Quick Guide to Materials for Outdoor Furniture

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Today, many different materials are available for outdoor furniture, so which kind should you pick? A lot depends on your own sense of style and preferences, as there is no shortage of high quality, attractive furniture in a variety of materials that are suitable for outdoor use.

Take a look at your backyard or patio for cues. Is it very sunny? Does it have a lot of shade? What is the building style of your home? Is your lot level or uneven? Do you get strong wind or is there a lot of moisture? All of these conditions require different materials for the best performance, but unless you live in an area with extreme weather conditions, you can pick any of these materials.

Wood

Wood furniture is a good pick for you if you prefer a casual, warm, and natural style. Besides, the natural look of wood is a great fit for an outdoor setting.

It is a traditional and classic material that is available in many varieties. Some popular wood choices for outdoors are teak, eucalyptus, cedar, pine, and oak.

Its many benefits include durability and low maintenance. The natural oils in some types of wood, such as teak, protect it against rot and harsh weather, extreme temperatures, and high humidity.

If you prefer a cozy, rustic or country style then consider wicker. Used indoors and out, it is a versatile and lightweight material made from many different naturally occurring materials such as bamboo, rattan, cane, etc.

Traditionally, it was available in neutral colors but now comes in many shades. All-weather wicker is suitable for outdoor use and is made from woven synthetics.

Wicker is lightweight, sturdy and easy to clean which may account for the fact that its popularity doesn't seem to wane.

Aluminum

For a contemporary, streamlined look, aluminum seems to be a good choice. Since it is so popular, there are many designs and styles available in this material.

Aluminum is lightweight, sturdy, and easily moved from one spot to the other. An additional benefit to choosing aluminum is that it is easy to maintain, as it cleans easily, resists corrosion, and can hold its own even when left outside for long periods.

Wrought Iron

For a formal, classic outdoor environment wrought iron comes to mind.

It is a strong, hardy material and styles in a wrought iron range from contemporary to traditional. It lends a look of luxury, and because of its weight, wrought iron will not tip easily. This trait makes it ideal for windy environments.

Wrought iron furniture does require some care to prevent rusting and corrosion.

Concrete

Concrete furniture is probably the hardiest furniture that you can find, and also among the heaviest. The weather can be at its harshest without doing it much damage. You can find some very interesting finishes in concrete as well.

It is quite low maintenance as well and can be easily cleaned with soapy water and brush.

Mixed Materials

If you have an eclectic style, why stop at just one material? You don't have to as you can mix different materials to get the look that you want. You can mix different design styles, too for a more eclectic and individual look.

So why not place a teak table with your wrought iron chairs or a glass top table with your wicker furniture? You can also find chairs that combine different materials such as wood combined with some kind of metal.

Metal or wood frames often provide support for mosaic or slate table tops.