Differences between Teak and Mahogany wood

Differences between Teak and Mahogany wood

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If wood was an imperialistic sovereign state, then Teak would be the British Monarchy and Mahogany would be its far less powerful and influential fifty seventh cousin with no claim to the throne. Because we are, in fact, a teak company, it would be easy to think we’re biased. So today in this blog post we’re going to compile a list of comparison between teak and mahogany for you so that you can understand why we think that everyone should be marrying into the teak royal family.

By appearance and wood grain:

Teak and Mahogany are both exotic evergreen hardwoods. Mahogany is a dark red brown tropical coloured hardwood while Teak boasts of a warm dark gold or yellow-to-brown colour.

In terms of appearance, the grains of the wood are not too different. Teak wood is mostly straight grain (sometimes wavy) where the fibres of the wood run vertically down the length of the wood. Mahogany is also commonly straight. However, there are some types of mahogany that have interlocked grain in which the fibres incline in one direction in several circular rings.
If teak and mahogany were to go into battle based on appearance alone, then finding a clear winner would be down to a person’s natural preference. Do you like red-heads or blondes? Is straight grain your type, or does real wood have curves?

If you’re going to stop reading here and go no further, then choosing between teak and mahogany, will solely depend on the look you’re going for and your own personal opinions on the attractiveness of timbre.

We wish you all the luck in the world.

But if you’re looking for something more substantial to base your decision on, then read on!

By durability and use:

In terms of hardness, mahogany is comparatively less hard and durable than teak. Teak is considered one of the most durable woods out there. It is so durable that in fact, it is used for ship building and boat craftsmanship. This makes it ideal for flooring and outdoor furniture because if an ocean itself isn’t going to wear out teak, then what’s a little rain on a garden patio? Teak owes its incredible durability to the presence of natural oils in it, which make it more or less impervious to the wet, cold, rot and even insects. That last fun fact about insects is because the aroma of teak actually acts as a natural insect repellent.

Do I need to say more? Find yourself a tree that can do both.

Mahogany, while less durable, is still a highly durable wood that is used in making a lot of furniture articles, doors, cabinets, writing pens and even musical instruments. Mahogany has the distinct advantage of broader availability, wider distribution and more all-purpose use than teak. However, its lack of moisture resistance makes it less appropriate than teak for outdoor use.

By longevity and cost:

No one expects wood to live forever, but Teak can stay with you long enough to see your children’s children. And if you’re family tree is particularly virile and your daughter gets pregnant at 16, then you’d be able to use the same sturdy furniture for your grand-children’s children.

In a nutshell, the life expectancy of teak is about 80 years while the life expectancy of mahogany is about 40 years.

And while teak may be more expensive than mahogany, if you compare the average cost over the entire lifetime of the wood, then teak becomes the clear cost-effective choice.

By maintenance:

No one wants to buy wood that they’d constantly need to take care of for it to maintain its lustre look and finish. No one wants a piece of furniture where life is wonderful when the wood is new but after a while, your picnic table needs to be polished and shined every other weekend for it to look half as good as it did when you first bought it. Teak can solve this problem for you.

Both teak and mahogany fade to a brownish-greyish colour when they are left outside for more than a certain length of time. However, the length of time needed for the restoration of these outdoor furniture pieces will vary from wood to wood. Being able to restore teak to its natural warm honey brown colour is far easier than the mahogany restoration process where the wood needs to be sanded and stained all over again in order for it to revert back.


Teak comes out on top of mahogany in terms of maintenance, longevity, durability and use.

Our advice? Head out to your closest teak dealer to get yourself the perfect outdoor furniture deal and experience.

Personally? We recommend heading out to Equatoria Teak Products!



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