Wooden Garden Furniture - Buying Guide
Wooden garden furniture is a popular choice for many for its natural look and style. Every piece is unique and full of character, with its beauty accentuated by its natural grain.
Through careful design and workmanship quality hardwood can be crafted to create timeless furniture in contemporary or traditional styles. It is a naturally elegant yet exceptionally durable material that will grace any outdoor living area for decades.
At Bridgman we have specialised in wooden furniture since the 1950’s – this has given us a good eye for selecting the best timber for our furniture. Experience has taught us that the two best woods for use as outdoor furniture are Teak and Iroko. Both are high density hardwoods with extremely resistant properties, ensuring that it will age gracefully over time.
Choosing the right wooden garden furniture
Whether you are looking for a garden recliner, a wooden garden bench or a teak table and chairs, consider the following:
How much space do I have?
- Where are you going to place your new purchase? Make sure there is sufficient room available in your garden or on your patio to walk past the furniture. With wooden table and chair sets remember to allow at least 60cm for each chair in order to sit comfortably. All furniture measurements are clearly indicated on the product details pages so make sure to measure up before you order.
What is the furniture going to be used for?
- Are you looking for a small family set for 4 or a party sized set for 10? Consider who will use the furniture and what you are going to use it for. Wooden recliners double up as dining and lounging furniture!
What kind of budget do I have?
- When looking for wooden furniture always try to buy the best quality that your budget will allow. Quality wooden garden furniture, given the right care, should last you a lifetime. Beware of companies offering wooden garden furniture at very low prices – it is likely sapwood or illegally sourced timber.
Does the furniture look the same in reality?
- It is hard to fully appreciate the comfort and quality of a product without seeing it in person. That is why we encourage customers to visit our shop in London.
Teak Garden Furniture
Teak is a tropical hardwood native to South and South East Asia. It is extremely well suited for outdoor furniture due to its durability, stability and natural beauty. Its natural oils mean that it is resistant to heat, frost, pests, pollution and corrosion. Teak is a low maintenance material that will stand the test of time outdoors and does not require oil or varnish to prolong its life.
Left untreated it will turn an attractive silvery-grey colour and can be cleaned using warm water and a soft brush. For more information on caring for teak garden furniture please see our wooden garden furniture care guide.
At Bridgman we only use the finest teak combined with brass plated fittings. All of the teak is grown in Indonesia in sustainable, environmentally friendly plantations. For more information on our commitment to supplying managed timber please see ‘environmental factors’ below.
Iroko Garden Furniture
Iroko is an extremely durable hardwood from the West coast of tropical Africa. It is sometimes referred to as African Teak due to its similar colour, grain and durability. Also like Teak, Iroko does not require regular treatment with oil or varnish when used outdoors, making it a very low maintenance option. Iroko is classified as ‘very durable’ by the Timber Research Association. This is the highest classification for timber durability and as a result it is used extensively in construction and marine industries.
Left untreated the wood colour is initially a yellowy-brown and matures into a richer brown over time. When left outside Iroko will turn silver-grey in colour.
Environmental Factors - Teak
Bridgman Teak garden furniture uses managed timber from the island of Java in Indonesia. It is grown in plantations and we are pleased to give our assurance that our teak does not come from tropical rainforests, (which is not always the case with all companies). Our plantations are owned and controlled by the Indonesian government department, Perum Perhutani.
Bridgman teak originates from plantations that were first established by the Dutch in Indonesia about 150 years ago. Perum Perhutani now manage these plantations, applying a policy of careful cultivation, which began in the nineteenth century and has continued successfully to the present day. Bridgman maintains a policy of promoting good practice with regard to the origins of their timbers and are pleased to confirm that a small number of items in the Tecknique® range, derive their timber specifically from Indonesian plantations that were fully certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC).
The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC)
The FSC is an international organization founded in 1993 to promote good forest management worldwide. Its' members comprise environmental groups such as WWF and Greenpeace. Tecknique® furniture that carries the FSC label, guarantees that the timber has originated from forests that have been inspected and evaluated to comply with an internationally agreed set of strict environmental, social and economic standards.
Environmental Factors - Iroko
Bridgman Iroko furniture is produced from kiln-dried timber, obtained from West African forests. Bridgman considers the proper and effective use of timber supplies to be of the greatest importance. It is by taking a responsible attitude that Bridgman can join the effort to encourage these countries and their indigenous people to adopt sensible and realistic regeneration programmes. These policies also help to encourage the continuation of investment strategies, to secure the long-term economic growth in these areas, through the controlled use of their natural resources.
Choosing the right wood
When purchasing wooden furniture it is vital that you ensure only the highest quality hardwoods are used. Softwoods are often used by outdoor furniture manufacturers because they are cheap and easy to manufacture. We would never recommend the use of softwood in manufacturing garden furniture as it does not fare well in outdoor climates.
Eucalyptus, Cedar and Pine may appear to be cheaper alternatives to Teak and Iroko; however they are also a lot more susceptible to splitting, cracking, warping and rotting.
Personalising your wooden garden furniture
We offer a personalised engraving service for customers. If you are looking to add a personal touch to a memorial bench, or inscribe your well wishes to a friend, family member or company we offer two options.
Inscription into wood
Carve your own personal message into a Bridgman wooden garden bench. Please call us for further details.
Inscription onto brass plaque
Lacquered brass plaques can be supplied with engravings for suitable products. Plaque size: 10cm x 5cm
For any additional information not discussed above, please do not hesitate to contact us on 020 8804 7474.