Teak (Tectona grandis)

Teak is an imported hardwood


Teak (Tectona grandis) occurs in commercial quantities in India, Burma, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, North and South Vietnam, and the East Indies. Numerous plantations have been developed within its natural range and in tropical areas of Latin America and Africa, and many of these are now producing teakwood.


The heartwood varies from yellow-brown to dark golden- brown and eventually turns a rich brown upon exposure to air. Teakwood has a coarse uneven texture (ring porous), is usually straight grained, and has a distinctly oily feel. The heartwood has excellent dimensional stability and a very high degree of natural durability. Although teak is not generally used in the United States where strength is of prime importance, its properties are generally on par with those of U.S. oaks (Quercus). Teak is generally worked with moderate ease with hand and machine tools. However, the presence of silica often dulls tools. Finishing and gluing are satisfactory, although pretreatment may be necessary to ensure good bonding of finishes and glues.

Primary Uses

Teak is one of the most valuable woods, but its use is limited by scarcity and high cost. Because teak does not cause rust or corrosion when in contact with metal, it is extremely useful in the shipbuilding industry, for tanks and vats, and for fixtures that require high acid resistance. Teak is currently used in the construction of boats, furniture, flooring, decorative objects, and decorative veneer.

*Much of the base wood information presented here is made available by the USDA FPL FS. If you are interested in a much more technical description of wood properties, I encourage you to visit the source.