10+ Most Durable Materials for Garden Furniture - Best Value for Money
Your garden is a place of relaxation and pleasure where people can get together and enjoy the sun. However, in order to enjoy your garden to its fullest potential, you need proper outdoor furniture to sit on. With all of the different materials out there made for outdoor furniture, it is hard to keep track of which ones are durable and will last a couple of seasons, which ones will dissolve within weeks after being left outside.
This article will discuss what are the best and most durable materials for garden furniture. We will also tackle the factors to consider when purchasing durable garden furniture, garden furniture pros and cons, types of durable garden furniture to display, and more.
11 Most Durable Materials for Garden Furniture
Wicker or rattan has become one of the most popular materials for outdoor furniture over the last few decades due to its durability and style. Wicker is created from natural fibers. This includes timber and bamboo. These materials require no maintenance other than an occasional dusting off with a dry cloth.
It is highly durable and can be left outside all year round. Although, some people do recommend taking the furniture indoors during the winter months when it is going to be badly affected by frost or snow.
Teak garden furniture has been a favorite in gardens across America for decades due to its durability and resistance to changing weather conditions such as rain and sun. Teak wood is known for its strength and lightness, which means that it can be used to create outdoor furniture that does not require much maintenance apart from an occasional application of teak oil every now and then.
3. Wrought Iron
Wrought iron garden fixtures are well-known for their durability in harsh elements because they are made from heavy-duty metal. Although wrought iron is less commonly found in outdoor furniture these days, it has been known to stand the test of time and can last for decades if looked after properly with regular maintenance.
4. Recycled Plastic
Recycled plastic garden furniture is rapidly gaining in popularity. This is because they are modern looking, stunningly beautiful, weather-resistant, and durable. They are created from 100% recycled materials that are high-quality plastics.
These are recycled into gorgeous pieces of garden furniture and are extremely resistant to cracks or fading due to sun or rain damage. They can easily be wiped down with a damp cloth every now and then. Although, some people recommend using soap and water for more stubborn dirt stains on the material.
5. Stainless Steel
Stainless steel is a strong and durable material that requires little maintenance. Stainless steel benches, tables, chairs, and other types of garden furniture are made from metal. These can be left outside all year round without suffering from rust or corrosion.
The only downside with this type of material is that it tends to get a bit cold during the winter months. This is especially in places that experience a lot of snowfall throughout the season.
6. Aluminum Frames
Aluminum is also a durable material that requires little maintenance. It is lightweight and rust-resistant. Aluminum is the perfect material for garden furniture. It not only looks chic and stylish with its silver finish, but it also enhances the look of your garden setting without inflicting too much demand on you to maintain them regularly.
There are two types of aluminum frames: cast aluminum and wrought aluminum. Cast aluminum garden furniture is much more expensive than wrought aluminum garden furniture. This is because it is entirely handmade whereas the latter is mass-produced.
This high-density plastic lumber has been created from recycled materials such as plastic, old tires, and reclaimed wood particles mixed together in a resin form and pressed into boards and other fixtures for outdoor use. This type of material does not require any sort of treatment or maintenance apart from an occasional wash-off with soap and water which keeps them looking fresh all year round.
8. Synthetic Resin
Synthetic resin is considered a durable material for garden furniture because it is designed to withstand all weather conditions including sun, wind, rain, and snow. It is made from plastic polymer that gives garden furniture an elegant look which enhances the overall appeal of your garden setting or backyard patio.
9. Iron or Steel Tubing
Iron or steel tubing are perfect materials for garden furniture because it does not rust in winter conditions due to moisture. They are quite popular with people who have a rustic decor theme in their garden. These can be left outside year-round without getting damaged by the cold climate at all.
Some people prefer placing the chairs inside during the winter months if there is going to be heavy snowfall. But, apart from this seasonality factor, these types of materials do not require any regular maintenance aside from cleaning off the build-up of dirt after some time.
10. Fabric and Cushion
Although garden furniture is put outdoors, getting one with fabric or cushion is more comfortable to sit on. Although there are no guarantees that they would last longer than any other type of garden furniture, it is worth the additional cost if you want to keep your guests comfortable when sitting outside in your garden setting or backyard patio.
As for cushion care, just clean them with water and soap every now and then. Make sure to get one with strong stitches so that it does not tear apart during the cleaning process.
Concrete is probably the most durable material for garden furniture in terms of its longevity. It can withstand all kinds of weather conditions including hot summers and freezing winters. This material is sturdy, especially when the setting is well-lit at night which makes it perfect for outdoor use all year round.
Concrete garden furniture has a very modern look that gives any type of garden setting or backyard patio an urban vibe. If you are looking to revamp your existing décor theme, this type of material could be just what you need. This can get the look without tearing down the entire structure and rebuilding it again from scratch. You can also add some cushions or upholsteries to make your guests more comfortable when sitting outside in your garden.
Best Materials to Get for Modern Outdoor Furniture
1. Hardwood offers excellent design.
Firstly, the modern trend in outdoor furniture has brought about new designs and ideas with spaces for entertaining your guests outdoors. There are many materials used to create such furniture. But, nothing beats wood when it comes to aesthetics and even the durability aspect. These factors alone should convince you why choosing wood can be a valuable investment.
