outdoor furniture use. Keep reading to find out which material should constitute your next outdoor furniture set.

What Is the Best Wood to Use for Outdoor Furniture?

As mentioned, the best wood for outdoor furniture use depends on a number of factors, including:

- Climate

Some woods may be more suited to certain climates than others. For instance, moisture-resistant woods such as acacia and cedar may work better in tropical climates than others, as they experience less cracking.

What’s more, outdoor wood such as cypress may be more commonly used in warmer climates, as this wood gains attractive aesthetic qualities after exposure to sunlight.

- Finish

Naturally, different woods offer different aesthetic properties for your outdoor furniture set.

Woods such as cypress and teak offer hues that range from gold to gray, while more versatile woods such as cedar can be stained in numerous ways to match your vision.

- Durability

The best wood for outdoor furniture use also depends on the durability of the material. Certain woods such as cedar, for instance, may not be as durable as teak and acacia, a potential dealbreaker for those who are looking for stronger outdoor furniture.

Three Types of Wood for Outdoor Furniture and Their Properties

 

Given this, let’s take a look at some other outdoor wood types, their properties, and some pros and cons of each. In this way, you’ll have a better idea of what options are out there (and which ones are right for you):

1. Cedar

Resin-rich, this softwood is one of the main “ingredients” in outdoor furniture use.

It’s not hard to see why: cedar is naturally resistant to rot and insect infestation. The wood also tends to absorb moisture instead of cracking, making it good for those in tropical or moist climates. The light weight of cedar also makes it easy to rearrange for those who get quickly bored of the status quo.

Unfortunately, however, there are some drawbacks to cedar use as outdoor wood.

For starters, untreated cedar can become rough and uncomfortable. Furthermore, because it is a softwood, cedar is more susceptible to scratches and dents.

Altogether, this wood is ideal for humid climates, though it does require special care in order to stay in good condition.

2. Acacia

This rich and reddish-brown wood is popular among furniture makers for its natural water-resistance and famed durability.

The wood offers several benefits for outdoor furniture use: strong enough to be used in major construction, acacia wood is used to make long-lasting and impact-resistant furniture that can stand the test of time. What’s more, its natural resistance to water makes it impenetrable to fungal infections, a necessity for those living in tropical climates.

Of course, there are some downsides to acacia use in outdoor furniture. Notably, constant contact with damp surfaces (such as wet earth) can miscolor acacia furniture if not sealed.

3. Shorea

A cousin to the famed teakwood, shorea wood hails from approximately 200 hundred tropical trees hailing from the rainforests of Southeast Asia. This wood is known for its high durability, sustainable harvesting, and rich aesthetics, making it a prime candidate for use in outdoor furniture.

Of import, shorea wood must be treated regularly in order to maintain its rich brown appearance (though it does turn an attractive gray as it ages). This con is a small price to pay for this relatively inexpensive wood, which is also resistant to insects and rot.

Pressure Treated Wood for Outdoor Furniture

Whether you’re looking for a bit of DIY fun or are simply sizing up a piece of outdoor furniture for sale, you’ll want to know the properties and particular usage of pressure treated wood in outdoor furniture.

This wood, subjected to high degrees of pressure and chemical infusion, is specially designed to resist rot and repel insects, though it does not add any durability to furniture and construction.

Importantly, pressure treated wood is subject to strict regulation, meaning the chemicals that keep the wood durable will not cause adverse health effects in the user.

Because of the above qualities, pressure treated wood can be used in the crafting of outdoor furniture, often at lower costs than naturally durable woods. With this being said, many of the best pieces of outdoor furniture are crafted from rot-resistant woods found in nature, such as redwood, teak, cedar, white oak, and cypress.

What is the Most Durable Material for Outdoor Furniture?

We discussed shorea wood and the impressiveness of its durability before. Perhaps the only outdoor furniture wood that surpasses this quality option is its cousin: teak. Teakwood, a natural honey-colored wood that also turns an aesthetically pleasing gray color when aged, is one of the most durable woods used in outdoor furniture construction.

Teakwood contains multiple oils and oxides that make it resistant to moisture and cracking.

While the wood is subject to mold and mildew if left in water for too long, teak hardwood impresses with its ability to retain its aesthetic beauty and its long-lasting durability.

So strong is this hardwood that outdoor furniture made of teakwood can last up to 100 years with the proper care.

Summary

With the right know-how, you can get the best out of your outdoor wood furniture. This guide takes a look at the best wood for outdoor furniture, examining the properties of multiple types of wood, and answering important questions related to outdoor wood furniture characteristics and use.

If you’re looking to purchase your next set of wooden outdoor furniture, be sure to use this piece as a helpful guide.

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