It’s no secret that FEQ Burmese Teak is in limited supply these days. While you don’t want to wait too long to place your Teak order, you don’t want to rush it, either: before you buy, be sure to ask any supplier a few questions to make sure you’re getting precisely the Teak wood which your project requires.
What Size Do You Need?
Okay, so at first this might seem like a no-brainer question, but you may or may not realize that Teak is measured in a unique way. It’s not exactly sold like S4S dimensional products, but not quite like rough sawn boards, either. While Teak board sizes will be closer to the size of your finished product (and Teak is priced most like dimensional softwoods), it is still rough-sawn lumber. As a result, it will include plenty of variations, when it comes to both length and width, and it’s typically sold in bundles consisting of random size boards.
While you want to be careful not to purchase unnecessary board overage, you will need to purchase some extra. However, if you provide your supplier with the specific dimensions of your finished product, they’ll be able to give you a suitable price quote that you should be able to compare with quotes from other suppliers, if you so desire. (Of course, any major differences in price should be considered a “red flag.”) In addition to size, asking two more questions will help you either specifically compare prices of like Teak products or attain the exact amount and type of Teak you need.
Do You Need Re-Dried Teak?
Like the unique size situation of Teak, some customers don’t realize that most exotic lumber sold here in the U.S. has to be re-dried to lower moisture content. Before it arrives on our shores, it’s almost always already kiln-dried to European standards of 12-15% moisture content. (To compare, U.S. standards are 6-8% moisture content.) For most exterior applications, lumber dried to European standards will be fine, as long as you allow for acclimatization. For interior applications or jobs requiring great precision, re-drying will be needed; otherwise, you won’t be pleased with the kinds of major movement issues that come up.
When an application doesn’t require re-drying, of course you won’t want to deal with extra cost or waste associated with it; however, you definitely don’t want to settle for anything less than re-dried Teak if that’s what you need.
Does Your Supplier Know What You’re Building?
Your lumber supplier will be able to advise you about the right amount of overage to order, whether your project requires re-dried Teak, and more, if they know exactly what you’re planning to do with the Teak you purchase. Any good supplier will actually ask you about your plans before offering a quote or placing your order. J. Gibson McIlvain considers each order part of a conversation and re-dries most of our exotic lumber while refraining from drying some, for those customers whose applications don’t require the extra processing.