PARQUET IN TEAK AFRICA
Characteristics, advantages and some suggestions for its maintenance
African Teak flooring: origins of the tree
Plantation Teak grown in Africa deserves a particular attention. First attempts at this cultivation in Ivory Coast date back to the late 1920s, so it is possible to find plants that are around 90 years old. The plantation teak, therefore, grows well and with excellent results in the equatorial belt, but since the characteristics of the soil are different, the wood is drier and not oily like the Asian one. It is a plant that does not grow fast and is very resistant to disease.
Teak is also grown in some other African areas as well as in South America, but in this case the tree generally grows narrower, lower and has a reduced content of oily resin: this leads to lower rate of impermeability. For this reason, it becomes necessary to evaluate protective treatments.
Characteristics of the African Teak wood
Compared to the Asian one, the African variant is dry and non-oily, as it contains less resin, which makes it more similar to other types of wood. On the other hand, a positive aspect of African teak is that it is less expensive and more ecological.
African teak is a golden-brown wood that oxidizes strongly and that is subject to very high chromatic variations. After this natural process, it has a characteristic brownish-orange colour with shades that tend to golden, and becomes more uniform in time.
The oils within its fibres make it brilliant; its texture is medium fine, with neat grain. Teak has a medium-low hardness, it is not particularly subject to shrinkage and has a significant stability, especially when it is seasoned. For these reasons, African teak is more frequently used in the production of laminated wood.
Teak is easy to process, it behaves very well in the cutting, planing, shaping phases, precisely because of the compactness and density of its fibers. It mates easily with screws and nails.
The teak boards for outdoor should be treated in production with materials that further protect it. African teak parquet is highly appreciated aesthetically, but also for its characteristics of durability, resistance and stability.
Advantages of African Teak
The prerogatives of teak are many and this allow this wood to be employed successfully in several situations, environments and uses.
Teak’s dimensional stability is remarkable and this makes it particularly suitable to be widely used in the construction of parquet.
The choice of teak as parquet also comes from its elegance. In fact, the teak parquet has a fine texture and a fairly straight grain, enriched by marked and elegant veins.
African Teak floorings – uses of the wood
Teak was initially used on ships, both for planking and for deck flooring. Considering the particular characteristics of this wood, it was later used also for parquet, doors and windows, garden furniture and furniture.
Its easiness of processing makes it widely used in the construction of fine furniture, in cabinet making, in the production of carved products, for veneer.
Teak is a precious essence, renowned both for its aesthetic characteristics and for its mechanical and physical characteristics. For these reasons, it lends itself to a wide variety of uses, ranging from furniture, to construction and outdoor and interior flooring.
Despite the excellent characteristics, installers often decide to protect African teak parquet with water-repellent and / or stain-resistant treatments to preserve its natural beauty and slow down normal wear and tear due to the passage of time or environmental stress.
As a rule, a regular maintenance can prolong the life of this particular material. The greatest damage can be caused by atmospheric agents and improper use of chemicals and cleaning tools.
It is recommendable to clean the teak parquet with water and a sponge or rag to remove any stains. If you are performing an extraordinary cleaning, you can use a suitable detergent and a rag or a brush with soft bristles to remove deeper dirt. The use of hard bristle brushes is not recommended as it can damage the grain. In any case, it is always good to clean by rubbing perpendicular to the grain pattern to avoid defibration.
To maintain and revive the shine or to remedy any opacification, it is possible to use special oils that can be applied with the aid of a simple soft cloth.