When we buy outdoor patio furniture, we are looking for it to do several things.
- It needs to look good.
- Be comfortable
- Hard-wearing and long-lasting
Buying outdoor furniture for your new deck and patio area is exciting!
Furniture for the outdoors has gotten easier with so many different options. Modern outdoor furniture is made of better weatherproof materials.
Let’s take a look at some considerations with what to look for when buying patio furniture.
Things To Consider When Choosing Outdoor Furniture
The structure and appearance of outdoor furniture frames, upholstery and tabletops need to be maintained over a long time and in various weather conditions.
Similarly, cost, time and effort are key factors to consider when maintaining materials throughout the year, as is ‘environmental friendliness’.
Humidity And Rain
Living in areas with high humidity and rainfall should consider purchasing furniture with high resistance to water-related damage.
Health hazards and physical material degradation are the consequences of standing water and accumulated moisture.
Rot, Mould And Mildew
Mould and mildew are not only unsightly, but they also cause respiratory problems and other health problems.
Choosing suitable outdoor surfaces will mean that they are easily cleaned, and this includes mould or mildew.
There are even cushions suitable for outdoor use as they are designed to cope with damp weather.
Like most things, if you can avoid letting mould or mildew take hold, you will save cleaning time and avoid possible health side effects from not needing to deal with the spores.
Corrosion And Rust
Iron and steel are susceptible to corrosion if they are constantly exposed to oxygen and water.
Corrosion slowly weakens these metals, resulting in discolouration and visible rust effects. In coastal regions, rusting is often more pronounced as water and salt in the air accelerate the chemical processes.
Warping And Cracking
This happens when things are soaked, and then they dry out unevenly.
The original shape of materials will inevitably twist or warp. Over time, the effects become visibly apparent in misaligned seams, noticeable warping on the furniture, loosening of screws and bolts used to assemble the furniture.
When heated or cooled, some materials contract or expand noticeably.
Furniture is susceptible to cracking or bending when exposed to dry air.
Drastic fluctuations and extreme temperatures cause materials to crack, warp, become brittle and may even splinter.
Temperature and sun
You will need to consider outdoor materials with high resistance to damage from intense UV rays.
Some areas will also change seasons with seasonal climate changes and extremely hot to cold weather conditions.
Materials that are constantly exposed to the sun lose their shine and fade over time. The colour change reduces vibrancy.
Patio furniture can become unsafe if it is left in the sun and heats up. In addition, the heat can lead to other logical problems, and no one wants to burn their skin trying to change the position of a deck chair by the pool or when sitting down.
It is extremely important to use heavy outdoor furniture that cannot tip over or be blown away if you live in an extremely windy or open area.
Some materials can withstand a lifetime of exposure to many weather conditions and still look like new. In contrast, others need to be replaced after a few years of exposure to some weather.
Usage is another variable that relates to durability. If you only eat at your patio dining table a few times, it will wear less than the lounger by the pool if it is used every day in summer.
How durable the material is depends on how often it is used.
Maintenance And Difficulty Of Cleaning
Your patio furniture’s aesthetics and functional durability will be determined by how well you take care of it.
Some materials require more intensive care to function properly and look good.
While others require simple cleaning with soap and water and a little attention each season.
The production processes and raw materials that go into products have an impact on the environment.
Many people are now aware of this, even if they don’t know the details. Many individuals prefer to be environmentally responsible. Most luxury brands that produce outdoor furniture have adopted eco-friendly manufacturing practices.
They now use materials that are certified by eco-friendly organisations, biodegradable or recyclable.
Choosing a particular material for your furniture comes with financial implications. Everyone takes this into account when making a purchase.
Here are a few questions that can open your eyes when evaluating alternatives.
How often will a replacement be required?
Does the maintenance involve a lot of time and effort?
Long Lasting Weatherproof Materials
Outdoor furniture can be made of a lot of different materials.
Natural choices like wood and, of course, synthetic choices
We will be looking at durable choices that can be left outdoors.
Like all things that are left in the Australian sun, the more sun cover there is, you will have longer-lasting furniture.
Keeping metal items out of the rain will help to avoid corrosion
Making sure that lightweight items are secured so they are not blown around in storms
How Do You Choose The Best Furniture For Your Patio And Garden?
Knowing the changing seasons, outdoor furniture needs to maintain its original texture and appearance through seasons and weather conditions. Also, consider the resources that are provided to maintain the outdoor furniture.
The resources needed to determine the cost, placement, environmental friendliness, time and durability. Combining these factors will ensure long-term use and enjoyment.
