Teak Flooring Pros And Cons

If you have entered colonial homes, you must have encountered those classic and shiny wood floorings exuding that warm glow from its rich brown color.

If yes, chances are, you have seen the ethereal teak flooring. It is a known fact that teak flooring has effortlessly made its way to the top tier of the wood flooring hierarchy.

However, its status does not come without cons and if you are planning on installing teak flooring, you must first know its pros and cons. 

Related: Pros and cons of pine flooring

What is teak flooring?

Teak flooring is considered one of the most durable wood flooring in the range of hardwood floors. Its wood panels come from teak wood which is considered the sturdiest deciduous hardwood found in Southeast Asia. 

Although it comes with a high price, it is still one of the most preferred wood floorings because it is water and insect resistant. As a matter of fact, teak flooring is one of the few hardwoods that can be used in sauna baths, bathrooms, and open patio decks. It also maintains its natural shine for a long time. 

Read: Types of flooring

Teak flooring pros

Known for its attractive glow and overall appearance, teak flooring also comes with the following benefits. 

Does not wear off easily

Teak is considered as one of the most durable wood ever. With this, teak floorings are generally resistant to dents and scratching even under heavy foot traffic. So even if you have kids playing around or rowdy pets playing in the living room or in the hallway, wearing off can be the least of your concern. 

While it has high oil retention, it is recommended that teak oil be applied every three years for it to maintain its shine. 

Visual appeal

Aside from being durable, it is also one of the most attractive wood floorings that you will see. Its color is a rich brown with a warm glow and unlike other wood floorings, its grain follows a straight pattern. It is well-suited in homes with traditional designs and in cabins or highland, rustic rest houses. 

Part of its visual appeal is its long-lasting shine, thanks to its organic oils retained in the wood. As a matter of fact, it is said that as the teak wood ages, the more that it will become shiny. With this, you no longer need to stain it or apply sealants on it because it is naturally shiny. 

Insect and water resistance

Due to its natural oils too, teak wood is water-resistant. Its sturdiness and resin content do not allow moisture to creep in. If you live in a damp or cold location, you might consider applying a thin coat of sealing to your teak to prevent damage from over-moisture.

However, this is not required because overall, unsealed teak will be as durable and water-resistant and will just turn into a silver-gray color in moisture. This is the reason why teak flooring is also used in bathrooms and in deck patios. 

Its natural sturdiness and its ability to retain natural oils are also the reasons why it is insect-resistant. You will never have to worry about termites munching on your flooring because the wood is generally unwanted by fungi and many destructive insects. 

Teak flooring cons

Image credit: ecgirl007

Of course, teak flooring also has its fair share of cons. Hence, here are some things that you should be wary about if you consider teak flooring. 

Not sustainable

Since it is hardwood, it means that it is very slow-growing. As matter of fact, conservation acts have been mandated to prohibit overharvesting teak woods because it takes 80-100 years before they reach maturity. And given the demand for teak wood, this will lead to its extinction.

At present, it has been declared as an endangered tree species and international laws have banned the export of teak woods. 

To address this gap, common teak was cultivated. However, they do not have the same sturdiness as the teak and are even considered as softwood. 

Too expensive

Because of its long-lasting benefits, some homeowners still go for teak albeit the conservation laws that come with it. Because it is an export wood from Asia, installing teak flooring will cost you at least $9-18 per square foot. This is a high-end flooring choice if you compare it to traditional hardwood floorings of oak or maple which will only cost $4-8 per square foot. 

And the price does not stop there. Since teak is heavier and denser than most hardwoods, installing it will take more time, precision, and people to work with it. This would significantly add to the overall installment cost of teak wood flooring. 

How do you care for teak flooring?

Image credit: Pro Teak

Teak wood flooring also follows the same maintenance techniques applied to other wood floorings. Thus, to take care of your teak, here are some pointers to remember: 

Wipe spills immediately

To stain spots and discoloration in your teak flooring, wipe spills immediately. 

Vacuum and mop properly

Regular vacuuming is recommended so that the dust particles coming from the wood grains will be eliminated. As for mopping, there are special requirements to follow. One, use a sponge-type mop, and two, use a hardwood cleaning solution. 

Oiling

We have mentioned that teak has high natural oil retention. However, extreme levels of foot traffic might pressure you to oil your teak flooring every six months. If foot traffic is high to moderate, oiling should be done annually. If foot traffic is low to very low, oiling can be done at 3-5years. 

How to clean teak flooring inside

For indoor teak flooring maintenance, here are the things that you should consider. 

In sweeping your teak flooring, you need to use a soft-bristled broom to sweep off dust and dirt. For stains in the flooring, use only sponge and hardwood solution. If hardwood solution is not available you may neutral soap in lukewarm water. 

To eliminate wearing, you may attach anti-scratch adhesives on your furniture’s feet. Putting carpets or mats under heavy furniture and appliances is also a big help. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Does Brazilian teak change color?

One of the most popular teak wood choices because of its sturdiness yet easy to work with, Brazilian teak has a distinct reddish-beige color. A slight color change is visible when this teak wood is stained. Oil finished Brazilian teak will have a dark brown color while staining it with water-based sealant will retain its natural color.

How much is acrylic teak indoor flooring per square foot?

Acrylic teak is harder and sturdier than Thai and Burmese teak because of its acrylic content. As such, it has a premium grade status making an acrylic teak indoor flooring cost from $12-15 per square foot. 

Is teak wood good for flooring?

Although it is a high-end flooring option, we could all concede that teak wood is good for flooring overall. It outweighs its installation cost because of its durability, longevity, resistance to wear, insects, and water, and its visually appealing look. 

Conclusion

Teak flooring is a choice between long-time benefits at an initially high price. But given its proven durability, longevity, natural shine, water and insect resistance, and low maintenance characteristic, it really should be considered a bargain. With its current status in the wild, teak wood harvesting has been banned to preserve the teak trees. Nonetheless, it is still a top-tier hardwood flooring and that branding is here to stay. 

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