Teak has an excellent wear resistance and is very durable, making it a perfect option for decking and flooring with high traffic. It can however be difficult to work with, and its high silica content can cause blades to blunt rather quickly.
Teak has a very identifiable characteristic colour. The heartwood has black streaks running through a medium reddish brown base with a distinct contrasting sap wood which is a pale pinkish yellow. The texture is fine and even with a straight to interlocking grain.
Southern Africa, mainly Zimbabwe
15 – 20m
300 – 600mm
Average Dried Weight:
1,2 – 2.4m (300mm intervals)
22 x 110mm
Rhodesian Teak is one of the more beautiful decking timbers available due to its grain. Valued for decades as a decking timber due to its density, it is still frequently requested for decking projects but is not as available as in previous years. All Brown Teak is now fairly scarce with more Brown and White material coming onto the market. The “White” is in fact sapwood from the tree and is susceptible to insect and termite attack. Also due to the way this tree grows, lengths are often available from 1 200 – 2 400mm only.
Timber is an organic product, as such, many people don’t realise that timber performance can be measured and averaged. These numbers are well documented and accessible to the consumer. They can tell you all you need to know about what to expect from a particular timber. We believe your choices should be based on fact and not perception or “hear say”. To make it easier to decipher these numbers, we have placed a table below that compares the various hardwood decking timbers On The Deck supplies. We then decipher what each analysis effectively means to your particular project.
|Pine||Massaranduba||Red Balau||Garapa||Rhodesian Teak||Saligna||Cumaru|
|Janka Hardness (lbs)||710||3 130||1 600||1 650||2 990||1 260||3 540|
|Dry Weight (kg/m3)||515||1 080||850||820||890||640||1 085|
|Modulus of Rupture (MPA)||79.2||192.2||122.3||127.8||84.3||107.8||175.1|
|Elastic Modulus (GPA)||10.06||23.06||16.95||15.57||8.48||14.15||22.3|
|Shrinkage Radial (%)||3.4||6.7||5.5||4.2||2.6||5.9||5.3|
|Shrinkage Tangential (%)||6.7||9.4||10.1||7.5||4.5||10.1||7.7|
|Shrinkage Volumetric (%)||10.7||16.8||15.7||11.4||6.9||15.5||12.6|
|Durability Class Rating||Class 3*||Class 1*||Class 2*||Class 1*||Class 2*||Class 3*||Class 1*|
* Class 1 = Highly Durable | Class 2 = Durable | Class 3 = Moderately Durable
Timber being a natural and organic material means that each and every species is different and has unique properties which makes them suitable for a range of different applications and uses. We have simplified the main properties that are measured and put it into an easy to read and simplified version so that the numbers relate back to how the timbers perform.
As mentioned above, for decades South Africans thought of Teak as the benchmark for density. It is dense, as you can see from the numbers, but not on the level of Massaranduba or Cumaru.
Coming in at almost 900kg/m3, you can see why people valued it for its density.
Modulus of Rupture
Although still strong, it does not compare in structural strength to many of the other decking timbers.
The figure indicates its not great, however with the plank sizes being so short, this never really becomes an issue. Teak is not known for distorting or losing its shape when installed correctly.
Shrinkage and T/R Ratio
It is in this area that Rhodesian Teak outshines all its peers. This timber exhibits legendary stability and due to that stability we would say its one of the few timbers that clips can successfully be used with.