Note: Treated correctly and in the same way, there is little difference between oak or iroko where durability is concerned.

IROKO (African Teak)

Iroko is a tropical hardwood with a uniform interlocking grain pattern. It contains natural oils which make it a durable timber for outdoor furniture and can be allowed to silver naturally which is our default or an oil treatment can be applied, even on new wood. Teak oil is traditional or there are modern alternatives such as Textrol penetrating oil.


Iroko silvers well although it tends to be a darker silver than oak. As ever it’s important to keep the hardwood clean and use a clear wood preserver every couple of years to kill micro organisms and preserve the wood for decades into the future.

To maintain the ‘silvered’ look and to preserve the iroko, a simple maintenance regime is all that’s required. Please see our Aftercare page for more information on in this.


A little heavier, slightly more dense than Iroko, oak is a strong, durable, hard wearing timber ideally suited to the manufacture of a timeless piece of outdoor furniture.

Oak has some characteristics that are important to understand.


When allowed to weather naturally, oak takes on a beautiful silver-grey patina which for many is a sought-after look. All hardwood silvers naturally but oak in particular and if it’s kept clean can become a striking bright silver colour befitting of both the rambling country garden or stone built architectural setting.

To maintain this ‘silvered’ look and to preserve the oak, a simple maintenance regime is all that’s required. Please see our Aftercare page for more information on in this.


All hardwoods will expand and contract in ever changing weather conditions. This can occasionally cause some very fine hairline cracks on the surface of the wood.

Oak, having a more lively grain pattern is particularly prone to this. As the oak stabilises and weathers over time they tend to disappear and in no way effect the integrity of the bench. And so are, and have always been the characteristics of oak.

While tropical hardwoods aren’t immune, they don’t tend to present hairline cracks to the same degree.¬†Customers should choose Iroko if they would prefer to minimise the potential for hairline cracks appearing over the years.