To make outdoor living comfortable and enjoyable, you need strategically placed furniture in your space. Outdoor furniture is mostly made from wood since it offers a combination of accessibility, customizability, and even durability if you make the right choice. However, outdoor furniture like chairs, tables, and storage boxes require special wood types as they encounter tough conditions.
Rough weather conditions like rain, sunlight, and pest attacks can damage your furniture. However, using the right wood will significantly reduce the chances of any damage. There are so many different wood types available, so choosing the best wood for outdoor furniture can be challenging, as the woods have varying features.
For outdoor usage, you’ll require a wood type with good moisture and UV ray resistance so the furniture can stand the test of time. So the first thing you should do when faced with adding new outdoor furniture or replacing old ones, the first thing you should do is select the right wood to use. Some wood types possess qualities that make them more suitable for outdoor usage, and we’ll find out about these woods shortly.
Finding the best wood for outdoor furniture is relevant for DIY enthusiasts and people looking to buy premade furniture, as it serves as a guide to ensure you get the durable furniture. This guide will see some of the best wood for outdoor furniture, factors that guide our choices, and more.
Best Wood for Outdoor Furniture
Choosing the correct wood depends is not set in stone, as it depends on many factors. Nevertheless, we’ll look at the best outdoor furniture wood in general terms and then figure out their features.
Cedar is a popular choice for outdoor furniture use as it is lightweight and possesses natural rot-resistance properties, making decay and termite attack difficult. In addition, it retains moisture well, which prevents cracking. While cedar trees grow in many locations, the variety mostly used as lumber is the western red cedar with a reddish color and tight grain.
Cedar has remained a valuable lumber for a long time, serving different purposes, including furniture making, since it has an aesthetic appeal and pleasant scent. Even though cedar is not the most durable on this list, its rot-resistant quality and general durability are decent enough to get a decade out of it with proper maintenance.
The good thing is that cedar requires minimal maintenance and typically ages to an appealing silver shade. As a softwood, cedar is prone to scratches and dents, with untreated cedar quickly turning rough and uncomfortable to the touch. Perfect for humid climates since it has good water retention qualities.
Teak is another popular wood for outdoor furniture but this time with more durability. Perfect for warm climates since it can withstand heavy sunlight. Teak is great with various design styles with impressive durability that prevents insect attack and keeps moisture away from its natural oils, so warping does not occur. You can make different furniture with Teak wood, including the popular Adirondack chairs.
Teak is grown in Southeast Asia and is regarded as one of the most valuable woods in the wood because of its durability, especially in places like the beach where varying weathering conditions are common. An often overlooked aspect of Teak wood is it style, with its soft, grained finish presenting a piece of classy furniture that improves your outdoor space.
Teak is a low-maintenance wood that requires only an annual cleaning to keep it in top shape. While most of the wood on this list ages gracefully, only a few can be restored successfully; this is where teak stands out, as you can easily restore aging teak furniture to its original color with a few processes. Teak combines some of the finest qualities for outdoor furniture, which is why it is quite expensive.
Like most of the woods on this list, Cypress has a natural resistance to decay and pest attacks, as it produces natural oils, making it a great choice for outdoor use. Its beautiful natural yellowish-brown color will weather well as it ages. The wood is great for conventional wet climates, constant heat, and torrential rainfall, with its natural oil serving as a natural moisture repellent.
You would do well to keep the Cypress off the ground to prolong its life. Cypress is a soft wood that is lightweight and features a fine grain. Cypress is great for chairs, bridges, and elevated platforms, among other outdoor projects.
With minimal maintenance required to preserve the wood, you can enjoy your outdoor furniture for a long time without stressful maintenance activities. Cypress can last for decades with no maintenance.
Acacia also has a natural water-resistance feature that makes it difficult for fungi to attack, which is common in tropical regions with a lot of rain. Its strength means you can use it for major construction, with its durability propelling it into our list of best wood for outdoor furniture.
