The Best Wood for outdoor furniture with durability and sustainability
Outdoor furniture must contain several properties such as durability, weather-resistant, low maintenance, and ease of installation.
You will put in the furniture where the furniture will get many obstacles such as dust, wind, termites, fungi, sunlight, rain, snow, and insects.
If you put wood in the backyard, the chance of survival is low, but the material must be robust and solid.
Usually, you pick something like metal or plastic due to easy to find and relatively cheaper. On the other hand, using wood seems an interesting idea because most people think this one is out of option.
The major issue related to wood as outdoor furniture is less durability, especially in high-risk locations.
People will compare pros and cons to ensure their effort making furniture for outdoor is not wasting money and time.
The following list shows the best wood for outdoor furniture you can use when making outdoor furniture.
When asking about the best wood for outdoor furniture, the top answer is teak. It has been on the top list since ancient times.
People utilized this kind of wood to build a ship, house, furniture, and many things. Today, some teak woods might not be as good as the best ones, but you still see the ultimate durability.
The old furniture is mostly from this wood, and you can keep it decades later with less issue. This wood also contains a unique pattern that looks natural unless you cover it with extra paint.
One issue is cost because you must pay more to get the best quality. The price you pay is worth the result, and the teak furniture will be in the garden several years later.
Red cedar is softwood, a common material for many pieces of furniture, particularly the ones you have inside the house.
People think this wood is less durable due to it can bend and cut easily. It is the most versatile wood that many carpenters recommend for beginners.
It does not mean you cannot use this one for outdoor furniture. As long as you add extra paint and a protective layer, the surface will stay longer than you expect.
The durability of Oak wood is good, and You can use white oak as wood for garden furniture. This one is easy to find and relatively affordable. Oak is the most common material that the carpenter uses when creating furniture.
Mass production products are also using oak. It has a solid texture that you can shape, bend, and cut into anything. Oak wood is, in principle, easy to work with.
One issue is not good with sunlight or extreme exposure. The patter will dissolve, which makes the wood becomes fragile and severe.
As a solution, you should add shades around the oak furniture in the garden. To prevent discoloration, you can choose to treat oak wood with agents such as stain.
Outdoor furniture has to be strong, dense, and solid. Usually, you will not move them into any spots or locations unless urgent.
In that case, the best wood for outdoor furniture for such a purpose is Ipe. The professionals and experts consider this one as the densest wood with excellent durability.
That’s the perfect attribute you can get as material for outdoor furniture, even building the house.
One problem is too heavy that makes it difficult to move around to anywhere you want.
You want the furniture to be not just functional and practical but also elegant. Some woods can deliver such a purpose but finding the one with high durability is not simple.
One of the best you can get is mahogany with a beautiful pattern and highly decay-resistant. However, you may find this one easily, even at the nearest wood production site.
For your information, mahogany is quite rare, and production is limited only to specific products.
In this case, you must allocate enough money to obtain outdoor furniture with mahogany as material.
Redwood also belongs to the list of best wood for outdoor furniture. It has a solid structure and a high resistant surface with a distinct pattern.
You can make furniture that looks exquisite. Moreover, the wood is lightweight and easy to shape into any form you like.
One thing you consider is the supply because you pay more money. After all, the price is relatively higher than the other is.
Redwood is available limited in the specific region or area, particularly California.
Acacia is also excellent wood when you want to make furniture in small size. The carpenters can shape this into anything you like, such as a chair, bench, stool, and table.
Another good thing about acacia is scratch resistance because solid and hard surface. It is the right choice when your area has many insects, animals, and termites.
The wood also looks elegant with a unique pattern on its surface. With the proper maintenance, you can keep the furniture for a longer period without much change.
You can use cypress as material for furniture, including the outdoor one. The texture is solid with a distinct pattern that brings a natural vibe when adding the right paint.
Moreover, it is also relatively high in endurance and durability in extreme weather. You can find this kind of wood in North America.
Afrormosia wood is a tropical hardwood that is mainly found in West African countries such as Ghana, Congo, Zaire, Nigeria, and Ivory Coast.
This solid wood is yellow-brown but can darken over time until it reaches a dark brown color. Afrormosia is sometimes confused with teak, but this is not quite the same.
The advantage of Afrormosia is that it is very suitable for outdoor use. For example, there is little chance that the wood will crack when it dries up again after a heavy rain shower.
This is one of the properties that has ensured that Afrormosia belongs to the best durability class. With proper maintenance, the wood will last about 20 to 30 years.
