If you’ve been following the Teak market at all, you realize that logging bans have combined with changes to export regulations in Myanmar to make the Teak market pretty confusing. But there is a definite up-side to all the confusion: once nearly impossible to obtain for any use other than boat building, exotic Teak lumber is now available to home builders.
Lumber importers must purchase an extremely high volume of Teak, in order to provide boat-building customers with the Teak they need. While only a minority of Teak meets the unique standards of that industry, a significant amount of high-quality Teak becomes available to those in other industries. This “leftover” Teak often displays exceptional quality — and the good news is that it’s on the ground right here in the U.S., ready for you to have shipped to your next job site!
Why Teak Leftovers Aren’t a Bad Thing
Most of the Teak which boat builders have to “reject” would still be considered above-grade for other industries. Boat builders typically hand pick the Teak they need with a specific use in mind. Maybe they require long boards for covering boards or matching boards for multiple stair steps. The application will determine the requirements: length, width, and grain pattern.
For instance, boards for use as stair treads with bullnose profiles will each require an edge and a face to have consistent vertical grain. That gorgeous Teak board with the cathedral grain pattern? It won’t work for stair tread use on a luxury yacht, so it will get cast aside. That same board might look lovely in your next home construction project, though!
Often boat builders will root through quartersawn or mixed grain stock, pulling only 1 of every 10 boards that meet the requirements of the specific application for which he’s “shopping” that day. The rest of that perfectly good FEQ Teak is ready and waiting for you to purchase it.
Due to the extreme water-tight requirements of the boat-building industry, sometimes a board’s tiny pin knot which you can barely see will mean that a boat builder will need to reject that board; for many other uses, though, that board will work just fine. Even larger knots can often be cut out, depending on the size board which your job requires.
Hidden Treasure of Lesser Grades
Even though most Teak is definitely top-grade material, each shipping container we receive from Myanmar will likely include a certain percentage of lesser-grade Teak. While you’re only likely to save about 10% compared to the higher grade stuff, this B grade Teak has come a long way to be here in the U.S., and it’s available for your use! It has faced a litany of import fees and regulations, making its price point similar. But you don’t have to wait for it to be shipped from overseas or order it and wonder if it will ever come. It’s right here in our lumber yard, waiting for you to place your order.
The reason we have it sitting here, we’re convinced, is that most home builders don’t realize it’s even here or that it’s such a great option for a variety of home-building applications, including the following:
• Interior Trim
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J. Gibson McIlvain Company
Since 1798, when Hugh McIlvain established a lumber business near Philadelphia, the McIlvain family has been immersed in the premium import and domestic lumber industry. With its headquarters located just outside of Baltimore, the J. Gibson McIlvain Company (www.mcilvain.com) is one of the largest U.S. importers of exotic woods.
As an active supporter of sustainable lumber practices, the J. Gibson McIlvain Company has provided fine lumber for notable projects throughout the world, including the White House, Capitol building, Supreme Court, and the Smithsonian museums.
For more information on J. Gibson McIlvain’s lumber products and services, call Monday-Friday toll free (800) 638-9100 to speak with one of their representatives.