What to expect from wood

At Extremis, we prefer to select materials not for their impressive looks straight out of the box, but for their strength, longevity, durability and beauty over time. Although tough in character, wood shows the signs of age like any other living thing. Our goal is to make sure that you are happy with your choice of wood and to show you how to keep the wood living up to your expectations. Let’s get off on the right foot and share the main characteristics of wood.  

What to expect from wood

Wood is sustainable

We believe wood is the most sustainable material choice available. We only use wood that meets the requirements of durability Class I, which is the best available. As we also offer FSC- and PEFC-certified wood, we support a sustainable management of this renewable resource. 

natural Hellwood
weathered Hellwood

Wood changes color

Remember that unlike its indoor counterparts, outdoor furniture takes a constant beating from the elements. Changing temperatures, humidity, rain, acid rain and UV rays bring about a gradual change in the esthetical properties of wood. As it ages, wood turns grey, for example, and the surface can sometimes roughen. But the structural integrity of the material is not compromised by these changes. 

Learn more about the color changes →

Wood can crack

We select the most stable wood on the market to avoid cracks, chips and warping. But wood is a living material, its patina will change over time as a consequence of exposure to sun, wind and rain. The older we get, the more wrinkles we usually get. It's the same for wood. Small cracks and crevices can also appear as a part of the aging process. It's perfectly normal and a typical characteristic of wood. Antiaging cream is available in the form of our wood oil. However, when cracks would get too big, there is the possibility to easily replace the wooden part.

Wood can warp

Constant changes in temperature and humidity create internal stress in the wood and can make it warp. Wood warps when the moisture in the wood changes unevenly. During rain showers, the surface of the wood gets wet faster than the center of the wood and also dries faster afterward when the sun shines on the wood. This causes stress inside the wood as the surface expands and shrinks faster than the center of the wood. That’s why we always mount our wood on strong metal frames in order to avoid warping as much as possible. In the rare case that the wood does warp more than is acceptable, the wooden part can be replaced. 

Wood can bleed

All wood contains tannins: yellow, brown, or reddish organic compounds that are part of the wood tissue. On initial contact with rain, these pigments can bleed out of the wood for a period of time (depending on how much and how often it rains). The stains caused by this bleeding can easily be cleaned from the metal parts of the furniture with a magic eraser. If the bleeding also made stains on the floor, these will be difficult to clean, especially if the floor is rough and porous, however, the compounds are completely natural and water-soluble and will disappear from any surface after time and exposure to the elements, such as rain and sun. So don’t fret, let it set. 

We believe that, with the proper care, wood is the most sustainable material we can offer

Wood is unique

In nature, trees are not created equally. Nor can this be expected from our tables. The beauty of wood lies in the different physical characteristics of each plank. For reasons of sustainability, we don’t believe that wood should be wasted for the sake of a slight variation in the color or grain. We do our best to maintain consistency, but slight variations are to be expected.   

Wood needs maintenance

All wood requires regular maintenance if you want to keep it in perfect shape. When delivered, our wooden parts are untreated, however, we strongly advise treating the furniture with wood oil (for example our Wood Protector) on a regular basis. The oil forms a protective barrier around the wood that prevents liquids from penetrating the wood and makes it stay stable for longer. If you do not wish to treat your wood from time to time, that’s also fine. Will it fall apart without treatment? No. Will it last longer and stay more beautiful with treatment? Definitely! 

More about wood maintenance