For all the new technology and materials at our disposal, when it come to building furniture—the products that make and shape the places we call home—wood is still unrivaled. According to a recent report by Global Market Insights (GMI), the world furniture market was valued upwards of USD 540 billion for the year 2017 and wood furniture accounted for more than a 60% share of that purse. As the global population continues to rise, and urbanize, there is a high level of spending on residential construction by both private and government entities, with China, India, and the United States representing the major global construction markets. All those people need a place to call home and furniture to fill it, and it appears wood will continue to be the material of choice. GMI predicts the global furniture market will experience gains around 5.5% through the next five years resulting in a market of over $750 billion by 2024.
Wood Furniture Dominates Market, Teak in Demand
Urban residential construction is not the only market driver. GMI acknowledges offices, hospitality, and educational institutions as “the major contributors for commercial furniture growth.” In particular, the hospitality industry fuels furniture manufacturing and sales as investment in travel and tourism increases. The World Travel and Tourism Council (WTCC) notes that the “Travel & Tourism” sector currently accounts for 10.4% of world GDP and travel and tourism investment is projected to grow by 4.3% in coming years. WTCC recognizes “Rapid growth in middle class income households in emerging markets has been an important driver of global Travel & Tourism activity, notably in the Asia-Pacific region.”
The increase in disposable incomes and leisure spending extends to developed nations as well. “Luxury furniture demand is expected to observe significant gains owing to rising disposable income, affordability and new designs,” GMI reports. In particular, developed nations are experiencing heightened consumer interest in open-air living and outdoor furniture. This is true not only in hospitality settings—luxury hotels and patio restaurants—but at home as well. “Aesthetic appearance, convenient maintenance, and easy raw material availability” are key traits, along with “strength & durability.” Wood furniture checks all the boxes.
“Superior product finishes along with availability of extensive wood options including mahogany, teak, redwood, fir, cedar, and others are among the key factors driving the wooden furniture market growth,” writes Karl Forth of Woodworking Industry News. Teak wood in particular satisfies all the desires mentioned in the GMI report: It is aesthetically attractive, easily maintained, and incredibly strong and durable.
The natural density of hardwoods has always made them the easy choice for furniture manufacturing, and the incredible density of teak stands out even among hardwoods. Teak wood is also known for its high oil content, which resists rot, weather and insect damage, twisting and warping. Add to that a straight grain pattern and rich golden hue which can be easily restored even after generations of use, and it is unsurprising that teak is recognized as one of the world’s finest woods for furniture construction, especially unrivaled for outdoor use.
The global wood furniture market is growing with populations and incomes. The added interest in luxury and outdoor furniture in both emerging and developed markets uniquely positions teak wood to satisfy this growing demand.