Summer is in full swing; restrictions are lifting, and garden parties are becoming increasingly popular once more. Some gardens have been neglected for the past year, so now is the perfect time to start making improvements. Building bespoke furniture is the perfect solution to overhauling your outdoor space this summer. When planning the construction of your pieces, you will want to make sure you’re selecting the best timber for outdoor furniture. There are lots of options available when it comes to choosing timber and many things to think about. Timber 2 U Direct are here to a lend a helping hand with that decision. 

What do I need to consider?

It’s not simply the type of wood you need to think about but the properties that the wood holds. Is it going to last for years to come? Is it strong and sturdy? Depending on what furniture you are using it for, the answers to this may differ. 

Weather and insects

If you are keeping these new garden additions outside all year round, you will need to think about how the timber you’re choosing stands up to rot. You will also want to research whether the wood you are going to purchase will be resistant to insects. Denser timbers will prevent insects biting through and causing permanent damage. The more resistant your timber is to insects and rot, the less upkeep you will have to perform. 

Living in the UK unfortunately means we are prone to long periods of wet weather. When choosing the best timber for outdoor furniture, you should take this into account. The timber you purchase must be able to withstand heavy rainfall and not absorb too much water. If you choose a timber that retains water, your outdoor furniture won’t last as long or be as durable as it could be.

Aesthetics

Whichever timber you choose, you want to make sure it looks good, fits with the current theme you have in your garden and stands out for all the right reasons. Wood is timeless and has been used by people for aesthetic purposes for centuries. There are so many colours and textures that you can choose from. Some types of wood, even change colour as they age, so this is something to keep in mind!

Durability

Because you will be using your timber to build outdoor furniture, the durability of your material is paramount. You will need to choose a wood that will stand wear and tear for many years and if possible, need minimal maintenance. 

Types of wood

Cedar is a very resistant wood and is perfect for avoiding the rot and insect damage we were talking about. It does not crack when it retains moisture, which will ensure it ages beautifully. It also requires minimal maintenance, making it a brilliant fit for those who don’t have time to look after their outdoor furniture. 

One of the most popular choices and considered by some to be the best timber for outdoor furniture, is Teak. It is waterproof, durable and resistant to sunlight. It is also an aesthetically pleasing wood. This wood does not attract any dirt and is also unaffected by insects. You can leave teak furniture out in any weather condition and not worry too much about it being affected. Due to the durability of this timber, it is a slightly more expensive option. It is however, worth the investment long term. Teak outdoor furniture will last for many years continually providing high performance.

Iroko is quite similar to teak – both provide incredible strength and durability; you may however, need to perform a little maintenance with this timber. You can buy special oil that prevents ageing, discolouration and it can also be used to repel water. This just gives your outdoor furniture a little extra protection. 

European Oak is a very popular choice for outside furniture and is usually used for many outdoor projects. A lot of people use this timber for their decked areas and for landscaping. It has impeccable longevity and won’t need to be replaced for years. It has a natural strength to it that can take a lot of wear and tear compared to other timbers.

Protecting your outdoor furniture 

Even though some of the woods we have mentioned are incredibly durable, it always helps to air on the side of caution. Long lasting outdoor furniture needs a good finish. Sanding your furniture once complete can help to smooth out any uneven parts, but be careful not to sand too much as you don’t want to expose imperfections of the wood. After this has been completed, apply a finish coat. One with UV protectants is always a good option helping to seal the timber and protect it further.

The timbers listed in this blog post mostly require minimal maintenance, however you will need to bear in mind that sealing your furniture requires reapplication. The elements will eventually take their toll on your chosen protectant after a year or so and the seal will have worn away. 

Timber 2 U Direct concludes

There is no one definitive answer to which is the best timber for outdoor furniture, it is all up to personal preference. It depends on what you’re using it for, how much maintenance you want to carry out and your budget. Whatever timber you decide to go with for your project, make sure you buy from a trusted supplier. This will allow you to get the best quality wood for your garden furniture.

Timber 2 U Direct are the online trading arms of leading UK timber supplier and trader Brooks Bros LTD, we offer a wide range of timber supplies for outdoor furniture projects. All of the materials on our site are made to measure and can be delivered directly to your door. Ready to start building your outdoor furniture? Get in touch with our team today!