Outdoor Furniture Guide: The Difference Between Oak and Teak Wood

Wood is such a fascinating and vast subject that I could go on talking about indefinitely. There are numerous types of wood, and no single variety is identical to another. It provides us with a wide range of options that suit the needs of the many woodworking projects.

This post examines the distinct characteristics of two extensively used wood species: teak and oak. During this discussion on teak wood vs. oak, we will cover the differences between the two and the advantages and disadvantages of each. So, let’s get right to the point, shall we?


Teak is known botanically as Tectona grandis, and it grows in Southeast Asia, primarily in India, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Myanmar. Teak wood played an essential role in the 7th century, as wealthy people utilised it to construct their homes. Shipbuilders used it to build boats and ships during that same period.

Teak wood has become an endangered species due to over-exploitation over the years. Many governments now prohibit the use and trade of teak, while others have legalised it by seizing control of the teak business and making it more sustainable.

classic outdoor dining table
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Teak is distinguished by its oily texture and harsh leathery odour, which intensifies throughout storage. The wood is yellowish to golden-brown and it looks absolutely stunning. Many varieties of wood mimic teak, so you must be knowledgeable about it to verify that you are purchasing genuine teak when it is sold to you.


Oak is native to Europe, although it can also be found in America and other northern hemisphere countries. There are around 600 kinds, but the two most common are white oak (Quercus alba) and red oak (Quercus rubra). For thousands of years, oak has been grown for its hardwood properties.

An oak tree can take up to 150 years to attain full maturity before being harvested for timber. It is heavy, sturdy, and long-lasting, and it is a less expensive alternative to teak. Its pale tint gives it an advantage over many other varieties of wood.

oak classic outdoor dining table
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Teak vs. Oak: Which Is More Durable?

Teak is one of the strongest and toughest hardwoods, making it a popular material for outdoor furniture such as your teak outdoor dining table. Teak’s natural oil provides it with weather and pest resistance. It is resistant to mould and rot and will survive a long time if left alone, and a lifetime if properly maintained.

Because oak is not as hard as teak, it is susceptible to dents, scratches, and abrasion. However, it is still a sturdy wood that will live for many years if properly maintained.

Teak vs. Oak: Visual Comparison

Teak wood grain is straight with occasional waviness. It darkens over time and has a smooth, greasy feel. Teak can range in colour from beautiful yellow to warm shades of golden brown making it the perfect choice for your teak outdoor dining table and chair sets and other furniture.

Oak has a lighter tone than teak, which is useful because you may dye it with a variety of colours. The grain of oak is straight with an irregular texture. There are also dark striations throughout the grain, giving the wood a distinctive appearance.

Teak Wood vs. Oak Wood: Upkeep

Wash the teak furniture with a dish soap and water solution and a soft-bristle brush, working with the grain. Allow drying in the sun for two weeks before proceeding to the next step. Spray a teak sealer on the wood, then rub it in with a lint-free cloth. You may also need to refinish your furniture every few years, depending on the type of teak and its condition.

When it comes to oak, a perfect treatment may make it endure a lifetime. It is not uncommon to come across oak furniture that has been passed down through generations. For maximum effects, renew oak once a year or so and clean it regularly. When cleaning the wood, make sure to use oak-specific cleaning products.

teak vs oak wood
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Teak vs. Oak: Sustainability

Despite significant global efforts to preserve and nurture this valuable timber species, teak wood remains a protected species of wood. Some countries have intervened to regulate all teak-related activities, ensuring that teak is sustainable there.

Oak thrives throughout Europe, Australia, and the United States. It is less exploited than teak, but if you buy virgin wood whether it’s teak outdoor dining tables or oak furniture, you need to look for suitable certifications.

Price Comparison

Teak is still one of the most costly woods on the market. Teak prices vary greatly depending on where it originates from and the grade, as there are several grades and kinds of teak.

Oak, on the other hand, is relatively more abundant and less expensive than teak. There are several grades and varieties of oak, thus the pricing may vary correspondingly. Oak is a wonderful choice if you want a long-lasting, robust wood that isn’t too pricey.

The End Result Depends on the Manufacturer as Well

Wood movement refers to the ability of wood to shrink and expand. Freshly felled wood has a relatively high-water content, which influences swelling and shrinkage. Although the moisture content of the wood is greatly reduced during dry storage, it is still possible for the wood to swell or shrink after drying.

Every wood moves, including teak and oak. The most crucial aspect is that the wood is properly cured, but the design of the furniture is also critical. A classic outdoor dining table, for example, must be manufactured with extraordinary precision, with the tabletop secured with little blocks of wood.