Grown in South East Asian countries like India, Burma, Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia, teak is one of the preferred choices of flooring for homeowners. Just like all other woods, teak flooring has its pros and cons, and you should consider these before making a final decision. Teak is quite affordable compared to some other hardwood floors, and looks gorgeous. There are different grades of teak available on the market, ranging from $9 to $15 per square foot. The flooring options are the value grade and the premium teak grade. So if you see that teak wood is being sold at a price lower than that mentioned above, it will be low quality teak. Take a look at these teak flooring pros and cons:
What are the pros of using teak for flooring?
Teak is aesthetically appealing. Teak wood comes with a straight grain pattern. Its rich brown color makes it extremely attractive. Finished teak wood looks beautiful and very shiny. As compared to particle board or laminate flooring, teak wood looks far superior.
- Strong and durable: Teak wood is very dense, its density being 720 kg/meter cube. The wood texture is hard and ring porous. Timber cut from old trees is more durable than plantation grown teak. When put under tension, it will resist most wear and tear, more than other types of hardwood floor can manage. For this reason, you can move heavy furniture over it and it can be installed in heavy traffic areas.
- Does not dry out quickly: The oil content in teak is pretty high. Basically, this means that teak will not dry out and crack even when it is not treated with oil or varnish. When the wood is finished, the moisture content is retained adding extra strength to it. Don’t worry, the oil content is not that high that you will slip on it; it’s just enough to keep the wood in great shape over the years.
- Water resistance: Teak wood contains oil that resists the action of water, thus preventing the rusting of iron. It has a tight grain structure making it impossible for water and humidity to penetrate. Since it is water resistant it doesn’t decay quickly, and does not harbor insects or bacteria. Other than its aesthetic appeal, it is this property that makes it a preferred choice of wood for ship building where it is used to make wooden floors and decks. Apart from using it as flooring in high humidity areas such as the bathroom and kitchen, you can use it for patios and floating decks.
- Insect repellant: The natural oil of teak migrates to the surface of the wood making it impervious to water. For this reason, this wood has natural resistance to termites, fungal stains, mold and other types of insects that can destroy wood. Its natural oil remains after the wood has been processed for flooring. Because of this quality the life span of teak flooring is increased. You can read more about teak wood’s properties over here.
- It doesn’t warp or bend: If you purchase properly seasoned teak, you will see that it will not warp or shrink greatly. Eucalyptus, on the other hand, will reduce to about 34% of its original content. Moreover, warping and bending is an issue with most other hardwood species. Well-dried teak wood is not affected by any climatic change.
- Maintenance: Teak wood takes a couple of years to lose some of its oil. This means that it maintains its brightness and luster for a long time. You would need to refinish it every two to three years with teak oil. Since it is resistant to insects, fungi and mold, you won’t have to worry about repairing it unless an external force is responsible for its damage. In order to maintain your teak floor, you can use a hardwood cleaner recommended by your manufacturer. Even though teak is an oily wood, it is best if you oil it every 2-3 years.
- Good compatibility with iron and metals: Wood is used in combination with iron and other types of metals and hence it is important that the metals do not corrode wood. The fact that wood can give out moisture when it faces a dry atmosphere means that it can cause metal to rust. Teak comes with natural oil that prevents rusting and is ideal for any flooring area.
What are the cons of teak flooring?
- Expensive: The only main disadvantage of teak wood is that it is really expensive and not everyone can afford it. The fact that it is imported from other countries adds to its cost. These days, homeowners are also opting for Brazilian teakwood; however, Brazilian teak hardwood flooring pros and cons need to be considered before you purchase it.
- Color becomes faded: If you install teak flooring in direct sunlight, the exposed area will soon begin to fade. You can always use area rugs to hide this part of the floor.
- Requires maintenance every 2-3 years: Though teak is a very strong wood, even it loses its sheen over a couple of years. You will have to have it oiled regularly to keep the floor is great condition for a long period of time.
- Installation: Teak is a hardwood so you should hand over the project of installing a teak wood floor to a professional. If you undertake it as a DIY project, you may end up doing something wrong and losing money in the process.
Now that you know about teak flooring pros and cons, you will agree that maintaining teak wood is easy compared to other solid hardwood floors. However, if teak flooring is installed in a high traffic area, you will have to maintain it on yearly basis. Teak hardwood is an excellent choice for flooring if you can afford it. It imparts an exotic look to your home and can last for a lifetime if maintained properly. The fact that it is so durable, and is resistant to water and insect repellant makes it even more of an inviting flooring option.