In terms of design, there are different types of woods available in the market. Each of them produces its own unique look. This stands out from all others on a similar platform. Such platforms include teak, oak, walnut, maple, cedar among others depending on what you have in mind.
2. Hardwood is easy to clean and maintain.
Secondly, the main reason wood is popular for outdoor furniture is because it is easy to clean and maintain. A simple sweep of dust particles every now and then will do the job perfectly well. Such maintenance tasks can be carried out more frequently if you live in a humid environment or somewhere with high humidity levels such as near lakes, rivers, and beaches among others.
3. Hardwood is safe to use outdoors.
Thirdly, hardwood furniture is very safe to use outdoors because its chemical structure allows it to resist moisture and humidity levels. This helps protect them from molds or fungal growth. With that, it increases their shelf life significantly, especially when exposed to adverse weather conditions outdoors.
This may be rain and excessive heat among other things. With this knowledge alone, there should be no second-guessing why you should choose hardwood furniture for your outdoor spaces.
4. Hardwood is lightweight yet durable.
Typically, hardwood is known to offer both durability and functionality at once without sacrificing the quality of design and functionality. In most cases, such wood is lightweight enough to move around easily as needed. This is helpful if you need to store them away for one reason or another from time to time.
5. Hardwood is also recyclable.
Lastly, some types of hardwoods are biodegradable. Meaning, they can be recycled back into a new life with a little bit of creativity on your part. This makes it an efficient choice when compared to other materials that are not friendly towards the environment. As a result, there should always be more emphasis on the environmental factors in any decision-making process related to outdoor furniture.
All these benefits are worth taking note of even if it means spending a little bit more. Such a significant use for your outdoor spaces is simply too good not to ignore the significance of choosing hardwood furniture for your outdoor spaces. With that, you get long-lasting use without having to worry about losing its functionality or aesthetic appeal over time.
To summarize, there are many materials out there that can be used for making garden furniture like plastic wood and metal but only hardwood will give you all this benefit together with its durability and beauty among other things. For this reason alone, it should be the first choice you consider when planning on making something durable enough to last outdoors for years.
Types of Hardwood
Teak is a good choice for garden furniture because it is highly durable. It can be left outside in all weather conditions and still last a long time without being damaged. However, teak does have one drawback: it becomes very soft when it gets wet. That's why teak patio tables should not be left out in the rain. On the plus side, teak is naturally antimicrobial, so it repels mold and other fungi that may harm your furniture over time.
Cedar grows from Northern Mexico to Canada and has been used to build homes for centuries. Many like this because of its resistance to rot-causing insects like termites and white ants. Cedar will not rot or warp in any weather condition and you don't need to treat it with any type of protection.
Redwood is one of the best woods you can choose for outdoor use because redwood does not rot, warp, crack, or splinter. It can resist rain and even heavy snowfall without needing extra protection. However, redwood absorbs moisture over time which makes it harder to move around (it becomes very heavy).
If you do get any water on it, make sure you wipe it dry right away to avoid damage like mold or mildew growth. Redwood also needs some TLC during the winter seasons if you want your furniture to last through them without getting damaged too much. You should cover your hardwood furniture in the winter if left outdoors for more than a day or two.
Teak wood is rich in oil which resists water and makes it naturally rot-resistant. However, the downside to teak is that it becomes very soft when exposed to water for extended periods of time. Teak patio tables are not recommended to be left outside during the rain. On another note, teak needs very little maintenance as compared to other types of hardwoods.
This makes it a good choice for outdoor use no matter what the weather conditions are like during any given season or month of the year. With that said, you can have peace of mind knowing that your hardwood furniture will last through every season. You don't have to treat them with extra protection against the elements each time they need some TLC. All you need to do is give them a good wipe down to clean away any dirt or grime that may have built up over time. By then, they'll be ready for use once again.
Acacia wood has many benefits especially when it comes to outdoor use because it's naturally resistant against rot-causing insects like termites and white ants. It also doesn't chip, crack, warp or splinter like other types of wood out there. Acacia patio furniture is safe to keep outside during the summer months without worrying about getting damaged by the sun's rays or heat. All you need to do is make sure they are clean and free from dirt, grime, or anything that can cause damage.
Mahogany is another great choice if you're looking for outdoor hardwood furniture because it has natural oils that prevent rot-causing insects like termites and white ants from damaging your hardwood furniture over time. However, mahogany does have a tendency to warp in high humidity areas. So, you need to treat it with a sealant once every month or two depending on where you live. It also does not do well in water so you need to dry any spillage off immediately.
Ipe is another type of wood with many benefits especially when it comes to outdoor use. It resists rot-causing insects, does not warp or crack, and stays strong against the elements without needing any special treatment or extra protection. Plus, ipe's naturally oiled surface makes it extremely weather-resistant as well as mold and mildew resistant as long as soap residue isn't left sitting on its surface for too long before cleaning it off completely.
