Bark, sapwood and different grades of heartwood - Let´s talk a little about teak.

Teak is not just teak. It is actually a jungle of various qualities and degrees of bending. Here is a quick review of the different teak qualities you may encounter when buying balcony furniture.

Teak is particularly suitable for the production of outdoor furniture as the wood is very oily and has fungicidal properties. The natural oils also make the wood inedible to pests such as termites. It is a material that does not necessarily need much maintenance. If you choose not to oil your teak balcony furniture, it will get a greyish tint over time. Of course, this kind of patina has its charm, but if you maintain your teak furniture with teak oil, for example, the wood retains its dark and warm glow.

Teak wood is divided into different qualities: heartwood, sapwood and bark.

Heartwood is the innermost and so the best part of the teak, the colour is uniformly dark brown or reddish and has a surface that can appear almost shiny. Within the heartwood, there are further graduations, which are distinguished between Grade A or Grade AB (where a small amount of light wood is allowed). Grade A teak can be left untreated or oiled, and this quality can last up to 50 years.

Sapwood is the part of the wood that lies between the heartwood and the bark. The sapwood is full of living cells, and this is where water and nutrient salts are sent from the root up to the leaves. Sapwood is significantly lighter than heartwood, and the most inferior quality is called Grade C.

The bark, of course, is on the outside to protect the underlying sapwood and heartwood from drying out, infection and physical damage. It also directs the organic growth substances from the leaves to the branches, stem and roots. The bark from teak wood reportedly has excellent medicinal properties but cannot be used in furniture production.

Teak tree quality

Here you can see the clear difference between the dark and very oily heartwood, and the drier, and therefore brighter, sapwood.


At Balcony Living Cph, we only use durable A or AB wood - never the bad C quality. Lots of cheap furniture is made in the Grade C quality mentioned, but unfortunately, its durability is not very impressive, and the wood tends to crack. Typically, this quality costs 1/10 of the price of heartwood, which is why cheap teak furniture can also be produced.

See our large selection of teak balcony chairs here.
See our large selection of teak balcony tables here.