Last updated on April 7th, 2017 at 02:58 pm
When considering outdoor furniture options for your home, it is important to not only factor in the look you want, but also the weight of the furniture and how easy it is to move, any indoor space needed for off season storage, the best material for your lifestyle and the outdoor climate in which you live. Here are just a few options for you to consider when selecting the right material for you and your outdoor furniture.
Teak is a hardwood that is very strong and durable and will last a lifetime if cared for properly. Even though it produces its own oil, you will still need to treat it with special oils and sealants. Teak wood furniture is often left outside year round because it is able to withstand the harshest of elements. Its natural oils help protect your furniture from excessive humidity and also extreme cold temperatures. Softer woods like pine or cedar, may need to be stored during winter seasons, especially in colder climates. Teak also tends to be less heat absorbing than other materials; however it does need to be maintained on a regular basis as it has a tendency to absorb moisture and turn to a gray shade with age if left untreated.
Cast aluminum is lightweight yet surprisingly durable and it does not rust or fade. Because it is so lightweight, it is very easy to move around. If you do a lot of entertaining and need to move your furniture often into different configurations, then cast aluminum furniture would be ideal for you. If you live in an area that experiences high winds or gusts on a regular basis, you may want to consider a different option. If left in direct sunlight, cast aluminum also tends to absorb more heat and becomes hot if it is not shaded or covered. Simply apply car wax to cast aluminum furniture to maintain its original appearance.
The term “wrought” actually means “worked by hand.” Wrought iron differs from cast iron, which is made by using molds. Wrought iron is also very durable and may be left outside year round, although it will require a rust protectant if it is not already powder coated. It may also be painted to improve its resistance to corrosion. You will find many unique, handcrafted and decorative options available in wrought iron designs. Cushions are often needed for added comfort when purchasing wrought iron furniture as it tends to become very hot in the summer if placed directly in the sun and very cold in the winter if left out. Due to its heavy nature, it will not tip over or blow away easily.
Steel is a heavy duty furniture option and works extremely well in cold winter environments with temperatures ranging from excessive rain and heavy snow to extreme heat and cold. It is important to apply a powder coating to help protect it from moisture and prevent rust. Because of the sturdiness of steel, it is able to handle heavy snow and slush piled on top of it. Steel also has a classic look that lends a clean, sophisticated style to any outdoor space.
The term wicker actually refers to the woven style in which the furniture is made, not the material used. Wicker may be natural or synthetic. Wicker furniture is usually made from natural plant materials such as cane, rattan, bamboo or a number of other synthetic materials. Natural and synthetic materials are often combined together to reduce the cost and make them more weather resistant. Traditional wicker material should be protected by a canopy, screened in porch, or other covered space because its natural fibers are not designed to endure heavy rain or sun. However, all-weather wicker options are made to handle the outdoor elements just fine. Resin wicker is a longer-lasting weather resistant synthetic fiber wrapped over a metal frame. It is typically also UV-resistant. Wicker is strong and lightweight and is perfect for casual lounging environments. Just remember if you live in areas with high pollen counts, wicker may need to be cleaned on a more frequent basis during high pollen seasons to prevent pollen dust from collecting inside the weaving. Many people are now using wicker furniture both inside and outside of their homes.
Plastic furniture is highly portable and easily stacked for storage. It is resistant to moisture, mildew and also fading. Recycled plastics are often used by homes near the ocean since they are more susceptible to salt air and salt water activities. If you live near the ocean, it is important to also make sure all of your outdoor furniture’s hardware is made from a rust resistant material such as stainless steel. And with the waterproof dependability of plastic, it is also a safe option to use for tables and chairs being placed near any outdoor pools.
When selecting your outdoor fabrics, Sunbrella is always highly recommended to use on your outdoor furniture. They originally designed their weather resistant and anti-fading materials for marine boats then eventually applied this same technology to a line of outdoor fabrics. Today, Sunbrella offers numerous colors, patterns and styles for any outdoor environment.
Many of our showrooms now offer outdoor furniture options in various styles and materials. If you are shopping in store, please check with our guest services representatives for a complete list. You may also shop our outdoor catalogs online anytime at hickoryfurniture.com