The best types of wood for… DIY garden furniture projects

The best types of wood for… DIY garden furniture projects

Published on Tuesday, October 30, 2018

If you’re looking to crack on with building that garden table, chair set or perhaps a regular bench, make sure to consider one of these timber species we’ve picked out - as well as our top tips!

Should I use hardwood or softwood for my garden furniture?

Both hardwood and softwood can be suitable, but hardwood has more natural weather and rot resistance, and so should be your primary choice for garden furniture DIY projects.

Softwood must be treated to protect it from the elements - and, as a rule, requires more frequent maintenance - whereas hardwood is usually fine as it is. This makes hardwood the most popular choice for outdoor garden furniture - although make no mistake, softwood can work too with the right treatment.

What characteristics should wood for a garden furniture have?

Garden furniture is asked to withstand the elements - sunlight, rain, termites and dirt. Therefore it needs to be highly robust - with impressive strength, durability and water and rot resistance. Ideally, garden furniture ought to be low maintenance, too.

A well-chosen, quality hardwood will last a very long time and require minimal repair work. Therefore, make sure the wood itself is of high quality - which means avoiding warping.

These three solid suggestions are timber species that step up to the mark and are ideal for outdoor use.

What are best types of timber for garden furniture?

• Teak

• Iroko

• European Oak

1. Teak

Teak is possibly the ideal wood for outdoor furniture. It has superior durability, is waterproof and is resistant to direct sunlight. That’s not forgetting how aesthetic this wood is. Teak doesn’t attract dirt and is resistant to insects - meaning you can leave it out in the most adverse weather conditions.

Many people are turned off from teak because of the higher price - but weigh up this initial cost with the savings you’ll make in the longer term through lack of maintenance costs and the many, many years you’ll get out of your furniture.

2. Iroko

Iroko requires very little maintenance, and with a natural resistance to pests, is an extremely reliable choice for your garden furniture. Not only this, but Iroko is almost as durable as teak - which is why it’s earned the nickname ‘African teak’!

3. European Oak

A fine, strong and sturdy choice. Be warned, however, that oak needs more maintenance and has lower water and sunlight resistance. Oak garden furniture requires regular treatment and, ideally, a covering when not in use.

Take a look at some of the oak species we’ve got here.

These aren’t the only types of timber that will work! Many high-quality hardwoods will be able to step up to the mark… but you won’t go far wrong with the three we’ve chosen.


Need some more tailored advice about timber for your DIY project? Our friendly team of timber experts would be delighted to have a chat and get you started.

And if you’re nearby, why not pay a visit to our Woodworking Centre and cast your eyes over our enviable selection of high-quality hardwood? We’re just off the A1 near Ripon, in Melmerby.