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  • Writer's pictureJulie Bliss

When the boat comes in…the beauty of teak in a residential environment 

Last summer I spend a wonderful week in Turkey on a gulet, one of those fabulous sail boats you can hire or join that takes you around the beautiful Aegian waters for a week of utter relaxation under cloth and stars.  


One of the things I most fell in love with was the beauty of the natural wood these boats made and decked with and I’ve always wondered why this hasn’t been adopted more in the residential environment. 

If you’ve ever spent time on a proper boat, you’ll have marvelled at the gorgeous wooden decks that are both beautiful and unbelievably robust, withstanding all sorts of weather, water, salt, mould and everything else thrown at them.  

Traditional boat decking is almost always teak, an incredibly durable wood in the marine environment that has earned a serious reputation for longevity. 

Teak is a hard wood, now grown sustainably mainly in Indonesia, whose properties are as perfect for seafaring vessels as they are for use in a more domestic environment and while you don’t ordinarily think of teak in the home (post 1975), teak is still the wood of choice for outdoor furniture for the same reasons it’s used on boats. 

Why is this? Teak has a lot of very unique qualities that sets it apart from other hard woods:

  • It’s exceptionally hard wearing

  • It resists rot, fungi and mildew

  • It has high silica content which makes it naturally slip resistant

  • Its natural oils are pest resistant, meaning it can be grown without the use of insecticides and chemicals

  • It’s grown without artificial fertilisers and heavy irrigation, making it an eco-friendly choice

  • As long as you use a sustainable company, it’s both sustainable and responsible

Teak's marine credentials mean it's proven its worth in outdoor areas, such as decking, garden office, poolside or balcony…  However this dark wood, so well known for being extremely durable is also very hard to chip, dent or scratch, resistant to termite infestations, water, spills and stains, meaning its also the perfect material for high traffic interior areas in the home, particularly those homes with pets and children! 

There are several UK companies that specialise in teak flooring for inside the home, with a variety of parquet, herringbone and strip styles.  It’s utterly beautiful, warm and natural. 

So forget about 1970s teak veneer furniture. This wood is as contemporary as it gets: a modern, durable, sustainable and easy to maintain material that’s as perfect for domestic use as it is for boats.

I think it’s utterly beautiful and definitely worth considering for your home renovations. 

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