Outdoor Furniture- which material is right for you

To make your deck, porch, patio or other outdoor structure into an outdoor living space, patio furniture is necessary. The problem is that there are way too many options! Here’s a quick guide to help you choose the right material furniture for your space, tastes and budgets.

Aluminum

Aluminum is a great outdoor furniture option for many areas of the country. Its powder-coat finish is extremely durable and doesn’t rust or fade, making it perfect for salty or wet locations. Aluminum is easy to clean with some soapy water and it’s easy to move around with its light weight. Because it is so malleable, aluminum outdoor furniture tends to come in a wide variety of styles.

Aluminum’s light weight is both a pro and a con of the material. High winds can move the furniture around so it’s good to protect it by placing it inside when particularly bad weather is expected. Additionally, aluminum does hold heat and can be hot to sit on when left out in the sun.

Plastic

Plastic is often the cheapest option when it comes to outdoor furniture. Sold at most big box stores, it is very portable and usually stackable for easy storage.

Although it’s the least expensive option, plastic is also the least durable option for outdoor furniture. It can fade when left out in the sun and break easily.

Steel

Steel is very durable and, unlike aluminum, won’t move around in hard winds. When protected appropriately it can withstand the elements well.

Steel, because of its heft, can be expensive and difficult to move around in a space. It requires a protective coating of some sort to prevent it from rusting.

Wicker

Wicker can come in both woven wood or synthetic versions (synthetic wickers holds up well in the elements, wood may need to have some type of sealant). It is both lightweight, making it easy to move around your outdoor living spaces and durable. Cleaning wicker is easy with a hose and mild soap.

Wicker outdoor furniture sets tend to be pricey and can be too bulky for a lot of smaller spaces.

Wood

Wood furniture is classic. It’s sturdy and doesn’t hold heat as much as aluminum furniture does. Cedar and Teak are two of the harder woods that are great for the outdoors. They see little effect from rain and actually have enzymes that protect against decay.

Wood furniture can be expensive and there don’t seem to be as many different styles. Softer woods, unlike cedar and teak, can absorb moisture and rot over time. Paint or sealant would be needed to keep water out.

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