The Terrific Take on Teak Veneer

wood veneerThe word “teak” was derived from the Malayalam word “thekku” and in Bengali, India, is called “segun.” Tectona grandis is the scientific name of teak, which belongs to the Lamiaceae family of wood. Teak is a big, flower-bearing deciduous tree found in mixed hardwood forests. Its flowers are white and fragrant, and its leaves are almost flimsy in texture. Freshly milled teak wood often smells like leather.

Teak is grown mainly in tropical countries, with the primary producer of teak veneer and other teak wood products being Indonesia. Other countries where teak is naturally grown are Burma (Myanmar), Thailand, India and Malaysia. Africa and several regions in the Caribbean also cultivate teak for furniture and luxury products.

Uses and Properties of Teak Wood

Teak wood is valued not only for its good looks, but also for its incredible durability. The natural oils it produces make it resistant to termites and other pests. Even if untreated, teak veneer will turn silvery grey, not rot or warp due to water exposure, which is why it’s often used for outdoor furniture, woodcarvings and shipbuilding. Boat builders love teak; since its natural oils repel water, it can be used for many different parts of the boat, both inside and on deck. It can also be finished with oil like linseed or tung oil or it can be varnished.

wood veneerTeak veneer is frequently used where solid teak was once employed, such as in furniture, flooring, paneling, ship decking, automobile and airplane interiors—even as decorative inlays on musical instruments.

Burmese teak is known for its uniform, straight grain and lustrous golden color called honey teak. Most other teak is streaked with rich brown chocolate color markings and referred to as contrasty teak. Golden teak commands a higher price than contrasty teak.

Find Veneer Manufacturers Responsible about Teak Wood Sources

Although wild-grown solid teak grown is obtainable, manufacturers who take their ecological responsibilities seriously prefer to acquire teak grown in managed forests. This causes far less impact on the earth’s rainforests, helping to retain biodiversity and limit global warming. Buying responsibly grown and harvested teak veneer is the wisest choice you can make, so look for a supplier that advocates responsible forest management.

wood veneerIn some countries in remote areas teak logs are still moved by majestic elephants to nearby rivers, where the teak logs are tied together and floated down rivers to be collected and piled into parcels on the log yard for auction.

Teak veneer is sliced from large logs. The thicknesses produced vary from 1/125” (.15mm) up to 1/8”  (3.2mm) with the average being 1/50”(.5mm) to 1/16” (1.6mm) This veneer can be purchased  as raw veneer in bundles cut from the same log, called flitches, or backed  faces for easy installation. Veneer makes it possible to use a small amount of this exotic wood to cover large surfaces, which significantly reduces the cost of your finished project.

 

Sabrina Parisette-HerzogSabrina Parisette-Herzog is a 5th generation wood veneer specialist. Owner and President of Herzog Veneers, Inc., and a graduate of Middlebury College in Vermont, she and her husband Sam started the company in High Point, NC in 1982.
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