If you’re thinking of installing teak hardwood flooring in your home, then you’re in the right place. Teak is one of the best and most popular types of hardwood flooring around. However, that does not mean it is the best choice for you. In this post, I’ll discuss teak flooring to help you decide if it’s the right flooring for your home.
We’ll cover the different species of teak, teak flooring prices, teak shower floor inserts, and the pros and cons. Enjoy.
What is Teak Flooring?
Teak flooring is known for its luxury and elegance, which makes them popular for luxurious homes and offices. It’s a beautiful wood with its rich dark reddish brown color to light brown color and dark brown/black streaks. The long grain patterns of teak hardwood add to its beauty, giving it a featherlike, wavy, engaging, and delicate design. Once teak flooring is finished, it retains the shiny appearance for years to come.
Apart from its beauty, teak flooring is known for its durability. Teak wood also has natural oils that enhance its water resistance properties and naturally resist termites and other bugs.
Teak Wood Flooring Species
There are different species of teak wood available for flooring. The classification of teak wood is based on the growth habit and region, botanical name, and grade. Below are some popular teak hardwood species used in flooring.
- Burmese Teak – Burma or Burmese teak comes from the naturally growing trees in the forest of Burma, now known as Myanmar. This teak wood is one of the best quality available in the market. With a Janka hardness rating of 1000, it is hard enough to make it durable and strong. It also has a high amount of natural oils, making it resistant to most wood pests. Burmese teak is dark golden with darker strikes but gets darker as it ages.
- Brazilian Teak – Also known as Golden Teak or Cumaru, Brazilian teak is one of the hardest hardwoods in the world with a Janka hardness rating of 3540. When used in flooring, the Brazilian teak can take on almost anything. Whether it’s surface dings and bumps, pests, water, and moisture, the Brazilian teak is one of the the most durable flooringe. Although Brazilian teak is referred to as ‘teak wood,’ it is not real teak wood.
Teak Hardwood Flooring Prices
Teak hardwood flooring can last for decades to come. It also has good qualities as hardwood flooring, which influences its price. On average, teak hardwood flooring will cost you $9 to $13 per sq. ft. Compared to other American hardwoods, which cost considerably less. The installation cost of teak flooring is $7 on average.
To save on the cost, teak hardwood flooring is also available as an engineered hardwood flooring option, which is cheaper. It is also DIY friendly, which saves on installation costs.
Teak Shower Floor Inserts
Is teak flooring in the shower? Instead of installing teak flooring in the entire bathroom, a teak shower floor is a mat or insert of individual teak slats attached. The shower floor insert can then be rolled into and out of the shower as needed. A teak shower floor insert can also take the form of planks, tiles, or a custom-designed one. Below is before and after a teak shower floor insert is installed in a shower/bathroom.
The first reason to use a teak flooring shower insert is that teak wood is associated with luxury. Second, like tile flooring, it is comfortable to step on and does not get cold during the winter months. Third, compared to tile flooring is grippy, making your shower safer compared to regular slidey ceramic tiles.
One downside of the shower insert is the maintenance. It will require occasional polishing to keep it in good shape. Some which do not cover the whole floor area can create breeding grounds for bacteria, although this can be avoided by removing them and cleaning between the slats.
Pros of Teak Flooring
Teak is one of the most durable floors around. Although the Janka rating is inconsistent among the different teak species, all are durable. Burmese teak is great, while Brazilian teak can take on anything you throw. Teak flooring does not splinter even with age, reducing the need for area rugs or carpets.
With minimal maintenance, you can expect teak flooring to last many years enough to enjoy a beautiful aged look.
When it comes to aesthetics, teak flooring is hands down one of the best out there. Its rich brown color with a warm color compliments most homes effortlessly. Its straight and even grain adds to the beauty giving teak flooring a luxurious and premium look. Teak will look great on your traditional home, cabin, yacht decks, or rustic rental home.
Apart from the aesthetics, teak flooring has a lasting shine. Since teak wood is rich in oils, it looks shiny even without applying a finish to it. The wood will retain its oils for a long time, so homeowners can skip finishes and install it with its natural look. Lightly oiling and polishing the flooring every two to three years will keep it in great condition for a long time.
Water and Pest Resistant
Another plus for teak’s natural oils is that it makes the flooring water-repellent and keeps termites and bugs at bay. If you’ve been inside a yacht, you’ve probably seen teak flooring. When properly treated, teak flooring is unlikely to suffer from water or humidity. This also makes teak flooring ideal for kitchens, bathrooms, saunas, or even mudroom flooring.
Apart from water, insects and pets are also repelled by teak hardwood. The oils make for a great pest repellant, while the hardness or the hardwood makes it unappealing to most pests.
Cons of Teak Flooring
In the US, teak hardwood flooring comes with a hefty price tag because it is imported. Most of the teak wood is sourced from Asia. The labor, shipping, and other logistical costs influence its price tag here. The strict management of teak resources also means it is always in high demand and thus demands a higher price.
For teak hardwood flooring, you can expect to churn out an average of $9 to $13 per sq. ft, which is higher than locally available hardwood flooring options. However, this is a small price to pay, considering the numerous benefits of teak flooring and its durability.
One of the main concerns when buying teak flooring is the environmental issue. Teak is hardwood, which means it is slow growing and could take 80-120 years to reach maturity. Heavy logging and use of teak is a concern, and in fact, two species of teak flooring are now endangered. To make sure you’re ethically buying teak flooring, seek FSC certification on your purchase.
Planted teak offers a sustainable option, and because of demand and economic reasons, it is harvested after 40 to 60 years of age. This means it is softer and lacks the durability of matured teak hardwood.
Not All Teak is the Same
When referring to teak hardwood, we normally talk about the Burma teak, scientifically known as Tectona grandis. This is the only true teak available in the market. However, other tree species are referred to as teak. A good example is the Brazilian teak (cumaru), African teak (iroko), and Chinese teak (Robinia). All these are grouped as teak because they share many qualities with the original teak. However, some, like the Brazilian teak, are stronger.