First-Rate Materials for Your Exterior Furniture: An Insider’s Guide
If you have been shopping for outdoor furniture lately, you have likely noticed that there is a huge selection available. From metals to woods to wicker, there is clearly something for every design style out there. But which materials will give you the biggest bang for your buck? And which ones will cause you regret in the not-too-distant future? Here’s a brief rundown of the best materials the exterior furniture world has to offer:
Aluminum is arguably the best material for furniture that is going to be used outside. Unlike iron, aluminum doesn’t rust. It is light enough to move on your own, and it stays relatively cool to the touch. Plus, using casts, this metal can emulate any other type of material you might desire, including wood and wicker. It is available in so many different styles and finishes that you can easily find one that appeals to you. You can find both sling and cushion furniture with aluminum frames, but keep an eye out for smooth, welded joints. Visible nuts and bolts usually indicate poor quality.
Superior Synthetic Wicker
Even though the nostalgic look of natural wicker can’t be beat, its durability definitely can. Old-style wicker was never made to be left outside all year long, but thanks to technology and ample trial and error, you can now get synthetic wicker that looks pretty darn close to the real thing. Crafted around aluminum framing, synthetic wicker is a great way to get the traditional look you crave without having to worry about the outdoor elements.
If you love the cozy, yet sturdy aesthetic that wood furniture can provide, then teak is definitely your best option. Its natural water resistant properties make it ideal for open-air use, and it stays amazingly cool even on the hottest days. The only downside to teak is that it does require regular treatments to keep it golden and smooth. But if you prefer a silvery-grey and slightly cracked surface, you can skip these treatments.
It doesn’t matter how awesome your furniture’s framework is if the fabric fades in a matter of weeks. That’s where solution-dyed acrylic comes in. Unlike printed patterns, the colors are dyed completely through the yarn, so there is nothing for the color to fade to. Even after years of use, the fabric will look as good as new. This amazing material is available for any cushions, pillows or umbrellas you may need, and it comes in a variety of solids, patterns and prints to satisfy any design preference.
There you have it: The greatest materials for your exterior furniture. Just remember that in the outdoor furniture world, a higher price tag directly correlates to superior quality. A cheap, poorly made item is not going to last, even if it is constructed using the aforementioned materials. Even though quality furniture may cost you more upfront, it will save you a lot of hassle and money down the road.
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