It’s getting around to that time of year where we can finally start thinking about spring and summer. If you’re reading this, it suggests that you’re at least a little bit curious about outdoor furniture and would like to know more about the materials used to make them. If you have a browse of the InsideOut Living website, you’ll see that you are truly spoilt for choice and that’s why we have put together a useful list of the pros and cons of the most common garden furniture materials.
The Pros & Cons Of Rattan Garden Furniture
One of the most common outdoor furniture materials is rattan. Rattan garden furniture is resistant to UV light, meaning it can be left out in the sun and its colour won’t bleach or fade. Another huge bonus is that rattan furniture material is also relatively low maintenance, due in no small part to its hard wearing and durable structure. For all of you interior design lovers out there, rattan is an incredibly aesthetic material and rattan garden furniture has enjoyed sustained popularity for decades. That said, its popularity has soared even higher in recent years thanks to attractive rattan furniture collections from brands like Kettler, Bramblecrest, and Hartman. While its natural look is more than enough to get by on, rattan chairs and sofas can be given a hint of customisation through the use of outdoor cushions.
As a material, rattan relies a great deal on the way it looks once weaved. Because of this, it’s important to inspect new rattan furniture closely and make sure there aren’t any loose threads that weren’t weaved properly. The reason for this is that these spots can unravel and while it may take some time to unravel fully, it will undermine the furniture’s durability and aesthetic qualities. It’s also important to note that rattan garden furniture should be considered an investment, as it often comes with a larger price tag when it is made correctly.
Pros Of Rattan:
- Timelessly attractive
- UV resistant
- Low maintenance
- Easily customised with cushions
Cons Of Rattan:
- Loose weaves can have a negative impact
- Initially expensive
The Pros & Cons Of Aluminum Garden furniture
To be perfectly frank, aluminium is a phenomenal outdoor furniture material. It looks great and is remarkably versatile, all the while being relatively inexpensive. More importantly, perhaps, aluminium is also widely recycled. This may seem like an odd thing to think about when looking for new outdoor furniture, but there will come a time when you’d like an upgrade and on that day your aluminium garden furniture can be recycled and reused. Another fantastic quality of aluminium outdoor furniture is that it’s very durable and will not rust like iron or steel. As a result, you could use your Hartman Berkley 2 Seater garden bench every day during the warm months of Summer and leave it uncovered throughout the cold, wet winter without ever having to worry about damage.
One feature that is both a blessing and a curse when it comes to aluminium furniture is that it’s lightweight. This makes it easy to move things around should you feel the need, but there is also the possibility of things getting blown around in strong winds. Hollow-frame aluminium furniture is particularly vulnerable and any major bends or dents that result from being tossed around could make it unsafe to use as well as unsightly. You should also pay close attention to any welding present on aluminium outdoor furniture, as it can be a very tricky garden furniture materials to bond together. Generally speaking, higher quality pieces usually incorporate braces or gusseting for extra support.
Pros Of Aluminium:
- Attractive yet low cost
- Durable & long-lasting
- Won’t rust or corrode
Cons Of Aluminium:
- Vulnerable in strong winds
- Easily compromised if damaged
The Pros & Cons Of Wrought Iron Garden Furniture
Wrought iron outdoor and patio furniture is renowned for being heavy and sturdy. It is unlikely that any wrought iron patio table or chair will get thrown easily during a rainstorm or gusty winds as lightweight patio furniture can. Consequently, all types of wrought iron patio furniture can be stored outdoors during the winter months and will not take up space in the garage. Wrought iron is also easy to work with and lends itself to beautiful, decorative designs. Wrought iron patio furniture is embellished with floral designs, swirls and other graceful touches.
On the other hand, wrought iron garden furniture does require quite a bit of routine maintenance. Due to the fact that wrought iron can rust, it must be treated with a sealant or wax on a yearly basis, however with the correct care the furniture can last for a number of years, therefore this can also lead to a hefty price tag, often more expensive than other outdoor furniture.
Pros Of Wrought Iron:
- Heavy and sturdy
- Can be easily stored in winter months
Cons Of Wrought Iron:
- Require routine maintenance
The Pros & Cons Of Stainless Steel Garden Furniture
Stainless steel garden furniture proves to be extremely durable and wind-resistant, therefore would be a great purchase for you if you use your outdoor furniture frequently throughout the summer months. Although it’s generally a little more pricey than wrought iron, stainless steel garden furniture does a better job of retaining its value after its initial purchase. This is something to keep in mind if you like to update your outdoor furniture on a regular basis, as it sells very well second-hand.
Even when it comes to stainless steel, rust is a concern. This is because there are different grades of stainless steel with alloys possessing higher levels of chromium being more resistant to corrosion. Unfortunately, higher chromium levels means a higher price tag, which is why a lot of stainless steel garden furniture is a relatively low-grade alloy with a protective powder-coated finish. Don’t let this put you off though, as this is more than enough for the sake of outdoor furniture. That said, it’s still wise to keep the stainless steel garden furniture covered during winter months and also during prolonged periods of disuse over summer. It is also important to remember that due to its heat retentive qualities, furniture made from stainless steel will need to be covered by fabrics and cushions to reduce the risk of anyone getting burnt.
Pros Of Stainless Steel:
- Durable & long-lasting
- Holds its value
Cons Of Stainless Steel:
- Can rust if not properly maintained
- Conducts heat in the summer
- Heavy & can be difficult to move
The Pros & Cons Of Wooden Garden Furniture
Oak, teak, and pine are three of the most common garden furniture materials, which makes sense considering they share similar properties. As a result, the pros and cons of the three materials are broadly the same, with oak, teak, and pine outdoor furniture all embuing gardens with an authentic and rustic feel. What’s more, with the correct care, wooden garden furniture materials can easily last for well over a decade.
However, wood can also be prone to rotting and will require regular maintenance in order for it to last for multiple years. However, it should be mentioned that both teak and pine garden furniture are relatively easy to damage and are prone to ‘movement’ compared to other timber. For example, shrinking and swelling when seasons change due to higher and lower levels of moisture is an issue, which can cause problems with paintwork. We would suggest keeping the furniture covered when not in use, even in the summer and spring.
Pros Of Wood:
- Gives an authentic and rustic feel
- Can last over a decade if properly cared for
- Easy to
Cons Of Wood:
- Requires regular maintenance
- Prone to movement
We hope that you take into consideration all of the pros and cons of garden furniture materials before purchasing your 2020 outdoor furniture, you can take a closer look at our outdoor furniture here.