Acacia sports a rich, reddish-brown color that warms up your space with its appeal. However, you should keep Acacia furniture away from damp earth as this can change the color of the wood. Acacia is typically found in tropical and subtropical regions with varieties worldwide, color and hardness differentiating them.
Acacia is a dense hardwood that is difficult to cut, which means it is strong and durable. The high natural oils in Acacia repel moisture and keep the wood from decaying. Its abundance worldwide makes it quite affordable despite its impressive features.
Shorea sports similar properties as the popular Mahogany wood and is native to the rainforests of Southeast Asia, with some calling it mahogany light due to its close similarities. However, Shorea is marketed as an affordable version.
This highly durable wood also features a sustainable harvest and great aesthetics, which is why it is a prime outdoor furniture wood. Unfortunately, Shorea requires regular maintenance to keep its rich brown color from fading. Over time, Shorea turns grey as it ages, but its affordability ensures you’ll get great value for money.
The eco-friendly wood is usually called “the king of hardwoods” because of its high hardness-to-weight ratio. Shorea is durable and long-lasting and has a beautiful appearance for an affordable wood. It has a similar density to teak but requires frequent oiling to keep it from aging.
6. White Oak
It does not take much to realize the white oak got its name because the wood is white, ranging from pale grey to yellowish White oak is commonly found around North America, with the wood popular for its strength and close grain structure that makes staining and shrinking difficult.
It is great for flooring and building boxes but can be expensive since it is not easily accessible. However, it is long-lasting and should prove a good deal in the long run. White oak is perfect for wet climates as it can prevent excess moisture. In addition, it can last for a long time in wet conditions as it takes penetrating oils well that helps to keep moisture at bay.
White oak is expensive because it is used to make barrels for quality wine and spirits, making it highly sought-after in different industries.
Factors that Affect Wood for Outdoor Furniture
As mentioned earlier, woods used outdoors are affected by various factors, and the woods with the best resistance are in demand. Here are some of the factors that will determine which wood for outdoor furniture is the right choice for you:
Climate is the most common factor on the list, as many are aware of the effects of climatic factors on wood. Since the furniture is for outdoor use, it is exposed to harsh climatic factors ranging from Torrential rainfall to extreme heat from the sun. Therefore, you have to choose the wood that can withstand the prevalent weather in your area.
Moisture-resistant woods are great in tropical regions as they can keep the excess water away. In contrast, woods that do not fade and crack on exposure to extreme heat are ideal for warmer climes. Some woods even improve their aesthetics on exposure to sunlight.
When it comes to outdoor wood problems, rot is arguably the most common, as several factors can cause the wood to decay. Therefore, you want to choose wood that will not rot when placed outdoors, typically including wood that can resist pest attacks. You also want to consider the effectiveness of rot treatment as the different woods sports varying levels of rot treatment effectiveness.
Denser woods are stronger and will typically prevent pest attacks better. The overall aim is to have your furniture maintains its look for decades without fading, so considering how long-lasting it can be is vital.
While they are all for outdoor use, there are still variations in their exposure to the elements. Consider the exact location you’ll place the furniture before choosing the wood. Some woods may be great for outdoor use but not ideal for direct placement under the sun or in direct contact with damp earth. Typically, keeping the wooden furniture under shade or a raised platform away from the ground can prolong its life.
While durability is at the forefront of factors to consider, and rightly so, the appearance of the furniture is another important factor to consider. The aesthetics include the wood’s color, texture, and feel, with wood having different reactions with finish or stain. You want wood that accepts outdoor paint/finish well and would leave an appealing look.
Wood is highly sought-after for outdoor furniture because of its aesthetics, eco-friendliness, and accessibility. Wood furniture will liven any outdoor space; however, you must get the right wood before enjoying its major benefits.
Choosing the best outdoor furniture wood can be challenging, with many different wood types available. Still, by following the guide and examining the factors affecting outdoor wooden furniture, you can make the right decision.