Teak garden furniture is the most preferred for any outdoor setting. It is considered the best wood for outdoors. There are different grades or qualities of teak outdoor furniture available. It has become very difficult for a customer to understand the huge difference between two similar looking products. For instance, in open market a customer can purchase a teak chair for just $ 15.00 and a similar chair would cost $ 150.00 from another seller !! To understand this, one needs to know some basic facts about the furniture industry in Indonesia where most of this furniture is manufactured.
The teak industry in Indonesia can be categorized into two: Organized and Unorganized. The organized sector includes the big manufacturers who produce their goods using modern machinery with standard international manufacturing procedures. The unorganized sector enterprises of individual carpenters and small exporters and warehouse operators. The main difference is WHO MAKES YOUR FURNITURE? Is it factory made OR some local carpenter at his home with no control or procedures to follow !! The others factors, which determine the quality and then the price of teak furniture, lies in quality of wood, fittings used, type of glue and guarantee provided by the seller.
It is very important to understand how this works. The cheap furniture (which is full of sapwood with no real joinery) made by an individual carpenter goes to a BIG WAREHOUSE (these are usually the internet companies who claim to be manufacturer and so on). In these warehouses they collect the goods from hundreds of other carpenters. The warehouse will treat the furniture with CHEMICALS to attain the yellow brown color of the teak. Of course, it looks almost same to the customer but we do not know how it affects the durability of wood, the adverse effect on environment and the person sitting on the chair; which has been CHEMICALLY TREATED. They will put it under sun for few days and then pack it in a nice looking carton box with fancy brand name on it !! In fact, these warehouses are HUGE and have grown many folds in last couple of years. They have no investment at all except a rented warehouse, which they can close down anytime.
Having said that, it is not easy for a consumer to know what quality of furniture they are buying but he / she can take some precautions or ask before making the purchase. For example:
a) Which grade of teakwood? Is it really GRADE A.
b) How is the furniture manufactured? Handcrafted or machine made?
c) What kind of fittings the furniture comes with? Solid brass, stainless steel or low quality brass / galvanized?
d) What type of glue is used? Waterproof Polyurethane or epoxy glue?
e) What is the end finish of the products? Rule of thumb- Good quality furniture always comes in natural finish with no teak oil or stain on it. You should be able to see the original color of teakwood.
f) Has the wood been treated? Of course, most of them will answer NO. But if the store delivers the furniture, which turns out to be rented, then you have a good excuse to send the furniture back.
g) Does the furniture come with any kind of Guarantee? You should always ask for at least 4 years guarantee, as the manufactured furniture will not last that long.
Once you got all the answers you will certainly know, what type of furniture you are buying. However some sellers might just lie and give you false information to get good price for their furniture. So you should always ask the seller to write down this on the sales receipt.
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