Choosing patio furniture can be a little overwhelming because there are several material types and hundreds or possibly thousands of styles made from those materials.
The type of materials that you choose should depend on your personal preference but also on the climate where you live, whether your patio is covered or uncovered, your budget and several other factors.
By keeping in mind your priorities and carefully thinking things through, selecting the right patio furniture be straightforward and easy. When you are choosing new furniture the first thing that you need to do is pick a type of material. The most common materials are wood, wicker and rattan, metal, and plastic.
Wooden patio furniture is very popular and lasting. In general, wooden patio furniture can stand up to the elements like very hot sun or summer storms pretty well. However, if you decide to use wooden patio furniture you should treat it with a water resistant coating to protect it from drying out in the sun or becoming damaged from being out in the rain. It is a good choice if you do a lot of entertaining because it’s very strong and rigid, thus can accommodate people of all different sizes.
It’s also simple to change the look of wooden patio furniture with just a new coat of paint in the color of your choice. Good quality wooden patio furniture can be expensive but if you carry out regular maintenance of painting or protective coating on the wood every few years, the furniture will inevitably last for a long time.
Wicker and Rattan
If you like to change the decor of your patio frequently and don’t want to have to buy new furniture every time then wicker & rattan patio furniture would be a good and decent choice for you. Wicker and rattan is the second most popular type of furniture that is made from natural materials.
Both wicker and rattan furniture is durable, light weight and to a certain extent – flexible, making it great for patio furniture that needs to be brought indoors or moved frequently. Wicker is actually not a material by itself. Wicker is the end result of weaving rattan with other materials, usually bamboo slats, to make furniture.
Rattan (originated from a Malay word – Rotan) is technically a tree, although it grows like a vine along the ground. They are usually found in the tropical regions of Africa, Asia and Australia. The rattan vines are cut and peeled, then steamed to make them pliable, and then they are used as rattan weaving materials.
Rattan furniture can be made of stripes of Rattan that are woven together when the wood is wet. It can also be strips of Bamboo or other materials woven around straight rattan slats. Rattan easily accepts paints and stains like many other kinds of wood, so it is available in many colors and it can be worked into many styles.
Both rattan and wicker furniture is a less expensive alternative to hardwood, if you want to have furniture that is made from natural sources. These types of patio furniture don’t require a lot of maintenance and can be used in or outdoors all year long.
It’s also possible to change the outlook of Wicker or Rattan furniture by giving the furniture a new coat of color. So, if you’re inclined to change the decor of your patio frequently without buying new patio furniture every time, then wicker or rattan furniture would be the best choice for you.
Metal patio furniture is often a more economical choice compared to hard wood type especially for people who want the stability of wood but wouldn’t want to spend too much. Metal furniture is also great for people that want furniture that has low maintenance costs because most metal furniture doesn’t require the kind of maintenance that wooden furniture does.
There are three main types of metal patio furniture that you can purchase. They are wrought iron, aluminum and tubular metal.
Wrought iron is probably one of the most expensive types in the range. Wrought iron furniture is incredibly popular because it’s stylish and adds a very classic feel to a patio but it’s also popular because of its durability. Wrought iron furniture is heavy and requires little upkeep.
For instance, just a simple new coat of paint every year or so will keep wrought iron furniture looking beautiful for years. Furthermore, wrought iron patio furniture is sturdy so that it can be comfortable and safe for people of all sizes. It is also heavy which is good in that it won’t be blown away in strong winds but not to a point that it is too difficult to move.
Aluminum is often used commercially because it’s so easy to maintain, light-weight and tough. Hotels, public pools, restaurants, resorts, and other types of businesses that deal with the public often use aluminum patio furniture for their outdoor patios. Aluminum is a very much lighter metal than wrought iron so if you will frequently need to move your furniture, aluminum may be a better choice.
Most if not all outdoor bars and bistros will quite definitely choose aluminum furniture because of its weight & maintenance cost. Aluminum furniture can be a bit pricey for some people but the cost is negligible over time as aluminum patio furniture will last for a long time.
Tubular metal patio furniture is the least expensive type and easily found at discount stores. It has some of the durability that other types of metal patio furniture have although it is not as strong as aluminum or wrought iron. Tubular metal doesn’t require a lot of maintenance and can lasts for a long time. It can though become bent and damaged and can never quite be bent back into its original shape. It is also light enough to easily be blown away in strong winds.
Plastic or PVC Patio Furniture
Plastic or PVC patio furniture is the cheapest option and can be easily found at discount/bargain stores. Stackable Plastic or PVC patio furniture can be found at any discount store, sometimes even at the grocery store.
They are easy to maintain because all you need to do for cleaning is simply to wipe the dirt off. It stands up well to any natural elements except strong winds and usually will only last for one season.
They are not very sturdy and can break easily. There is a high possibility it becomes a safety issue if you have little children using it frequently because it tends to tip over or break. They also tends to crack and splinter very easily, which is dangerous even to adults. If you are looking for some cheap, quick patio furniture then plastic is the best choice but don’t expect them to last.