As the Teak market continues to remain open, with uncertainty on the horizon, there will continue to be an abundance of suppliers getting in on the action. As you consider getting your Teak from a formerly unknown dealer, there are a few things you need to make sure you communicate about — or you could make a very costly mistake. One area where mistakes can easily be made is regarding size. We talked about that issue in Part 1. Another one is moisture content.
Know the Kind of Teak You Need
When you request a quote, you should always be ready to answer some questions about the project you have in mind. Part of the equation will, undoubtedly, be tied to whether you need it for interior or exterior use. Teak intended for exterior use that doesn’t require precise joinery (siding and decks, for instance) will typically be kiln dried to a moisture content between 12 and 15%. This wetter European standard is typical for exotic lumber species such as Teak.
By contrast, if you intend to use the Teak for interior use or applications requiring great precision (trim work or yacht building, perhaps) you will need Teak that’s been re-dried to a lower moisture level between 6 and 8%; otherwise, you’ll have to deal with some potentially tragic movement issues. Of course, you can expect re-dried Teak to cost more, since it will require not only more lead time and the associated costs that come with added drying, but also additional waste.
When you request a quote, never assume anything; if your dealer doesn’t ask you what moisture content you require, be sure to ask them what the moisture content is of the Teak for which they’ve quoted you a price. Again, this goes back to that conversation you should be having about exactly how you plan to use the Teak lumber you’re buying.
Use a Supplier You Can Trust
While the tips we’ve given in this post and the previous one will help steer you away from potentially problematic lumber suppliers or misunderstandings, you could also avoid the tremulous situation of risking your project — and your hard-earned cash — that comes with trying out a new unproven supplier you’re not sure you can trust. (You know where we’re going with this, don’t you?) J. Gibson McIlvain Lumber has a long track record going back many generations with a reputation for quality that has kept customers coming back, year after year and decade after decade.
As a general rule, J. Gibson McIlvain re-dries Teak (and other exotic hardwood lumber species) to lower moisture levels; however, since sometimes our customers can deal with higher moisture levels, we reserve some of our Teak for those applications, saving our customers money where they can.