What Timber is Suitable for an Outdoor Table?

Written by julie mcmurchie
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What Timber is Suitable for an Outdoor Table?
Outdoor tables built with hardwood last longer than those built with soft woods. (old picnic table image by Carol Wingert from Fotolia.com)

When building an outdoor table, there are a number of types of timber choices available. The choice of wood will have an impact on the durability of the finished product.

Wood Types

Hardwoods come from deciduous trees. Popular hardwood choices for a table are alder, oak, maple, chestnut, teak, jarrah, cherry and roble. Cedar wood, pine and redwood are favourites when building a table out of softwood.


Outdoor furniture made from softwood will last up to 25 years. Cedar has an advantage in that it is naturally resistant to insects and weathering, even without a finish coat. The life expectancy of a hardwood table is from 25 to 50 years. Jarrah and teak are naturally resistant to rot and decay.


Outdoor tables can often be left untreated. If exposed to high humidity the life expectancy increases with proper treatment of the wood. The type of wood and placement of the furniture will determine the type of finish recommended for the table.

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