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Updated November 13, 2020
Looking into teak flooring pros and cons? Ooh la la. Of all thetypes of wood flooring you could choose, teak is one of the most elegant. With a deep brown tone and a long, even grain, teak just looks like luxury.
Imagine waking up on a yacht. The boat rocks gently as waves lap at the hull. You crack one eye open, then the other. As your bare feet step out onto the sun-drenched teak deck, you wonder to yourself: “why haven’t I installed teak in my house so I can feel this pampered every day?”
Below, we’re going to take a closer look at all the teak flooring pros and cons there are so you can decide whether it’s right for you. We’ll cover all of teak’s unique characteristics—durability, water-resistance, and more—plus sustainability concerns, cost, and maintenance needs. What are the pros and cons of teak flooring? Let’s find out.
Have you ever seen what a rambunctious labrador can do to pine flooring? You don’t want to. And while dog nails (or even human shoes) can absolutely wreck other types of wood flooring, teak can handle rough treatment like nobody’s business. Teak is like a Honey Badger. Honey Badger don’t care, and neither does teak.
Teak flooring keeps termites and bugs at bay.
When it comes to teak flooring pros and cons, this one is firmly in the “pro” category. Termites will eat teak if they have no other choice, but they’d really rather not. In areas where termite damage is a concern, teak has an advantage because its oils make it naturally termite-repellant.Your move, bugs.
Teak is naturally water-repellent.
If you’ve ever been inside of a sauna or on the deck of a yacht (we should be so lucky), you’ve probably seen teak. That’s because teak contains natural oils that make it a naturally water-resistant wood flooring option. Seriously! Teak resists water, making it perfect for kitchen, bathroom, or even mudroom flooring.
As the beloved Beyonce Knowles might say, teak “woke up like this: flawless.” And we couldn’t agree more. Teak is one of those floors that absolutely knocks the socks off of anyone who sees it. With its deep honey colors and long, even grain, teak is almost unparalleled in the looks department. Teak flooring pros and cons? Please. More like teak flooring pros, pros, and more pros.
You don’t have to varnish or stain teak floors.
Maybe the best thing about teak flooring is that you don’t have to varnish or stain it to make it gorgeous. You don’t even have to sand it if you don’t want to. Thanks to its long grain, teak won’t splinter—so if you’re so inclined, you can leave it as is. And thanks to its natural oils, teak offers a luxurious glossy sheen even without stain or varnish.
Are you thinking what we’re thinking? Sunroom flooring, anyone? Or how about teak flooring in a three-seasons room? After all, teak is perfect for bare feet coming in from the pool. Forget the pros and cons of engineered bamboo—if you want a strong, gorgeous, and pre-finished material, you couldn’t do better than teak.
That’s doubly true when it comes to exotic woods like teak, because engineered products use less solid exotic wood. And don’t worry—the disadvantages of engineered wood are minor compared to their advantages.
Teak flooring can be installed traditionally or as a floating floor.
Of course, our list of teak flooring pros and cons can’t be all “pros”. As with all things, there are some drawbacks when it comes to teak flooring. These are some of the disadvantages of teak that you should look out for.
Buyer beware: not all teak is ethically sourced.
So, here’s the thing. Teak flooring can be ethically sourced from countries around the world, including the United States. But that teak comes at a price.
As a result, unethically sourced teak is often ripped from protected forests and shipped around the world to be sold at a discount. This is a huge issue when it comes to deforestation and habitat destruction. Our advice? Only buy teak that’s certified by the Forestry Stewardship Council.
Ethically sourced teak is sustainably harvested and often imported from Asia. Both of these factors contribute to teak’s reputation as one of the most expensive types of hardwood flooring. Strict management of teak resources means that teak is always in demand. It’s rare, and that comes at a premium. You can expect to pay an average of $7 per square foot for teak products. When we’re breaking down teak flooring pros and cons, it doesn’t matter how you slice it—this one is firmly in the latter category.
Time can dull your floor’s shine (but it doesn’t have to).
Over time, teak can lose some of its oils, dulling the exotic wood’s natural shine. However, applying teak oil to your floor every 2 to 3 years will keep it looking new. Our opinion: using a rich teak oil on your floor every couple of years is not a high price to pay to keep your teak looking chic.
All things being equal, we think the advantages of teak flooring far outweigh its disadvantages. But as always, the choice is up to you. Either way, we hope this guide has given you everything you need to know about teak flooring so you can decide whether it’s right for your home.
Here’s our final piece of advice: when you’re ready to buy your new floors, don’t go to a big box store. Instead, find a flooring store in your area and work with them. Independent flooring retailers are total professionals—they can give you more (and better) information and quality than a box store clerk ever could.
And if you need some more information on all things flooring, make sure to check out:
Best known for being “not that kind of doctor” and never knowing which fork to use, Sara is a learning designer and writer, former real estate agent, and builder with a penchant for home design and remodeling.
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