Tips When Choosing Hardwoods for Your Garden Furniture
1. Sustainable forestry
Choose hardwoods that are certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC). It means the wood comes from sustainable forestry and environmentally sound practices. So you can rest assured that such type of hardwood is good for the environment and not harmful to anyone's health in any way.
2. Non-toxic glues
When buying garden furniture, make sure that it uses non-toxic glue. This ensures your safety even when exposed to a small amount of it while walking around your garden setting or backyard patio. This also guarantees the durability of all parts including cushions and fabrics. These make them last longer while at the same time ensuring your protection while working with wood products all day long.
3. Steel screws
Furniture with steel screws is much stronger than any other type of metal used in garden furniture. That is because they are rust-resistant which gives them a longer life span. On top of that, you can tighten or loosen the screws anytime without worrying about being exposed to the elements all day long while making these changes.
4. 8 coat process
When buying hardwood for your garden furniture, make sure to get one with at least an eight-coat finish treatment. This is for extra protection against moisture and heat resulting from all weather conditions. Such conditions include the sun, wind, rain, or snow. Moreover, this makes it last longer compared to others that only have 2 coats of finish on them. It makes their appearance fade after some time especially when exposed constantly to the sun.
5. Alignment of joints
Make sure to get garden furniture with joints aligned correctly for added durability. Without it, chances are your furniture will fall apart over time. This is very dangerous especially when they collapse while people are around them or while you are working on some part of the structure. It can cause injury and even fatality in some cases.
6. Investment cost
It might seem like an expensive purchase at first. But, it actually pays off in the long run if you buy one that is more durable than others made from low-quality hardwoods. You should choose hardwoods that will last for many years to come. With this, you know your investment did not go to waste. All components would still be intact after many years of use which does not happen if you use low-quality wood.
7. Easy to repair
This is another important consideration that you should take into account when buying hardwood for your garden furniture. Some types of wood cannot be repaired even with the best restoration products on hand. However, some can be easily fixed with just a little care and attention from your side. This allows you to save money and time, especially in cases where broken or damaged parts need to be replaced. This may be cushions and fabrics and so on and so forth.
8. Multiple uses
Depending on what type of hardwood you choose, this can actually serve multiple purposes at once. This includes décor, durability, stability, and versatility among many others. These make it more efficient and valuable for money.
9. Availability of resources
Before buying your garden furniture, make sure that the hardwood you use is readily available in the market. In other words, choose one that has a large production volume. So, it can be made available to many people at once. This helps reduce its price for everyone. It also makes it easy to repair when damaged or broken parts need replacement or repairs.
10. Maintenance cost
Lastly, even if it is durable and efficient in terms of functionality and performance, do not forget to check on how much maintenance costs are involved over time. Some types have no special care required from your side. Meanwhile, some may need a little more attention than others. This may involve the application of chemicals or wax with different products designed for this purpose. It might even mean repainting or re-staining depending on the type of hardwood you choose.
FAQs on Garden Furniture Materials
Is steel good for outdoor furniture?
Definitely. Steel is a great choice if you want an outdoor material that's strong and won't crack, warp, rot, or bend even when exposed to humid weather conditions for extended periods of time. But make sure to choose powder-coated steel furniture because epoxy-coated steel (galvanized) furniture may rust overtime after getting wet repeatedly. However, removing the rust and repainting galvanized steel is easy as long as it hasn't rusted all the way through yet.
Can resin wicker be left outside?
Yes. Resin wicker can be left outside for as long as you like without worrying about deterioration. It resists cracking, rotting, warping, or mold growth. You don't need to protect your resin wicker outdoor furniture with covers during winter or keep your wicker furniture out of the rain. You also don't need to worry about leaving it outside for days at a time because this type of material is heavy enough to resist wind damage.
What about wrought iron outdoor furniture?
Wrought iron may give you great durability, but it can rust or tarnish easily if not treated properly or kept away from water and high humidity areas near the pool. If you live in an area where there's lots of rainfall, make sure to cover your wrought iron furniture before each storm just to be on the safe side. Otherwise, leave your wrought iron patio tables outdoors all year round without worrying about durability issues caused by rusting that could lead to structural damage.
How do I keep my outdoor wicker furniture from getting mildew?
First, make sure you're not leaving soap residue on your wicker patio furniture for too long after cleaning it. You also need to clean and dry off water spots that may have accumulated during the winter months or when sitting outside in the rain before storing your wicker furniture away and treating it with a moisture-resistant sealant. Also, make sure there's plenty of ventilation inside any space where you store your wicker furniture especially if you live somewhere humid or near the coast. Otherwise, any type of wood indoor storage area like an attic may get damp and cause mildew growth on your wicker patio furniture over time.
Your choice of the most durable material for garden furniture will depend on all of these considerations to ensure your safety and protection while working outdoors. Take into account all factors that are important, not just one or two aspects of this purchase. This is particularly more important if you are planning on using them over a long period of time without replacement or repairs. Such can happen with some types but not so much with others.
Additionally, durability may also affect the investment value further down the line. This is especially if it gets older together with other parts that need replacement or repairs. So, make sure to consider all options before buying them so you do not regret your decision later on.
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