The golden beauty of Teak combines with its remarkable degree of water resistance to make it perfect for boat building — and so much more! This unique Burmese lumber species is an excellent fit for siding, decks, and docks. However, since Burma is the only place to source old-growth Teak, availability is a definite concern. As the leading U.S. Teak importer, J. Gibson McIlvain currently possesses a sizeable inventory of Teak, but due to current political uncertainty and ever-changing Burma-U.S. relations, we simply cannot predict how long we’ll be able to maintain that inventory.
Despite its well-known golden brown coloring, Teak can appear quite streaky and discolored when it’s freshly milled. With sun exposure and time, its appearance undergoes a mellowing process that arrives at that consistent, golden destination which we all know and love. The color isn’t the only thing that we love about Teak’s appearance, though: its remarkably straight grain allows Teak to appear seamlessly matched across wide surfaces.
As gorgeous as Teak looks, this lumber species wouldn’t be nearly as popular as it is, were it not for its durability and water resistance. One factor that allows Teak to stand up to the elements so well is its silica content, something that results from the sandy soil in which it grows. Added to that silica, the wood’s natural oils further contribute to its ability to resist water while also helping to repel insects. Teak wood embodies great strength and stability, allowing it to perform well in close clearances and to retain its shape after milling.
As you can imagine, Teak’s qualities make it ideal for both marine applications and other exterior projects. Whether you’re using Teak for building yachts or for constructing a dock or deck, siding or windows, you’ll benefit from its water resistance and stability - never mind its unmatched beauty! In many ways, the availability of above-grade Teak for other applications is due to the extremely specific requirements of boat builders; any high-quality Teak used for other projects in some ways comes to use as a by-product of the boat-building industry.
One issue that’s unique to Teak is that of re-drying. Teak usually arrives at our shores already kiln-dried to the European standard (approximately 12-15% moisture content). For exterior applications, you should be fine, as long as you give the Teak boards time to acclimate to your specific climate before installation. However, for interior applications or any with tight clearances, you’ll need to have the Teak re-dried to a much lower moisture level (6-8%).
The current Teak market is volatile, at best, due to great limitations by both the U.S. government and the Burmese government. While J. Gibson McIlvain will continue to stock as much Teak as possible, we have no control over whether we are able to receive more. If you’re interested in using FEQ Burmese Teak for an upcoming project, we highly recommend placing your order as soon as possible.
Our Teak inventory currently includes many lengths and thicknesses of Teak, including boards topping 20 feet long and measuring more than 24 inches wide.