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  • Writer's pictureBenton Purtle at Tropicraft

Outdoor Wood Furniture - All You Need to Know

Updated: Sep 8, 2023

A teak outdoor seating set with sofa, chairs, coffee table and foot rest.
All of the flexibility of indoor furniture, but far more durable.

It’s that time of the year. The sun’s coming out, the days are getting longer, and warmer, and you might find yourself trying to spend more and more time out in the open air, but that’s not very easy to do without the right outdoor furniture.

In this post, we will be going over the basics of outdoor wood furniture, the differences between the main types of wood, Teak, and Ipe, and a few tips you could use to ensure you get the right outdoor furniture for your home!

Outdoor Furniture - The Basics

Outdoor furniture isn’t just furniture sitting outside of your home. It’s quite literally an extension of your home. Even if you have the most elaborate interior, if you’re just throwing together random pieces of furniture outside, you’re doing it wrong.

One of the best things about outdoor furniture is that it’s functional and decorative, but that requires you to research and pick great pieces for your outdoor space. With the right furniture, you can spruce up the place in terms of looks and usability instantly!

There are lots of different materials you can use for outdoor furniture. Tropicraft Patio offers marine-grade polymer (also known as Poly Lumber), aluminum, resin wicker and more, but many outdoor spaces are perfect for Teak and ipe wood furniture.

Wood is a natural resource, making it perfect for exposure to the elements. With the different types of wood these days, you can easily find something that would match your home’s aesthetic. With just a bit of maintenance - a coating of oil or sealer at the beginning and end of each outdoor season - your wood outdoor furniture will get through years of use and still look new!

However, not all wood is the same. So it’s crucial to decide on the type of wood you want to go for before making the purchase!

Differences between Teak and Ipe Outdoor Furniture

Teak and Ipe are two of the most popular types of wood for outdoor furniture and for good reason. They’re the two best materials to use. They’re durable and look great! While those are the similarities, there are also a bunch of differences between the two types.

Below are some of the most notable differences between Teak and Ipe furniture.

Teak is one of the highest qualities of wood you can buy. It mainly grows in Asia, and some of the best variants of this wood come from the region alone. However, it is important to always try to find it from a reliable seller, since it’s a very valuable wood. The more reliable the seller is, the better the wood will be! It’s pretty much gold in the wood world. At Tropicraft Patio we make sure to source the best teak wood furniture possible in lots of different outdoor furniture styles, so there’s always something for everyone! We offer grade-A teak furniture, constructed from a center cut of the tree which is denser, oiler, and better able to withstand ongoing exposure to outdoor conditions.

Because of the way it grows, it’s naturally resistant to weather damage and insect damage! Even if there’s no artificial coating of any kind, the wood can thrive in any type of environment easily.

Teak and sunbrella outdoor sofa & chairs.
Heather teak and plush, outdoor cushions.

On the other hand, we have Ipe wood, with its naturally dark, rich finish. This one is so strong that it’s compared to concrete and steel! While this type of wood is strong, it also tends to get fairly heavy. This type of wood is called tropical hardwood. It is mostly grown in South and Central America, making it easier to get it through America and Europe than teak.

Still, it might get a bit too heavy for outdoor furniture with the weight. Although, people that want the furniture to always stay in one place can definitely give this a shot too!

Both Teak and Ipe are popular because of their durability. The difference is the way they’re durable. One has the natural “everything resistant” build, while the other is just so dense that nothing can make it through it! Because of their differences, people tend to sway one or the other, but whichever way you swing, you’ll have great quality wood for outdoor furniture on the other side!

Tips on picking the right outdoor furniture

Here are our top 3 tips on picking the right outdoor furniture

Research first:

A lot of people just pick the first thing they see. That’s not really the best way to go. With outdoor furniture, research the type of wood according to the area you live in. Make sure it’s water and UV-exposure-safe and is pest-resistant too! Teak outdoor furniture would be a great choice here.

Make sure it’s durable:

When you’re picking outdoor furniture for your home, always make sure you’re going for durable materials instead of something light and cheap. Invest once, so it lasts you years on end!

Figure out the up-keep:

Before you swipe your card, make sure that the type of outdoor furniture you’re picking will be easy for you to take care of. Some people like to put more effort into the upkeep than others. Figure out where you land and get the furniture that matches that too! Teak and Ipe wood outdoor furniture do require some minimal upkeep in order to maintain their beautiful, natural colors - usually a full coating of oil or sealer at the beginning and end of each outdoor season. That's it!

Soak in the sun in style!

Teak expandable dining table and matched chairs by the pool.
Dinner by the poolside, with room for six!

Outdoor furniture is a great way to get a little extra time in the sun and double your usable space in the home! Even though it can be a little bit confusing as to where to start and what to get, with the helpful guide we’ve created, all of those questions go out the door! With it, you’ll be able to get the right wooden outdoor furniture for your home and soak in the sun in style!


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