5 Woods for the Best Dining Table Set
Congratulations! Welcome to the world of outdoor dining tables. Our blogs about space heaters, water-feature pottery, and potted plants have all been building to this moment. These are great accessories, but the outdoor table rules over the patio, and you rule over the table. Take charge of your kingdom, don’t be a patio peon.
However, you need to be thoughtful when purchasing an outdoor dining table set. Even though the tables are designed to be outdoors, different tables are better suited to different environments. The type of wood is important depending on the temperature, humidity and weather in the place you live.
Types of Wood for Outdoor Dining Table Sets
Rotten wood will ruin an outdoor dining table set. The varnish will wear through, the legs will buckle, and the wood will slowly warp–each of which is expensive to replace or repair. To protect your investment–and the aesthetic of your patio–pay attention to which wood best suits you.
Ipe is uncommonly strong and hard to enough to literally bend nails. The wood comes from Brazil and is so dense that it actually sinks in water! For this reason, some people call it Witches-Wood in the US, since accused witches in 17th century New England were found guilty and executed if they sank in water. Dark days.
As part of an outdoor dining table set, however, Ipe is a top-of-the-line option. It is durable to the extreme and resists water, insects, and even fire. 50 years down the line, your grandchildren–or whoever bought it at your bankruptcy yard sale–will still be sharing a meal around this table.
Northern White or Western Red Cedar
Cedar is also used for building boats, so you will bet-your-bottom-dollar that it can handle the weather on your patio. The wood won’t rot or warp, and gains value over time. Veins of faint silver-gray outline the swirling knots and streak alongside the smooth grains as it ages. Beyond being durable, both types of cedar are lightweight and will retain their shape for up to 20 years. Humidity and rain won’t harm this outdoor dining table set, but it’s Achilles’s heel is extreme temperature. The expanding wood will start to show cracks if it is left in over 100-degree heat.
Teak boasts nearly the same durability as cedar, partly because of its density–the other part is pure grit. Teak has also been used in ship-building and was used for building ancient Greek landing boats. Some of us actually need protection from bronze-tipped arrows, but it will certainly withstand your mismatched cutlery. The earthy brown wood is straight-grained and doesn’t require any sanding or long-term maintenance. The dark brown wood will last as long it washed and dusted as normal. However, it has been found to dry and crack if sugary drinks like soda are spilled on it. If the obesity epidemic hasn’t convinced people to stop buying soda, this certainly will.
That’s right patio people, eucalyptus isn’t just used to cover up the smell of sweat in a steam room and coax Koalas to take a picture with your kids. Eucalyptus is actually a hardwood with great resistance to moisture and rot. It does not last as long as cedar or teak, though, and the smooth dusty-red finish will begin to fade overtime. Compared to cedar and teak, eucalyptus is a much cheaper option as part of an outdoor dining table set. Try to put it somewhere in the shade, because long-term exposure to the sun will make the color fade faster. Consider covering your patio, but it is also lightweight and can be easily moved out of the sun.
Strong, beautiful, and less expensive than some of the other options, Redwood is a popular choice for outdoor furniture. The subtle red-brown color and gently swirling grain are unaffected by lacquer and varnish. It is not quite as durable than the other options, and needs semi-regular maintenance to prevent the wood from peeling and warping. However, a Redwood table will still last you 15+ years and is a great option for humid climates. The wood is not porous, so very little moisture can creep up in there to riot and rot. Keep some sandpaper and extra finish on hand, and you will have a beautiful table that won’t empty your wallet.
The Big Decision
Choosing the right wood is important, but it is a fairly easy process. A shopping trip to the hardware store is quick and painless as long as you know your climate and price point.
If you are interested in finding the best furniture for your patio, contact us at Premier Patio today!