Now that the trade embargo with Myanmar is no longer in place, there have been some exciting developments in the Teak market. New suppliers are clamoring to get in on the action. Due to the unpredictable nature of the Myanmar government, there’s no certainty as to how long the window of opportunity for importing this valuable hardwood from that country will remain open. Burmese Teak has had a reputation for being the best in the world for many years. As long as Myanmar’s market was closed, serious buyers had to settle for the next best thing, such as Indonesian, Indian, or Cote d’Ivoire Teak, to name some of the other most desirable countries of origin. Now that premium Burmese Teak is available, there are a few additional variables to consider when it comes to making sure you’re purchasing top-notch Teak.
In these two articles, we’ll take an in-depth look at how to distinguish between acceptable and exceptional Teak lumber.
Lumber Size is an Important Factor to Consider
Teak is somewhat unique in the way it’s sold according to measurement. It ends up sort of as a cross between the way rough sawn lumber and S4S dimensional product are sold. Unlike some other tropical hardwoods, Teak comes in a wide selection of lengths, widths, and thicknesses. Similar to dimensional softwoods, each of the different Teak sizes have prices assigned to them according to current market conditions. Rough sawn Teak does, however, allow for some wiggle room when it comes to the length and width of the individual pieces of lumber that come in the various bundles.
The most critical thing to remember when it comes to the size of your Teak lumber order is not to allow too much overage. Since it can be quite pricey, you’ll want to avoid as much overage purchase as you possibly can without cutting it too close for comfort. Be aware that you’ll need to leave a little extra room in your budget for fluctuation in price due to the common variations in size and quantity of Teak lumber bundles.
If you’re not sure exactly how long, wide, or thick the Teak boards you need for your project need to be, you can’t expect your lumber dealer to give you a very specific price quote. If, on the other hand, you do have a certain lumber size and volume figure in mind, you may want to get more than one quote. Both dealers should give you similar quotes. If one dealer’s prices are much higher than the other dealer’s prices, chances are they may be trying to price gouge you.
Once you’ve determined the size of Teak lumber you need and you’ve found a reputable supplier who offers fair prices, its time to consider another important factor: kiln drying. We’ll tackle this topic in our second article in this series. Hopefully, after reading the information in these two articles, you’ll be better equipped to make a wise decision when it comes to your next Teak lumber purchase.