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Adirondack Chairs: What Type of Wood is Best?

Special considerations must be taken into account when selecting outdoor furniture. Below is a look at the advantages and disadvantages of different types of wood commonly used in Adirondack chairs. Read on to discover what type of wood is best for your Adirondack chairs.

Teak

Teak is an extremely hard wood that is known to last as long as 70 years, even when left out in the elements. Special oil in the teakís heartwood is responsible for the timberís incredible longevity. Teak will not crack, split or rot, even in rough climates. It is also insect resistant. However, to keep teak looking its best, it is wise to apply a teak sealant at least once a year.

Teak Adirondack chairs are sought after for their maintenance-free beauty and incredible durability. One downside to this material is its price; because teak is available only in limited parts of the world, and because there is a high demand for it, teak furniture can cost quite a bit more than other options. A teak Adirondack chair can easily cost $700 or more.

Choose a teak Adirondack chair if: You hate maintaining wood but love how it looks, or if you plan to leave your Adirondack chair outside all year long. Teak is a wonderful choice for those who worry about wood rotting after extended contact with the earth Ė assuming you seal it every now and then, teak will not rot, even if directly touching the soil.

Pine

The great thing about pine is that itís affordable. An unfinished pine Adirondack chair can be purchased for around $150. Additionally, many people love the bright, unfinished look of pine, which fades to a silvery gray over time.

However, because pine is a soft wood, it is liable to become scratched and dinged with use. Moreover, pine can easily rot and become infested with insects if left outdoors all year. To prevent this, owners of pine Adirondack chairs must refinish, re-stain and reseal them every year or two.

Choose a pine Adirondack chair if: You are willing to perform regular maintenance, and youíre looking for an affordable Adirondack chair.

Cedar

In some ways, cedar is right between teak and pine. Itís a very durable wood thatís resistant to insects and rot. As with teak, a special oil (cypressene) in the heartwood of cedar prevents decay and protects the tree against insects.

Cedar Adirondack chairs are a great choice for people who live in wet climates. The cedar tree naturally adjusts to surrounding moisture conditions, so its wood is well suited to drizzly places like the Pacific Northwest. You can either allow cedar outdoor furniture to fade to a lovely gray, or, if you hope to prolong the original red glow of cedar timber, you can apply a stain containing a mildewcide and sealant. Price-wise, cedar Adirondack chairs start at around the same cost as their pine counterparts.

Choose a cedar Adirondack chair if: You donít mind doing a little maintenance from time to time, you live in a wet climate, and you love the red tone of cedar.

Oak

Oak is one of the most popular hardwoods on the planet. Itís heavy, durable and beautiful. However, itís less resistant to rain damage than cedar, so if you purchase an oak Adirondack chair you will definitely need to refinish and reseal it regularly.

If you spill something on an oak Adirondack chair, you will need to clean it up right away, or else you may be left with a permanent stain. Direct sun may cause streaks or darkening of oak timber, so if you buy an oak chair, be sure to place it in a shady spot or apply sun-resistant stain. Price-wise, oak Adirondack furniture costs about the same as pine and cedar.

Choose an oak Adirondack chair if: You love the solid, heavy feel of oak and youíre willing to put in a little elbow grease to maintain a beautiful finish.

PolyWood

Ok, so this isnít a true wood, but many sitters canít tell the difference between PolyWood and the real thing. PolyWood is an environmentally friendly material made of recycled plastic. HDPE plastics Ė the kind in milk jugs and laundry detergent bottles Ė are sanitized and then pressed into tough board stock.

Beyond the fact that recycled PolyWood decreases forestation and cuts carbon dioxide levels, this material offers many benefits. First, itís completely maintenance-free, and at a fraction of the cost of teak. PolyWood will not split, rot or become infested with insects. Stains almost never set into Polywood. And if you prefer Adirondack chairs in a beautiful bright color, the tone of PolyWood chairs will not fade under sunlight. Because you donít have to lift a finger to maintain a PolyWood Adirondack chair , the cost is a tad higher Ė expect to pay about $100 more for a PolyWood chair over an oak, pine, or cedar chair.

Choose a PolyWood Adirondack chair if: Your furniture will be left out in the elements, and you hate maintenance; you canít afford teak, but you still want its durability; or youíre the type of person who loves to add color to beautify your home.