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Best Hardwoods for Outdoor Use

Different woods withstand different levels of weathering, so it’s important to select the right type for your needs. Wood has been used for furniture as long as humans have been around—and for a good reason. Its malleability, beauty, and versatility are just as appealing today as they were hundreds of years ago.

Natural wood is an excellent choice for adding warmth, texture, and beauty to your exteriors and garden. Hardwoods are generally superior materials for outdoor use. Typical outdoor hardwood applications are garden furniture, flower beds, trellises, fenceposts, house siding, and decking. The hardwood is subjected to insects, moisture, fungi, and direct sunlight in each of these applications. Timber typically requires chemical treatment to prevent decay. However, not all hardwoods have natural rot resistance that can survive the elements without chemical treatment. To ensure your choice of hardwoods can survive these conditions, especially with ground contact, select a hardwood known for having superior decay resistance. With eye-catching grains, earthy tones, and modular patterns, wood furniture creates the perfect aesthetic for any patio. What’s the best wood for outdoor furniture? So whether you’re looking to update your current set or are embarking on a new outdoor furniture project, read on for some helpful tips to make the right lumber choice for your wooden outdoor furniture projects.

White Oak

White Oak is a white-colored wood that has been used in many applications over the years. It is most commonly found throughout North America and is called white because of its white color, which can range from pale gray to yellowish brown. The white oak tree is known for being strong and durable with a closed grain making it resistant to staining and shrinking. It’s much less porous than its cousin red oak.


Teak is particularly easy to restore it's original color especially compared to other hardwoods like Ipe or Mahogany. Many designers and homeowners will agree that this pushes teak ahead of its alternatives, making it the best wood for outdoor furniture. Teak wood is best used in warm climates where it can soak up lots of sun. Its ability to deter insects and repel water from its natural oils means it won’t bend and warp as other woods might.


Mahogany is a classic choice for indoor furniture, and it’s no different when it comes to outdoor pieces. It has a beautiful reddish hue that will weather well over time and resist pests and decay. Mahogany is a hardwood and is best used in outdoor pieces where it can soak up lots of sun and be left outside for long periods such as decks, chairs, and tables.


This is a Brazilian wood that has been gaining in popularity. It is known for its durability and resistance to the elements, making it perfect for any outdoor furniture project. Ipe is a beautiful wood that has a reddish hue, giving it a warm look that will compliment any backyard. Due to its density ipe has excellent weathering characteristics. Because of its density, ipe doesn't tend to absorb moisture as much as other woods, making it highly resistant to fungal growth.


Traditionally, walnut furniture is made from black walnut wood. The heartwood has an attractive, dark brown color with a slight reddish hue. On its own or combined with lighter wood tones in the same piece of furniture, it’s an excellent choice for home decoration. It is usually medium to heavy in weight and density but can vary based on where it was grown and how it was dried after being cut from the tree. It is very durable and strong, which makes it ideal for furniture.

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