Beware of imitations!

Teak wood is highly valued around the world for its many uses. Due to its resistance to moisture and rot, it is a popular material, especially outdoors. Teak is used, among other things, for terraces, yacht floors or sun loungers that have to withstand the effects of the weather. Although plantation-grown teak is a more affordable, sustainable, and accessible option than reclaimed teak from endangered Southeast Asian forests, there are some lumber projects that can use another form of hardwood in place of teak. These alternative hardwoods have distinct advantages and disadvantages, and only a seasoned woodworking professional can decide if one of them is truly appropriate for a project that calls for teak's unique properties.
The closest alternative to teak comes from the contested rainforests of Southeast Asia: Shorea. This particular tropical hardwood is similar in weight and hardness to teak and has a comparable density. It has a tight grain and is suitable for detailed carving. Thanks to its high oil content, it is largely resistant to rot and insect infestation. When fresh, Shorea has a slightly golden hue that can be maintained with a quick varnish. Left untreated, the color will fade over time to a silvery gray not dissimilar to that of aged teak.
Despite its many similarities to the more expensive wood, Shorea is more affordable than teak due to the simple laws of supply and demand. Despite increasing demand from buyers looking for viable alternatives to teak, Shorea plantations are able to supply sufficient amounts of timber to meet their needs.
Unlike its more expensive counterpart, Shorea timber has long been subject to more stringent timber harvesting regulations, providing adequate protection for Shorea stocks in Southeast Asia. Unless investors provide the capital necessary to spread teak plantations as widely as Shorea does, the alternative hardwood's biggest advantage is its availability.
Also known as "African Teak" or Kambala, Iroko is an extremely tough hardwood from West Africa that is sometimes referred to as "poor man's teak". It shares similar properties including strength, hardness and resilience. Iroko typically grows to 150 feet in height and 7 feet in diameter, allowing for a large amount of wood to harvest. While iroko is less pliable than teak, this property can be neglected for most outdoor applications. Iroko is a mineral rich wood and is therefore abrasive to cutting tools, but with the right equipment this shortcoming can be overcome.
With its medium brown heartwood, lighter sapwood and wavy grain, Iroko looks different than teak. It can be polished to a high gloss, which emphasizes its warm golden brown hue. Although iroko is not yet widely used in shipping, its price - about a third of the price of teak - makes it an attractive alternative to consider.
Please keep these points in mind when looking at cheaper offers pretending to be teak online, as there have been many scare stories from customers who have received an inferior product. At Luxus we have specialized exclusively in high-quality teak furniture.