Characteristics of Teak Wood


Teak is a tropical hardwood in the family Verbenaceae. Long-lived teak wood trees grow in Myanmar, Indonesia, Thailand and India and reach heights of 150 feet.

Teak wood is used extensively in shipbuilding. image by "Luxury at the marina" is Copyrighted by Flickr user: eyesplash Mikul (Mikul) under the Creative Commons Attribution license.

Weather Resistant

Shipbuilders use teak wood extensively because It is very weather resistant. Under cover, its durability is, according to the Encyclopedia Britannica, "practically imperishable."

Insect Repellent

Teak repels insects, making it a good choice for outdoor furniture. Teak wood is resistant to marine borers, and termites rarely eat the heartwood.


Its fine grain and smooth surface make teak popular indoors and out for furniture, cabinetry and crafts.

Aromatic Oils

The oils in the wood of teak wood are aromatic and pleasant. These oils also give teak wood its characteristic rich glow.


Teak is known for its dimensional stability. It does not swell and contract as do other types of wood.


You can use teak wood in its natural state, or you can varnish, oil or stain it.


  • Encyclopedia Britannica
  • East Teak Hardwoods
Keywords: teak wood, verbenaceae, tropical hardwood

About this Author

Moira Clune is a freelance writer who since 1991 has been writing sales and promotional materials for her own and other small businesses. In addition, she has published articles on VetInfo and various other websites. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from Hartwick College.