Your outdoor furniture, whether it is your patio, rooftop or even your backyard, will be under very different conditions than the indoor ones. The outdoor furniture has to go through different conditions such as scorching sun, rain, lots of moisture, dust and soil, and much more. It is important to make a wise decisions regarding the material of the furniture so that you don’t end up with a worn off chair and table in a couple of months.
What is the best material for outdoor furniture?
Here are the most commonly available and suitable materials used for making outdoor furniture:
Wood is broadly classified as either softwood or hardwood. Softwood does not withstand the conditions of outdoor usage, so people generally use softwood furniture indoors. Many new houses and now using softwood furniture due to their natural and simplistic finish. So, if you want to have such minimalistic furniture for your outdoors as well, go for hardwoods.
There are many types in hardwoods as well. The most durable and popular choice of hardwood for outdoor usage is Teak, which is a high-strength wood that is resistant to water and insects too. This also means that cleaning and taking care of such furniture is much easier. It is also relatively more expensive than others, so durability can be guaranteed. The European oak is another type of hardwood that is commonly used for staircases, furniture and for doors as well. It has a medium-golden-brown shade that is different from the usual brown color of wood. It is waterproof and highly durable, but might need some maintenance every now and then.
Another type of hardwood you can go for is ironwood. This type of hardwood is popular for experiencing minimal fading issues even when put out in direct sunlight. It has more darker grains that other types, and is also reistamnt to fungi and pests.
Compared to wood, metal furniture can be more petite and flexible. You can find many outdoor furniture items that have a metal frame but are easily foldable and have a slimmer structure. Metal, as we all know is a durable and high strength material. If maintained properly, furniture with metal framing can last for a long time.
Metal is also easily sued with other materials such as with wood. Wielding and other manufacturing techniques can help put together metal furniture in such a way that there is no need for small screws and nuts for assembly.
Some drawbacks to metal furniture is that it easily gets hot when under the sun. It also is heavier than wood and plastic furniture’s. And most importantly, it rusts easily compared to other materials like stainless steel.
- Stainless steel
Stainless steel is known for its high withholding capacity. It is often used as a framing material or even as a table base for holding heavy glass tops. It is a commonly available metal alloy that is resistant to rust and corrosion for the longest time, and is also less vulnerable to dents, scratches and damage. The extreme exposure to sun will also not deform stainless steel furniture.
Since this material is of high density, carrying this type of furniture from one spot to another is not feasible. So, for temporary outdoor furniture, it is not the best choice. However, if you wish to keep the furniture in place and don’t plan on moving it, then the high density is in your favor. It won’t be blown away by heavy winds and thunders, and will also remain steady and stable when you are using it. It can be a good choice for people with pets, since they can tip over lightweight furniture very easily.
Compared to the high density stainless steel and rust-prone metal, aluminum is a lighter weight, yet durable option for outdoor furniture. The best part about this material is it never rusts, so there is no need for a protective powder coating on it like its needed on stainless steel. It is water resistant, easy to clean, lightweight and rust-proof.
If you live in an area with lots of strong winds, aluminum might not turn out the best for you. Also make sure to add fabric elements to your aluminum furniture, since it heats up in the sun like any other metal type.
Plastics and synthetic materials are now more readily available, making them more affordable too. These materials are often used in conjunction with other natural materials like wood, and sometimes furniture items are made entirely from these. The best part about plastics is that they are lightweight and will not rust ever. Plastic also does not require you to paint it, since it naturally has a color of its own. So, you won’t have to worry about the furniture’s paint chipping or fading away.
Plastics are easy to clean. You will only need a damp cloth to get rid of the dust and debris. There are many types of plastics as well. The most common ones are Polyethylene, which is cheap but has high durability. There are also polycarbonate which is resistant to impact and polypropylene that do not deform by heat. Most of these types of plastics are resistant to chemical degradation too, making them ideal for outdoor use.
Our environmental concerns might not allow us to use plastic furniture for outdoors. For this reason, you may want to go to other types of plastics such as BPA-free and recycled sources.
Many minimalistic house decors, whether indoors or outdoors are now incorporating more concrete furniture. It gives a raw and an industrial yet trendy look. You cannot deny the timelessness, the strength and durability of concrete furniture. They can be used in any form and shape, and in conjunction with other materials as well. Some great ways to use concrete as an outdoor furniture material is to use it as a table’s base, a bench, a sofa-chair with cushions and pillows, or even as a table top with glass on top. The only possible drawback of this material is its heavy weight. Choose concrete for outdoor furniture if you want it to be more permanent than temporary.
Now that you know what material choices you have for outdoor furniture, start brainstorming how you wish to decorate your patio! Make use of your new AT&T service and scroll through Pinterest for some décor inspirations.
At Greg Sewell Forgings we have 10 upset forging machines of various sizes which are capable of plastically deforming metal under great pressure into high strength components. Contact us for enquiries.