There are many types of hardwood available, but teak flooring is among the most popular. As with all woods, teak has unique benefits and drawbacks. If you are considering using this exotic wood, think about the following pros and cons before making your final choice.
Teak is one of the very hardest woods, and it can withstand the test of time. It is a great option for high traffic areas as well as for homes with children and pets. It is highly resistant to scratches and chip marks from abuse. It is also resistant to animal claw marks.
Shine and Finish
Due to the fact that teak withholds its natural oils, many people opt to leave it untreated and allow it to age naturally. This can be a cost-saving step if you decide not to apply a finish such as varnish or stain. Teak also does not splinter, so you will not have to worry about sanding if you skip the finish.
Teak is water resistant, so it is commonly used in saunas, bathrooms, boats and kitchens. The wood will not absorb water, which will also alleviate concern over it rotting from water exposure.
Natural Insect Repellent
Aside from the natural oils in the teak that gives a natural luster, the oils also act as a natural insect repellent. With teak, you will not need to be concerned about termites or other insects burrowing into your wood destroying it.
Some sellers of teak have been caught with wood that has been cut down from two particular endangered species of teak. If you are considering teak flooring for your home, look for reclaimed wood or sustainable wood. To be sure you are getting a certified teak, be sure to look for FSC (Forestry Stewardship Counsel) certification on the flooring you purchase.
Though there are some species of teak grown in the United States, most has to travel very far. Coming mostly from Asia, the cost associated with its shipping is much more than other hardwoods. Weighing the cost of the teak compared to the durability and room you use it in will help you decide if it is cost effective for your room.
Teak loses its oils over a couple of years time and needs to be oiled over again to maintain its luster and its ability to resist termites and other insects. You will have to use teak oil on it every 2 to 3 years to accomplish this. Though it is not a high maintenance project that needs to be done often, you will want to consider if you are willing to go this step to keep your teak flooring in top condition to not only assure the above points, but to keep it from changing colors.