Look For Weather Resistant Products
Clever drainage in the upholstery and quick-drying foams along with hard-wearing fabrics mean you no longer have to miss out on choosing the more comfortable and luxurious outdoor furniture.
Most high-quality outdoor furniture made from stainless steel or aluminium has been manufactured with rust-resistant fittings.
This increases its durability and is essential for cold, wet climates.
Different Materials For Outdoor Furniture
In addition to wood, metal and plastic, several other durable materials are used in various applications for luxury outdoor furniture. Dining tables for the patio, for example, can have a metal or wooden frame with a tabletop made of a different material.
In addition, these materials have other qualities that are suitable for specific aesthetic and functional requirements.
Synthetic Resin Wicker Or Rattan
Also called all-weather wicker, this weather-resistant, durable synthetic fibre wicker is wrapped over a specific metal frame.
Wicker furniture is made from the traditional materials of rattan and cane. The word wicker refers to the style in which the furniture is woven.
Resin wicker is made with thin strands of nylon, PVC, polyethylene and or high-density polyethylene.
High-quality synthetic resin is environmentally friendly, very dense and resistant to weather damage. High-density polyethylene (HDPE) is very puncture resistant, does not release chemicals and can be exposed to UV rays for decades without degradation.
Although, to increase the weight it can support, most wicker patio furniture is constructed over an aluminium frame.
Modern and high quality synthetic rattan garden furniture is a great choice, Not only for looks but also for its easy care and maintenance and longevity.
Here are the two things you should look for when buying rattan or wicker furniture:
Look for an aluminium frame because it doesn’t rust, which means it can survive outside.
Make sure you choose UV stabilised wicker – the UV stabilisation treatment prevents the sun from damaging the plastic strands, so they won’t rot or fade when left outside.
Don’t choose cheap rattan furniture.
Lower quality synthetic wicker, which tends to become brittle and break over time, is made from polyvinyl chloride (PVC).
The cheaper versions usually have a steel frame that can rust.
- Gives a perfect traditional look to your home and furniture.
- It is more durable compared to conventional wickerwork
- Most of the high-quality resin wicker is UV resistant, so it will not crack or fade
- Withstands sunlight, rain and moisture
Spray with water to remove dirt and pollen.
If you are unsure whether your furniture will stand up to sunlight, make sure you store it in the shade when not in use.
Wrought Iron/Cast Iron/Cast Aluminium Furniture
Cast aluminium or cast iron furniture are two similar styles.
These can also be left outside all year round, making them an excellent, hard-wearing option for all-weather furniture.
Wrought iron, when properly cared for, can last a hundred years.
It has been used for buildings, furniture, and tools throughout history because of its durability and strength.
However, it is difficult to move furniture made of wrought or cast iron because it is one of the heaviest metals and cannot be blown by the wind.
Wrought iron is exceptionally malleable when heated and hammered into shape. This allows for ornate, handcrafted designs with an upscale artisan feel.
On the other hand, cast iron is heavier and more difficult to handle than wrought iron. Typically, it is melted and cast into moulds.
Outdoor iron tables require a lot of maintenance to clean and protect from rust, yet it is very durable.
In addition, the best contemporary wrought iron is treated with a weather-resistant coating to seal out damaging moisture.
Note that the metal gets very hot in summer and cold in winter.
All outdoor metal furniture can be uncomfortable without padding to cushion the seats and backs.
- Solid and long-lasting
- Stylish, classic look,
- Ideal for windy areas such as balconies
Wood Or Timber
Wood has been the most popular material for furniture for thousands of years.
It is naturally easy to work with and provides strength for benches, tables, chairs and other furnishings.
However, not all woods are created equal when it come to being outdoors.
Good quality timber can always be sanded back and restored. A little bit how we also look after our decks with deck restoration
Cedar and pine are softwoods, are inexpensive and are often used for interior furnishings.
They do not stand up well to the elements and must be constantly protected when not in use.
On the other hand, hardwoods are weather-resistant, much more robust and can last for decades if treated properly.
Unfortunately, they are more expensive and more difficult to shape than softwoods.
Hardwoods are more durable and can cope with the elements if cared for.
Read our article on decking timbers – It will explain more about the different hardwood timbers.
Need more information? Read this article here about Brisbane Patio designs
Teak Is The Most Popular Timber For Outdoor Furniture
The cost of teak has been driven up extremely by high demand and limited availability.
It is ideal for outdoor use due to its many properties.
Teak does not crack, become brittle or warp like many other types of wood.