Making your wooden furniture requires wood that is easy to work with. Afrormosia falls exactly into this category and can be processed by hand as well as with larger machines.
When processing, make sure that you do not inhale sawdust. This can lead to physical complaints, such as stomach cramps.
Also, make sure that you only use Afrormosia that has been legally cut and has a CITES quality mark. It is threatened with extinction and is therefore considered a protected plant species.
Balau or bankirai
Balau or Bankirai is a type of wood from Southeast Asia and is mainly exported from Malaysia to the US.
What is unique about bankirai wood is that daylight causes color changes. For example, freshly cut wood is yellow to grey-brown.
The more it is exposed to daylight, the browner the wood will become. Eventually, the wood will turn dark brown after years.
Balau is also extremely suitable for outdoor use. A disadvantage, however, is that the wood will slowly crack if it dries too quickly. In addition, maintaining this wood is also difficult.
Stains and other products used for finishing do not pack well and will not give a good result. However, if you go for a natural look, this will not be a problem.
The processing of the wood is, in contrast to the maintenance, easy to do. The wood is easy to saws but has a little more difficulty with glue. So you will have to use an alternative method for this.
South America and especially Brazil is where Jatoba wood comes from.
The heartwood of the Jatoba is orange-red to reddish-brown and therefore has a very elegant and stylish appearance.
Not only the color but also the durability of Jatoba is striking. Jatoba belongs to a high durability class and, if properly maintained, will last about 15 to 25 years. Jatoba wood is also recommended for Europe or the American climate.
The wood dries very slowly, so the chance of cracks and deformation is small. Jatoba is easy to work with, especially if you don’t like the robust look.
The surface of Jatoba can be finished very evenly. This makes the wood very suitable for a table; chairs and benches made of Jatoba will not look out of place on your patio.
Meranti wood comes from Indonesia and Malaysia. Meranti wood has various color shades. For example, you have meranti wood that is white to light brown, red to reddish-brown, and wood that is light brown to yellow.
There are differences in Meranti in color, but there are also differences in durability and quality.
For example, the white and yellow wood can crack relatively quickly, while the red Meranti will suffer less.
In terms of quality, there is nothing to criticize about meranti wood.
Finally, a distinction can also be made in the extent to which the wood can be processed. Wood that is white to light brown can only be worked with special carbide tools. This makes it difficult in some cases.
Still, Meranti deserves a spot in this list of the best wood for garden furniture because the other two types are easier to work with. No special tools are required for this. Both hand tools and machine tools get the job done.
Merbau also has its origin in Southeast Asia. This species is very common in New Guinea. However, the trees where Merbau comes from can also be found outside Asia.
Merbau is available in different colors.
On the one hand, you have the yellow to light brown wood, but on the other hand, you also have dark brown wood with brown-black spots.
Therefore, Merbau is suitable for people who love light and people who prefer dark. You could even combine them if you want.
Merbau is included in this list of the best wood for garden furniture for a reason. The durability of this wood is particularly good.
However, something is strikingly going on with Merbau. When it rains, the wood bleeds, which can discolor not only your terrace but also the table.
Fortunately, you don’t have to panic immediately when this happens. The ‘blood’ is easy to rinse off with some water and ammonia.
Machining the wood can help stop the bleeding.
You do this by applying a thick protective varnish over the wood. However, do not do this until you have finished making your furniture. This gives the best results and prevents you from forgetting to protect important parts.
Suar wood or Raintree
Suar of Rain Tree has become more and more popular in recent years. The wood mainly comes from South America but now also be found in Africa and Asia.
The color of Rain Tree generally goes towards the brown tones. Suar wood is lighter than the darker woods from this list but darker than the light woods.
As far as we are concerned, the Rain Tree is not perfect enough for outdoor furniture but has moderate durability.
In addition, Rain Tree is not resistant to termites. The chance that they will eat your table to smithereens is therefore so high.
Rain Tree is a type of wood that is easy to work with. With this wood, you can go in all directions about your ideal piece of furniture. To enjoy your new garden furniture for an extra long time, you must maintain the wood properly.
Robina has a light brown color with a green sheen here and there. Perhaps this is what makes this type of wood you’re favorite.
Another nice feature of Robinia is that it is one of the most sustainable types of wood according to European standards. So your garden furniture will last for several decades.
However, a small downside is that Robinia can slightly deform if it dries too quickly after a rain shower.
Robinia wood is also a nice material to work with. It is important to take into account discoloration when you use iron, copper, and brass.
