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Adirondack Furniture: Teak Or Cedar?
Premium Adirondack furniture is a purely American invention and a preferred choice where outdoor furnishings are concerned. The furniture originated in the Adirondack mountains and quickly spread outward. Although the popularity dropped off for a while, quality Adirondack furniture is back and more popular than ever. For many, it is not a choice of whether or not to buy premium Adirondack furniture. Instead, the choice seems to boil down to what kind of wood is the best where this premium outdoor furniture is concerned: Teak or Cedar?
Because Adirondack chairs and loungers are most common on patios or in gardens, the furniture must be able to stand up to the elements. Rain, sleet, snow, and insects are common enemies of wood—so which is better—teak or cedar?
Western Red Cedar is a very popular wood with a very fine grain and beautiful natural appearance. With minimal care, Western Red Cedar wood resists moisture and decay very well. In addition, furniture made from cedar will be naturally insect repellant. The natural oils found within cedar are responsible for the weather and insect resistant properties of cedar. Western Red Cedar Adirondack furniture is a uniform color of red and brown but this will fade in time (when left outdoors) and turn into a silver/gray. Cedar is best when finished with a stain and tends to last longer with care. However, premium Adirondack furniture made from Western Red Cedar is a good choice in high moisture environments such as cottages and patios.
Teak wood is another great choice for Adirondack furniture because it, too, is naturally weather resistant. Teak wood is very high in oil and rubber concentrations which is why it is virtually impermeable to water—even untreated. Premium Adirondack furniture made from teak wood can literally be left outside for years without worry. Like Western Red Cedar, teak wood will also begin to gray with time when not treated or stained. However, unlike cedar, teak wood is very tight grained. While cedar is a soft wood, teak is very sturdy and difficult to knick and damage.
So, is the best Adirondack furniture made from teak or cedar? While teak is more weather resistant and durable, Western Red Cedar is a beautiful wood that adds a distinctive element to the furniture. In truth, both are great woods and both used to make quality Adirondack furniture. The best choice will boil down to personal taste.
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