It repels water so it does not shrink or expand as it dries.
Teak is highly resistant to rot, insects and decay due to its high natural oil content.
With a minimum of oil, the appearance of the teak can be maintained.
Teak can be cleaned with soap and water and is easy to maintain.
- Strong and durable
- Resistant to rot, weather and insects
- Easy to maintain
- No cracking or warping.
They are fast-growing, durable and strong Australian hardwood that is very cost-effective compared to teak.
Its natural oil acts as a natural insecticide, and it is also weather and rot-resistant.
Eucalyptus has a rustic look due to its natural washed appearance and develops a silver patina if not oiled regularly.
A sealer is recommended to minimise the effects of uneven moisture absorption.
- Rot and insect resistant
- Environmentally friendly sustainable growth.
Stone is an excellent material for outdoor applications thanks to its organic nature and variations in colours.
In recent years, outdoor stone furniture has become an important part of outdoor living. With a solid structure and smooth surface, outdoor stone furniture is easy to maintain and cope with all conditions.
Stone patio furniture is heavy and bulky, which means it takes up large spaces and cannot be moved easily.
It is also expensive to buy and then to have delivered.
- Natural and unparalleled beauty.
- Durable construction compared to other materials.
- Low maintenance
- It is resistant to abrasion and scratches.
While some minimalist-modern environments may include concrete outdoor furniture, It will often have other materials combined.
For example, it can be a sturdy base for a glass-topped dining table.
Concrete is strong and can withstand the harshest elements for years. It can be cast into various shapes and, when reinforced with fibres, can be moulded into thinner structures.
- It can take any shape.
For outdoor furniture, aluminium is the most popular metal. It is strong, durable and can be easily formed into a variety of shapes despite its lightweight. In addition, aluminium is low maintenance, relatively inexpensive and does not rust.
Powder coating is recommended as it increases protection against weathering and scratches and allows you to add colour mixes.
The powder coating adheres better to the metal and is much more resistant to fading.
However, you can also buy painted aluminium. This is also helpful if your patio or pool is exposed to salty air, which tends to attack the paint and untreated metal.
This is an excellent material option for large weight-bearing outdoor dining tables, sectionals, and sofas.
This is extremely strong.
In addition, stainless steel withstands extreme temperatures better than most other metals, even when it feels hot in the summer heat.
In coastal areas where water and salty air are present, a powder coating is recommended for added durability.
Different types of stainless steel will have different levels of chromium content. This is what will make it more resistant to atmospheric corrosion.
Stainless steel garden and patio furniture is heavy and will not tip over or blow away in the wind.
It is an excellent material choice for high quality, modern outdoor furniture as its smooth, silvery metallic finish has a chic, modern look. Although expensive, stainless steel is worth every cent.
Not only is it easy to clean, but it is often made from recycled metals, making it an environmentally friendly choice.
- Sturdy and ensures a durable construction
- Does not dent as easily as aluminium
- Clean and sophisticated look
- Withstands extreme temperatures.
Synthetic Resin And Plastic
Man-made materials such as resin and plastic are becoming increasingly common.
New manufacturing processes allow these polymers to take on sizes and shapes that were previously unattainable.
Synthetics can be moulded into any imaginable decorative style and are usually lightweight and inexpensive.
They are lightfast and do not require colouring or sealing like other materials because the colour is contained in the chemical composition.
In addition, they are easy to maintain and clean. Synthetics and resins are growing in number, but here are some of the most common ones currently in use.
The most common forms of plastic used to make patio furniture are:
- Polyethylene (PE). The high density version (HDPE) is required for outdoor applications as it is cheaper, more durable and more weather resistant.
- Polypropylene (PP) is very resistant to chemical decomposition and head and is lighter in weight.
- Polycarbonate (PC) is susceptible to scratches but is a very tough material that is impact resistant. Therefore, when transparency is desired, it is the preferred choice of plastic.
- Acrylic – Polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA) is transparent, similar to polycarbonate. However, this cheaper alternative is not as strong and is prone to cracking.
Tempered glass is perfect for outdoor tabletops because of its resistance to temperature changes.
Painting the glass increases its protection against the elements while washing it with acid makes it impervious to stains and fingerprints. The smooth surface adds an elegant touch, while the clarity creates an open and airy feel.
- Looks elegant
- Withstands temperatures.
Outdoor furniture is becoming more and more fashionable, so it’s not uncommon to see it used for indoor furnishings as well.
Have we helped you to consider what to look for in outdoor furniture?
Let The Local Deck Builders create the perfect outdoor area for you.