In addition, you should also be careful not to ingest too much wood dust during the processing. If you are sensitive to this, it can easily irritate the mucous membranes.
did you know that chestnut wood also falls under the best wood for garden furniture? The Sweet Chestnut is characterized by light wood that falls somewhere between yellow and brown. Fresh color for the garden.
Chestnut wood is very durable and can easily last 15 to 25 years. The rain showers regularly pass over.
The wood dries slowly, so the chance of cracks is small. However, the wood may deform when wet. Wet chestnut wood that comes into contact with iron can also cause black or blue stains.
In principle, you should be able to make beautiful furniture with wood from the Sweet Chestnut.
However, it is essential to treat the wood well after processing. You can do this, for example, with transparent outdoor stain so that you retain the original color of the wood, but it can also be done with opaque paint.
Scaffolding wood is super popular, both for indoors and for garden furniture. The significant advantage of scaffolding wood is that it is relatively cheap.
Because scaffolding wood planks are recycled and impregnated naturally, scaffolding wood is also very suitable for the garden.
From the Douglas fir, Douglas wood is a moderately good durable, and above all very strong wood that can last for 10-15 years.
Douglas wood initially has a light yellow-red to tan color, but the more often and longer it is exposed to sunlight and air, the faster it will turn to an orange-tan color. Douglas wood is often used for making fences and decking boards.
In addition, garden furniture is undoubtedly made of Douglas wood. And it is also good to make a bench from Douglas wood.
Eucalyptus is a tree species consisting of hundreds of varieties, all of which occur in Australia.
It is a fast-growing tree, and the hardness of the wood makes it a principal wood and cheaper alternative to teak.
In addition to acacia, you see this type of wood more and more in garden sets these days. Eucalyptus is weather resistant and requires little maintenance.
Another softwood species, which comes from the Scots pine, is Pinewood, a widely used type of wood, especially for indoor use. Recognizable flame pattern and a yellowish color.
Untreated pine is unsuitable for outdoor use, but its durability significantly increases once impregnated and can last up to 10-15 years.
Pinewood contains more large knots than spruce and is somewhat darker in color. Pine can come from Scandinavia as well as Central Europe and differs in price and quality.
Spruce comes from Norway spruce and is the most commonly used coniferous wood.
Spruce wood has a white-yellow color with a soft pattern, darkening with exposure to the sun. Since the wood is not resistant to moisture, it must be processed for outdoor use.
It is a wonderful type of wood that can be easily worked but must be well maintained in garden furniture. Please read our article on how to maintain wooden outdoor furniture.
Why use wood for outdoor furniture
Wooden outdoor furniture fits harmoniously with any architectural style and garden because it can be custom-made in any desired shape, color, or style.
In addition, they are very easy to maintain and, if cut from the right wood, will last for many years, just like the choice you made when building a wooden decking.
Your garden furniture determines the appearance of your garden.
If you opt for high-quality wooden garden furniture from exclusive types of wood and with a unique design, you will create an atmosphere of luxury and an oasis of tranquility in your garden.
Combined with beautiful cushions, this is synonymous with hours of enjoyment – alone or with family and friends.
Wooden outdoor furniture as a gauge for the exclusivity of your property
It is comparable to buying a car. You choose a brand because of the car’s appearance, and you choose the model because of its shape.
Well, as soon as you have chosen a classy automobile to have an elegant appearance, you put cheap-looking wheels instead of the original rims of the car. The car is immediately visually ruined, and it no longer comes across.
The same goes for a set of outdoor furniture at a piece of real estate. As soon as the wooden outdoor furniture looks exclusive, it also makes the immediate environment exclusive
Hardwood or softwood is best suited for outdoor furniture?
Wood can be divided into hardwood and softwood. When you hear the term hardwood, you probably immediately think of hard types of wood, so softwoods are the softer types.
However, the terms have nothing to do with the hardness of a type of wood. The terms have to do with the way the trees reproduce through the seeds.
What is hardwood
Hardwood is when a fruit covers the seeds of the tree, also called the angiosperm. These are, for example, all fruit trees and nut trees, such as apple, cherry, and walnut trees. Hardwood trees are deciduous trees. Also, please read our article about types of hardwoods
Is softwood suitable for outdoor furniture?
Softwood, on the other hand, consists of trees that reproduce through uncovered seeds, called gymnosperms. These are the conifers such as the pine, spruce, etc.
This means that not all hardwoods are hard, and not all softwoods are soft. However, this description is correct for the majority of species, but there are also exceptions.
The term is therefore confusing in use, and in practice, you will often notice that hardwood is spoken of if the wood is at least of medium density (regardless of whether it comes from a hardwood or softwood species).