Purchasing outdoor furniture for your home can be as big of an investment as indoor furnishings, only this furniture also needs to stand up to rain, sun, and wind. When determining what outside furniture lasts forever, know that the material from which your deck and patio furnishings are constructed makes all the difference.
Purchasing outdoor furniture sets can be confusing simply because there are so many materials from which you can choose. Determining which type will work for you depends on your lifestyle, location, and budget.
Teak is a very popular choice in outdoor furnishings because it has excellent all-weather capabilities, although it one of the more expensive options. It has a high oil content and contains natural resins which allow it to stand up to harsh weather and protect it from dry rot. Teak is impermeable to water, is more resistant to insect attacks than other varieties of wood, and has warm wood tones that make it an attractive choice for your deck or patio.
Synthetic resin is low-maintenance, easy to clean, lightweight, and holds up well in all kinds of weather. It has the look of woven wicker, but unlike natural wicker rattan, it will not fade when exposed to sunlight or unravel over time.
The most common materials used to construct resin wicker are nylon, polyethylene, and PVC. When purchasing synthetic resin furniture, you want to look for high-density polyethylene (HDPE) wicker. HDPE is a higher grade thermoplastic than PVC and is stronger, more durable, and has better heat endurance.
Smooth, durable, and lightweight, molded plastics are made of materials like polypropylene. They come in a wide variety of designs and colors and are a relatively inexpensive option. A molded plastic dining set or Adirondack chair will be much easier to move around. Some molded plastic pieces like dining tables are even hollowed-out to include color-changing LED lights inside.
Aluminum is an extremely versatile metal that can be cast into many designs or shapes. It is lightweight, durable, and low maintenance. Unlike iron or steel, aluminum patio furniture will not rust when exposed to moisture or salty air, and it is not prone to drying or cracking when exposed to sunlight like wood furniture. Because it is so light, however, it may not be suitable for extremely windy locations.
At one time, wrought iron was the metal of choice for outdoor furniture. Due to it’s heaviness and inclination to rust, steel is today’s metal of choice. Steel is strong, heavy, and not easily moved around, but it stands up well to high winds. It is, however, one of the more expensive choices in outdoor furnishings. The best options for outdoor steel furniture are galvanized or stainless since they hold up well to outdoor elements.
Galvanized steel has a zinc coating that protects it from corrosion and water exposure, but it will not stand up well to saltwater. Stainless steel, however, contains chromium and will resist even saltwater, which makes it better for marine environments. Any steel furniture, however, will corrode with exposure to chlorine unless it is has a powder-coated finish to protect it.
Concrete is the newest material in outdoor furniture. Strong and durable, concrete furniture adds a sleek and modern design to your outdoor living space. It is not easily moved, however. Because natural concrete is a porous material, it may be susceptible to staining and cracking in areas with climate extremes of heat and cold.
Furniture constructed from a blend of concrete and fiberglass or resin addresses these problems. These blends make the furniture much lighter and will protect against surface stains.
Best Outdoor Furniture Brands
Once you choose the type of furniture that will be perfect for your outdoor space, you must then choose a brand. The sheer number of outdoor furniture manufacturers from which you must make a choice can be overwhelming. You will want to select a brand that has high-quality standards, attention to detail, and also offers excellent customer service.
Brown Jordan consistently ranks as one of the top outdoor furniture producers in the United States. Based in Pasadena, CA, the company exclusively manufactures luxury all-weather outdoor furniture and created the tubular aluminum and vinyl lace design known as “Leisure.”
Forever Patio has a wide variety of high-end patio furniture, but their prices are only mid-range. They are known for their quality, highly durable outdoor furniture and have a wide variety of outdoor fabrics from which to choose.
Harmonia Living produces hand-woven outdoor furniture made from high-density polyethylene wicker. Their eco-friendly furnishings are scratch-resistant. This resin wicker furniture also contains UV inhibitors, which means your wicker will not fade in the sun.
If your heart is set on teak furniture, Gloster is the site for you. Gloster manufactures weather-resistant outdoor furniture that is also environmentally responsible.
When choosing furniture for your deck or patio, consider not only the style and price but also the type of material that will best weather the elements particular to your location. This ensures the investment in your outdoor living space will not only be wise but will give you and your family enjoyment for years to come.